Improving Quality of Life for Men
Dr. Omer A. Raheem, a board-certified urologist specializing in men’s health at the Tulane Medical Center and assistant professor of urology at Tulane University School of Medicine, has made it his goal to improve the quality of men’s lives. He shares his excitement about establishing a state-of-the-art Men’s Health Center at Tulane.
“Throughout the Gulf Coast Region, we have had a lack of men’s health specialists,” he says. “At Tulane, we can now help to fill the gap by offering treatments for urological conditions, sexual and reproductive issues (especially for cancer patients), and even complex penile reconstruction. We now can treat a variety of men’s health needs at one location.”
The Men’s Health specialists at Tulane offers treatment for urologic, sexual and reproductive health involving common conditions and treatments:
• Erectile dysfunction (ED)
• Elective sterilization (Vasectomy)
• Testosterone Replacement Therapy
• Male factor infertility evaluation/testing
• Male urinary incontinence
• Cancer survivorship programs
“Many men believe, ‘If it’s not broken, don’t fix it,’ so they tend to wait until late in life to see a doctor,” Dr Raheem says. “Some men come to us with a multitude of diagnosed problems, such as high cholesterol, diabetes and heart problems. Specializing in men’s healthcare at our Garden District location, our goal is to motivate men to take care of themselves, and provide them with a place to receive comprehensive medical and surgical care where they can comfortably share sensitive men’s-related health issues.”
During his fellowship at the University of Washington, Dr. Raheem participated in comprehensive training for men’s health issues with an emphasis on integrating minimally invasive diagnostic and treatment modalities for sexual, erectile dysfunction, reproductive conditions as well as complex penile construction. He is a fellowship-trained microsurgeon and commonly performs microscopic vasectomy reversal and varicocele surgery.
Getting Men to Pay Attention to Health
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the life expectancy of men, in the United States, is approximately five years less than that of women. It also reports that men die at higher rates than women from nine of the top 10 leading causes of death. These statistics have less to do with the differences in biology between men and women, but it has more to do with how commonplace it is for men to go undiagnosed or how late they do get diagnosed. This makes it especially vital for men to seek preventive care before it is too late.
As the director of the Men’s Health at Tulane University’s Department of Urology, Dr. Raheem sees the result of neglected care and wants to utilize a multidisciplinary approach at Tulane’s Men’s Health Center. “By bringing experts in internal medicine, cardiology, endocrine and oncology together, we can arrive at the best solutions for complex men’s health issues we are facing today,” he says. “By providing a private clinic where men can have these conditions evaluated and treated, our hope is that men will also become more knowledgeable about, and involved with, their overall health.”
Helping Men to Improve Their Quality of Life and Fertility
Dr. Raheem believes in a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach to the evaluation and treatment of male infertility and sexual dysfunction. He works closely with experts in female reproductive health to offer comprehensive care to infertile couples. He integrates the most advanced and minimally invasive diagnostic and treatment modalities into his practice.
“It is my greatest pleasure to help my patients experience a better quality of life,” Dr. Raheem says. “Regardless of what type of prior surgeries or treatments our patients have completed, we can help to restore not only sexual or erectile function or urinary continence but also counsel and educate our patients regarding advanced reproductive and fertility procedures before and after chemotherapy-related cancer, radiation or radical surgical treatments.”
When he had to tell one of his young patients, a 35-year-old man who was recently married, that he had testicular cancer, the male patient and his wife were devastated by the news. “My patient previously had cancer on one of his testicles and, with this news, the couple lost all hope of conceiving their own biologic child,” Dr. Raheem says.
“However, through an advanced oncofertility procedure called Ex-Vivo Microscopic Testicular Sperm Extraction, we were able to retrieve viable sperm from a remaining healthy portion of cancerous testicle for sperm cryopreservation. His sperm was later utilized in his wife’s Assisted Productive Technology in the form of In-Vitro Fertilization treatment resulting in a successful pregnancy. You cannot even believe how impactful and joyful this news was to this young couple.”
Dr. Raheem became interested in restoring his patient’s reproductive and sexual health through the breadth of interactions he had with various cultures, individuals, environments and healthcare that drove him to channel his appreciation of the unmet need in the field of reproductive and sexual medicine especially for those who suffered from prior cancer therapies. At a personal level, Dr. Raheem’s interest and career took a critical turn during his urology residency training at the University of California San Diego when his wife was diagnosed with ovarian cancer that required medical and surgical treatment indefinitely affecting their future reproductive abilities as a couple. “This life event made me want to learn more about fertility options especially before and after cancer therapy,” he says. “I firmly believe that with compassion, technology and expertise, we can allow couples to emerge from difficult and challenging times and still have a family.”
Tulane Urology Garden District
3525 Prytania St., Ste. 614
New Orleans, LA 70115
MEDICAL SCHOOL: Al-Mustansiriyah University School of Medicine
RESIDENCY: University of California San Diego, General Surgery and Urology
FELLOWSHIP: University of Washington, Male Reproduction, Sexual Medicine and