New laser treatment available at St. Gabriel’s Hospital

Laser treatment for an enlarged prostate is among the latest urology services being offered to Morrison County residents through the surgery department of St. Gabriel’s Hospital.

Henri Lanctin, MD, urologist with Adult and Pediatric Urology in St. Cloud, sees patients at St. Gabriel’s Hospital every Monday and frequently schedules appointments on other days as needed to meet the urological needs of area residents.

“I see patients through the same day services department at St. Gabriel’s Hospital,” Dr. Lanctin said. “It’s a relationship I’m very much enjoying. Most of my Little Falls patients are referred by the physicians at the Family Medical Center and they have been very supportive and excellent to work with. The OR (operating room) staff are very professional and a great group to work with as well.”

Urology is a medical specialty offering a wide variety of services. Urologists perform surgery for bladder tumors, cancers and other diseases. They remove stones, perform circumcisions (most commonly on older patients), and also perform treatments for an enlarged prostate. The use of a laser is one of the latest techniques for treating an enlarged prostate.

“An enlarged prostate can be very effectively treated with an interstitial laser,” Dr. Lanctin said. The laser treatment, he noted, offers many benefits including a lower risk of developing complications and less recovery time, with patients frequently returning to their normal routines in as little as 24 to 48 hours.

The more serious urological concern, Dr. Lanctin said, is prostate cancer. For men, it is number one in prevalence among all cancers and number two in cause of death. The usual lack of symptoms is the reason why both the American Cancer Society and American Urological Association have established prostate screening guidelines.

“We recommend that men age 50 and older have a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) blood test and digital rectal exam annually,” Dr. Lanctin said. “African-American males or people with a family history of prostate cancer should begin screening earlier, at age 40. A high level of PSA (normal is 0-4) is suggestive of prostate cancer, and a prostate cancer diagnosis is then confirmed through biopsy.”

According to Dr. Lanctin, a confirmed cancer is usually treated in one of three ways—with traditional cancer surgery, through external radiation or with seed implants. The seed implants method is a relatively new procedure involving the placement of 80-130 tiny metallic seeds into the affected areas of the prostate. It is minimally invasive and patients recover very rapidly, resuming full activity in a couple of days.

Finally, some prostate cancer cases are not treated. “We take a ‘watchful waiting’ approach for some patients who may have other major health concerns and/or their life expectancy is less than ten years,” he said.

Dr. Lanctin offered some final recommendations regarding the treatment of prostate cancer and other urological diseases.

“We have many options with respect to treating urology problems,” he said. “Patients need to discuss those options with their family physician or urologist to determine what’s best for them as individuals. Furthermore, most of the services they may require are available right here in Little Falls. I am very appreciative of the relationship I’m developing with area residents and with the local medical community. It makes me feel welcome and appreciated.”

More information about urology services is available at St. Gabriel’s Hospital by calling the same day services department, 632-1128.

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