The Urological Clinic of Valdosta has achieved great milestones this year. Along with being named a Center of Excellence, the clinic is also highlighting a ground-breaking, minimally invasive procedure called the UroLift, which has been helping men across the nation who are suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia, or, an enlarged prostate.The Urological Clinic of Valdosta has achieved great milestones this year. Along with being named a Center of Excellence, the clinic is also highlighting a ground-breaking, minimally invasive procedure called the UroLift, which has been helping men across the nation who are suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia, or, an enlarged prostate. Men with BPH often suffer from urinary frequency, slow stream or hesitancy, and nocturia, or getting up at night to urinate.
The clinic was founded in 1989 by Dr. Mike Chiang, who decided a few years ago that he wanted to pass the success of his clinic on to a bright individual. Dr. Patrick Parker became just that. Starting out as an employee in 2017, the clinic was passed on to him by Chiang last year. According to Chiang, he is the reason for the clinic’s recent success in being named a CoE.
“I had started the program, and when Dr. Parker joined, he really had a lot of interest in this, and it really took off,” Chiang said. “He basically took charge of this program and just about did all the work to get where we are. He is a very dedicated physician that really is interested in the patients and having good outcomes, and we have been really fortunate to have somebody like that to be part of this clinic.”
Even though Parker has taken over the clinic, he said that he and Chiang work well together and are constantly using one another’s experience and skill to treat patients.
“We kind of tackle patients like a team,” Parker said. “It’s just so incredibly busy and such a high volume of patients, so really we just bounce ideas off each other quite a bit, and there is a lot of teamwork.”
Being named a CoE essentially means that the clinic’s highest standards are maintained. The UroLift procedure and Dr. Parker’s work are what contributed to that standard. He said that there was a lot involved in order to receive the honor.
“There was a lot of coordination with the representatives as well as with the members of Bureau Corporation,” Parker said. “I was able to travel to California to see where manufacturers made the devices, and at that time I got to meet the CEO of the company and other physicians as well and actually manufactured my own UroLift device and saw step-by-step how it was actually made. In addition to that, there was quality reference that the company could enforce that it wasn’t just simply the question of how many procedures you were actually doing but how good the workup was, how good the patient outcome was, and how good the results were.”
The procedure helps patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia and affects nearly 500 million men worldwide over the age of 50. It causes urinary problems and can cause severe discomfort. UroLift offers quicker recovery times compared to traditional forms of treatment.
“It’s a unique device,” Parker said. “I have had patients come from outlying communities to the clinic directly to ask questions about the procedure.”
Parker initially remembered seeing the device in the Journal of Urology and thought it was a pretty smart idea. He was able to watch Dr. Chiang perform the procedure and said he was shocked by the results. Not only was the procedure only about an hour long, but patients were experiencing little discomfort and with a minimal recovery time of about five to seven days.
William Hooks, 45, had the procedure done in February. He said that he has been pleased with the outcome.
“Prior to the UroLift, I had difficulty maintaining a steady, reliable stream,” Hooks said. “Post procedure has noted marked improvement in both areas. I view the procedure as a success. My life has taken a turn for the better as a result. I would recommend this procedure to anyone who is a good candidate.”
Thomas Sheppard, 84, had the procedure done last year at the suggestion of his doctors.
“Everything went well, and I’m doing good,” he said. “I just had a checkup, and they said everything is fine. You have a couple days of discomfort after it, but after that I was up and going about my business. And I haven’t had any problems. I would recommend this procedure. I’ve already talked to some people about it. I’ve been pleased with what is done.”
Parker said that a big aspect of his job is being open and transparent with patients.
“I try to make sure patients know what to expect with symptom relief and what to expect as far as the treatment options as to how well or how poorly we expect to do with certain treatments or medications to request,” he said. “And that’s the biggest thing is to just be honest with the patients about what their treatment options are.”
For the clinic’s future, Parker believes that the combination of being named a CoE and the UroLift procedure will increase patients’ success and symptom relief.
“I think that long term this is a way that we can let the patients know about the options that they have and the treatment for their urinary problems,” he said. “The biggest thing that upsets me is thinking of a patient who is out there living his life having unnecessary frustration and unnecessary symptoms and not being able to enjoy the times they have as much as they should be. Anything that I can do to promote or increase patient participation, I’m more willing to do. Something I hear time and time again is ‘It doesn’t bother me that much, so I’ll just learn to live with it,’ and that drives me nuts, especially if I think I can help someone. So the biggest thing is just that I work to try and increase the acknowledgment of the clinic and try to help people as much as I can.”
Written by: Alex Dunn | Photography by: Eric Vinson and Andrew Pipkin