What Does a Urologist Do?
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Urologists are physicians who specialize in the genitourinary tract – the urinary bladder, kidneys, adrenal glands, urethra, and male productive organs and male fertility. They are also trained in the surgical and treatment of diseases that affect these organs. A urologist could also serve as your primary doctor if you have long-term problems holding your urine, have prostate cancer, or have regular problems with kidney stones.
Why would you need to see a urologist?
Seeing a urologist is very important as they help treat urinary tract infections, bladder problems, kidney cancer, kidney blockage, and kidney stones. You might also see them for testicular cancer, prostate cancer, enlarged prostate gland, or for erectile disfunction.
What does a urologist do when you first visit?
Your first visit with a urologist may not be any different from a visit with your private doctor. At your first appointment, you will fill out forms and answer questions about your health history, medicines you might be taking, and current symptoms. The urologist will also conduct a physical exam that includes a genital rectal exam, and they may order blood work or imaging tests, like an ultrasound or CT scan in order to have a closer look at your organs. Urologists also may prescribe medications and offer behavior training. For example, you might be able to manage some problems with holding in your urine through certain exercises that strengthen your pelvic muscles.
What types of procedures does a urologist perform?
Urologists also perform a range of procedures. Some of these procedures are done at their office, or during major surgeries at your local hospital.
A few common procedures include:
- Ureteroscopy to look inside your kidneys and ureters.
- Cystoscopy to get a close-up of your urethra and bladder.
- Prostate biopsy to remove a tiny tissue sample from your prostate to test for cancer in a lab.
- Vasectomy that involves cutting the tubes that carry sperm to prevent pregnancy.
- Nephrectomy surgery to remove a kidney to treat cancer.
In some cases, your private doctor might be able to treat mild urinary tract infections, however, if they are severe and don’t go away then you will need to see a urologist. Here are the signs of when you need to see a urologist: loss of bladder control, blood in urine, pain while urinating, pain in the stomach, groin, or lower back (which may signal kidney stones), trouble keeping or having an erection, and enlarged prostate.
What does a urologist do for females?
Urologists are not for men only. Women may need to see them as they are trained and specialize in problems that affect the urinary tract, which is a system of muscles, tubes and organs, like the kidneys. Urologists may also treat problems with the reproductive system in both women and men.
Many women will most likely develop a urinary tract infection at some point in their lives, which happens when bacteria enters’ the urinary tract. Women may experience a burning pain when urinating and they may also have the sudden urge to use the bathroom, then to discover trouble while urinating. Urinary tract infections can be serious, but they can be treated with antibiotics.
Women might also see a urologist for bladder control problems. These include having an overactive bladder, or for bladder control treatment. Additionally, women may also see a urologist for symptoms that involve a fallen bladder, painful bladder syndrome, urinary stones, and cancer in the urinary tract.
If you feel you have issues with your bladder, kidneys, or have pain while urinating, or have erectile dysfunction, then you should consult with a urologist. While your doctor might be able to treat some common problems, you might be referred to a urologist for further examination and treatments.