Health Care

Don't Struggle in Silence

Older Couple Outside at Sunset

Choose the health content that’s right for you, and get it delivered right in your inbox.

Years of building fences set Frank “Putt” Borowski up for a health issue he never thought he would face at age 51. Putt suffered arsenic poisoning in 2008. He says the exposure damaged some of his blood vessels and impacted blood flow. Putt began to suffer from erectile dysfunction also known as ED.

Over the years, Putt had tried to find a solution that would work for him. “I tried Viagra and Cialis and even went to the one place where they did the shots and none of that stuff worked.” When Putt shared the lack of success with his primary care provider, AdventHealth Physician Assistant, Cassidy Ford, PA-C, she recommended that he see AdventHealth Urologist, Nina Harkhani, MD.

ED is a very personal issue that can be difficult to discuss. But Putt quickly discovered that wouldn’t be the case with Dr. Harkhani. “When I was introduced to Dr. Harkhani, she made me feel very comfortable even talking to a woman about this.”

Dr. Harkhani thinks a combination of issues lead men to avoid these conversations. “First, there is a lack of education on ED which leads to embarrassment and a reluctance to discuss it openly.” She says, fortunately that is changing as we see more advertisements about ED. In some cases men think it’s just part of aging. Younger men often think it will just resolve on its own. Dr. Harkhani points out ED is a medical condition with effective treatments. “That is why it is important to establish a strong doctor-patient relationship so that the patient feels comfortable talking about these sensitive issues and to see a urology specialist who has experience talking about ED.”

Because the pills and injections had not worked, Dr. Harkhani shared the option of penile implant surgery with Putt. “Putt was looking for a solution that was reliable and allowed him to have spontaneity in his sex life. Penile implant offers that so patient satisfaction is quite high.”

Putt admits, “I had heard about this procedure from years ago, but it was like a major surgery.” Putt’s wife, Donna, did some additional research into the surgery, and together they determined it was the right choice for him.

“Personally I think that when you have been married for 27 years, your love life is part of it, too. In my opinion you do anything you can do to make your spouse happy. I was able to get 100% of my quality of life back. My wife said I was like a teenager again.”

Putt looks back on the experience with Dr. Harkhani and the AdventHealth Surgical Services team, “I was not concerned going into the surgery. It was my trust in the Lord. I really believe He is the one who led me to this place to begin with. Dr. Harkhani is one of the best surgeons I have ever had. And I’ve had quite a few surgeries. Everybody was so wonderful and professional. I would give it a 5-star easy.” For Dr. Harkhani, one of the goals of her practice is to increase education on ED and ED treatment options and help men feel empowered to find the best options for them. That education includes virtual seminars where she talks about signs, symptoms, and related health risks such as ED being a warning sign of cardiovascular disease because the conditions have overlapping risk factors. It is important for men to feel comfortable discussing this topic with their doctors. Treating ED leads to improved mood, improved self-esteem, improved relationships and improved self-confidence. These all contribute to better overall health and help the patient feel whole.

Spotlight On

Nina Harkhani, MD

Nina Harkhani, MD

Dr. Harkhani is a board-certified urologist and Director of Robotic Surgery at AdventHealth Hendersonville. In addition to offering general urology services, Dr. Harkhani has 4 years of experience using the Intuitive da Vinci Si and Xi platforms, offering a minimally invasive option for treating kidney cancer and prostate cancer. She also offers high end stone surgery, being one of the only urologists in the region to offer tubeless percutaneous nephrolithotomy (tubeless PCNL) and Endoscopic Combined Intra-Renal Surgery (ECIRS) for complex kidney stones. Dr. Harkhani has extensive experience in penile implant procedures for erectile dysfunction, offering multiple surgical options for implants. Additional implant expertise includes placement of artificial urinary sphincter implant for urinary incontinence and placement of sacral neuromodulator (InterStim and Axonics) for bladder control. In addition to surgery, Dr. Harkhani offers nonoperative treatment plans including active surveillance for certain cancers, behavioral therapy, physical therapy, and medications. Her goal is to help patients understand the details of their condition to empower them to share in the decision-making process, thus formulating a treatment plan that is tailored to each patient.

Before joining AdventHealth Hendersonville, Dr. Harkhani attended medical school at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. She then completed an internship in general surgery and residency in urologic surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center where she received specialized training in da Vinci robotic surgery, tubeless PCNL, and penile implant surgery . In her free time, Dr. Harkhani enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, hiking and reading.

Connect with Dr. Harkhani!

Recent Blogs

A Blended Family Walks Through a Park with a Guide.
Health Equity: A Movement Toward Whole Health for All
A Couple Embraces While Waiting for the Results of a Home Pregnancy Test.
Overcoming Infertility
Autism in Children: Embracing Neurodiversity and Encouraging Independence
A Doctor Put on a Bandage After Giving an Injection
The History Behind Vaccines
Nurturing the Whole Health of Mothers Every Day
View More Articles