Ancient Greek and Egyptian physicians routinely evaluated the colour, odour, and texture of urine. They also searched for bubbles, blood, and other disease-related indicators.
The health of the urinary system is now the focus of a whole branch of medicine. It is known as urology. Here is an explanation of what urologists do and when you might want to consult one of them.
What is a urologist?
Both male and female urinary tract illnesses are diagnosed and treated by urologists. In addition, they identify and handle any issues males may have with their reproductive systems.
They might even perform surgery occasionally. For instance, they could clear a urinary tract obstruction or remove malignancy. In addition to hospitals and private clinics, urology centres also employ urologists.
The system that produces, stores, and eliminates urine from the body is the urinary tract. Any element of this system can be treated by urologists. This comprises the
- The organs known as kidneys filter waste from the blood to make urine. The ureters are the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder.
- The urethra, which is the tube through which urine exits the body from the bladder
- The adrenal glands, which are the glands that are positioned on top of each kidney and release hormones
All components of the male reproductive system are also treated by urologists. These components make up this system:
- The penis is an organ that secretes pee and transports sperm outside of the body.
- The prostate is a gland that sits below the bladder and adds fluid to sperm to create semen.
- Testicles, the two oval glands in the scrotum that produce sperm and the hormone testosterone
What are the education and training requirements?
A four-year undergraduate degree is required, followed by four years of medical school. Following graduation from medical school, you must complete four or five years of hospital-based medical training.
You work with seasoned urologists during this course, known as a residency, and you learn surgical techniques.
Some urologists choose to complete an additional year or two of training. We refer to this as a fellowship. You acquire expertise in a specific area during this time. This can apply to female urology or urologic oncology.
Urologists must pass the specialty certification exam for urologists at the conclusion of their training. Upon passing the test, the American Board of Urology certifies them.
Which conditions do urologists treat?
Numerous illnesses that affect the male reproductive system and urinary system are treated by urologists.
Conditions treated in males
- cancers of the bladder, kidneys, penis, testicles, adrenal, and prostate glands
- enlargement of the prostate gland
- interstitial cystitis, also known as painful bladder syndrome
- kidney conditions
- kidney stones
- prostatitis, an inflammation of the prostate gland
- urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- varicoceles, or enlarged veins in the scrotum
Conditions treated in women
- Kidney stones
- Interstitial cystitis
- Overactive bladder
- Urinary incontinence
- Bladder prolapse, or the falling of the bladder into the vagina
- Cancers of the bladder, kidneys, and adrenal glands
Conditions treated in kids
- and other issues with the urinary system, as well as undescended testicles
What procedures do urologists perform?
To determine what problem you have, a urologist will first do one or more of these tests when you visit them:
- They can look within your urinary tract thanks to imaging tests like a CT scan, MRI scan, or ultrasound.
- A cystogram, which involves capturing X-ray pictures of your bladder, can be requested.
- A cystoscopy can be performed by your urologist. This entails looking inside your urethra and bladder with the help of a tiny scope called a cystoscope.
- To determine how quickly pee leaves your body when you urinate, they might do a post-void residual urine test.
- Additionally, it displays how much urine is still in your bladder after urinating.
- A urine sample can be used to test for germs that cause illnesses. To gauge the pressure and volume inside your bladder, they might undergo urodynamic testing.
- Additionally, trained in many forms of surgery, urologists. This might entail carrying out:
- Extracorporeal shock-wave lithotripsy is a procedure that breaks up kidney stones so that they can be removed more easily.
- Kidney transplantation is the process of replacing a diseased kidney with a healthy one. Biopsies of the bladder, kidneys, or prostate.
- Repair of injury-related damage. Repair of urinary organs that aren’t well-formed. A cystectomy, which removes the bladder to treat cancer.
- A transurethral resection of the prostate involves removing excess tissue from an enlarged prostate; a transurethral needle ablation of the prostate involves removing excess tissue from an enlarged prostate; a ureteroscopy, which involves removing excess tissue from the urethra; and a sling procedure, which uses strips of mesh to support and keep the urethra closed to treat urinary incontinence.
When should you see a urologist?
You can get treatment from your primary care physician for minor urinary issues like a UTI. If your symptoms don’t go away or if you have a condition that requires care that a primary care physician cannot give, they may recommend that you see a urologist. If you are in this position then book appointment from the best urologist around you.
For some conditions, you might need to see a urologist as well as another specialist. For instance, a man with prostate cancer may visit both a urologist and a cancer expert known as “an oncologist.” How can you tell if you need to see a urologist?
Any of the following symptoms could indicate a urinary tract issue:
- Urination problems include:
- blood in the pee
- frequent or urgent urination
- lower back, pelvis, or side pain
- pain or burning during urinating
- difficulty urinating
- urine leaks
- weak urine flow,
Additionally, if you’re a man and you’re having any of the following symptoms, you should visit a urologist:
- a drop-in libido
- a lump in the testis
- issues achieving or maintaining an erection
If you need assistance locating a urologist, use the online medical healthcare apps to search medical professionals in your neighborhood.
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