Urology is the field of medicine that focuses on diseases of the urinary tract and the male reproductive tract. Some urologists treat general diseases of the urinary tract. Others specialize in a particular type of urology, such as:
female urology, which focuses on conditions of a woman’s reproductive and urinary tractmale infertility, which focuses on problems that prevent a man from conceiving a baby with his partnerneurourology, which focuses on urinary problems due to conditions of the nervous systempediatric urology, which focuses on urinary problems in childrenurologic oncology, which focuses on cancers of the urinary system, including the bladder, kidneys, prostate, and testicles
Which conditions do urologists treat?
Urologists treat a wide variety of conditions that affect the urinary system and male reproductive system.
In men, urologists treat:
cancers of the bladder, kidneys, penis, testicles, and adrenal and prostate glandsprostate gland enlargementerectile dysfunction, or trouble getting or keeping an erectioninfertilityinterstitia
l cystitis, also called painful bladder syndromekidney diseaseskidney stonesprostatitis, which is inflammation of the prostate glandurinary tract infections (UTIs)varicoceles, or enlarged veins in the scrotum
In women, urologists treat:
bladder prolapse, or the dropping of the bladder into the vaginacancers of the bladder, kidneys, and adrenal glandsinterstitial cystitiskidney stonesoveractive bladderUTIsurinary incontinence
In children, urologists treat:
bed-wettingblockages and other problems with the urinary tract structureundescended testicles
What procedures do urologists perform?
When you visit a urologist, they’ll start by doing one or more of these tests to find out what condition you have:
Imaging tests, such as a CT scan, MRI scan, or ultrasound, allow them to see inside your urinary tract.They can order a cystogram, which involves taking X-ray images of your bladder.Your urologist can perform a cystoscopy. This involves using a thin scope called a cystoscope to see the inside of your urethra and bladder.They can perform a post-void residual urine test to find out how fast urine leaves your body during urination. It also shows how much urine is left in your bladder after you urinate.They can use a urine sample to check your urine for bacteria that cause infections.They can perform urodynamic testing to measure the pressure and volume inside your bladder.
Urologists are also trained to perform different types of surgery. This may include performing:
biopsies of the bladder, kidneys, or prostatea cystectomy, which involves removing the bladder, to treat cancerextracorporeal shock-wave lithotripsy, which involves breaking up kidney stones so they can remove them more easilya kidney transplant, which involves replacing a diseased kidney with a healthy onea procedure to open a blockagea repair of damage due to injurya repair of urinary organs that aren’t well-formeda prostatectomy, which involves removing all or part of the prostate gland to treat prostate cancera sling procedure, which involves using strips of mesh to support the urethra and keep it closed to treat urinary incontinencea transurethral resection of the prostate, which involves removing excess tissue from an enlarged prostatea transurethral needle ablation of the prostate, which involves removing excess tissue from an enlarged prostatea ureteroscopy, which involves using a scope to remove stones in the kidneys and uretera vasectomy to prevent pregnancy, which involves cutting and tying the vas deferens, or the tube sperm travel through to produce semen