Who is a urologist?
A urologist is a physician who diagnoses and treats diseases of the urinary tract in both men and women.
Urologists diagnose and treat diseases of the urinary tract, the system that creates, stores, and removes urine from the body, in both men and women. Urologists also diagnose and treat anything involving the male reproductive tract. Some urologists treat general diseases of the urinary tract while others specialize in a particular type of urology. They gain additional skills in a specialty area by doing one to two year of additional training called fellowship. Depending on the specialty, they are categorized as:
- Female Urologist who focuses on the conditions of a woman’s reproductive and urinary tract.
- Male Urologist who focuses on problems that prevent a man from conceiving a baby with his partner.
- Neurourologist who focuses on urinary problems due to conditions of the nervous system.
- Pediatric Urologist who focuses on urinary problems in children.
- Urologic Oncologist who focuses on cancers of the urinary system, including the kidneys, bladder, prostate, and testicles.
When should I see a urologist?
Normally, you wouldn’t know you have a problem in your urinary tract unless you are tested. But there are some symptoms you should never overlook as they could indicate a urological problem.
It has been recommended that you should see a specialist if you:
- Suffer from hematuria, which means you have blood in your urine
- Experience consistent pain or burning while urinating (urinary tract infection)
- Have a frequent need to urinate
- Have difficulty urinating
- Experience incontinence
- Have frequent urinary tract infection
- Have severe constipation
For men, you should visit a urologist, if you have:
- A problem with getting or keeping an erection
- Issues related to fertility
- A change in your prostate-specific antigen (PSA)
- An abnormal prostate exam
- A testicular mass or persistent pain.
- Prostate cancer.
For women, you should visit a urologist to get treatment for:
- Urinary incontinence
- Urinary tract infections
- Urinary fistula, Pelvic Organ Prolapse,
- Voiding dysfunction.
What diseases does a urologist treat?
A urologist can treat the following conditions:
- Recurrent urinary tract infections
- Urinary incontinence and overactive bladder
- Interstitial cystitis
- Enlarged prostate
- Kidney stones
- Male and female infertility
- Sexual dysfunction (male or female)
- Cancers throughout the urinary tract (such as kidney, prostate, bladder, penile, and testicular cancers)
What kind of tests do urologists perform?
The tests performed by urologists are:
- 24-Hour Urine Collection
- Antegrade Pyelogram
- Computed Tomography Scan of the Kidney
- Cystoscopy for Women
- Kidney Biopsy
- Kidney Scan
- Kidney Ultrasound
- Kidney, Ureter, and Bladder X-ray
- Prostate/Rectal Ultrasound
- Renal Angiogram
- Renal Venogram
- Retrograde Cystography
- Retrograde Pyelogram
- Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection
- Urine Flow Test
What happens in your first urologist appointment?
During the first appointment, most of the urologist try to learn all they can about their patient's medical history and the symptoms they are experiencing.
Patients' are usually asked to provide a urine sample, to fill out questionnaires that help the experts assess the nature the symptoms, give information on the medical histories of the patient's family members and provide a list of all current medications.
Urologists also perform a physical exam. The exam concentrates on the genitourinary system which includes the kidneys, adrenal glands, urinary bladder, urethra, and reproductive organs. Depending on the patient's symptoms, additional tests may also be performed to help the urologist make their evaluation.
What's the difference between a urologist and nephrologist?
When it comes to the difference between nephrology and urology, the former deals with only kidneys while the latter provides treatment for several other organs related to the urinary tract in both men and women. These organs are kidneys, which filter blood, ureters, which are the tubes through which urine flows from the kidneys to the bladder, which is the hollow sac that collects urine, urethra, which is the tube through which urine travels from the bladder out of the body, and adrenal glands, which are the glands located on top of each kidney that release hormones.
Urologists also treat all organs of the male reproductive system which is made of a penis, the organ that releases urine and carries sperm out of the body, prostate, the gland underneath the bladder that adds fluid to sperm to produce semen, and testicles, two oval organs inside the scrotum that make the hormone testosterone and also produce sperm.
Can a urologist perform surgery?
In some cases, urologists may perform surgery. Urologists may remove cancer or open up a blockage in the urinary tract, but usually, they work along with other surgeons.
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