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1. Who Is a Urologist?
A urologist is a specialized doctor who treats conditions of the urinary system in both males and females, as well as problems related to male reproductive system. To become a urologist, after graduating from medical school, a doctor needs to complete a urology residency program. Additional fellowship training is required for certification in a urology subspecialty.
Urologists are trained to diagnose and manage problems associated with male reproductive organs, such as benign prostate hyperplasia or sexual dysfunction. Urologists also treat non-surgical conditions of the urinary tract, such as urinary tract infections, as well as surgical conditions including kidney stones, urinary obstruction, congenital abnormalities, and cancers.
A urologist may work with other specialists to provide a specific treatment. For example, a urologist may work with an oncologist for a patient with prostate cancer or with a nephrologist for a surgical urinary tract disease that also affects kidney function.
2. When Should I See A Urologist?
Your primary care physician will usually refer you to a urologist. You may need to contact a urologist if you experience symptoms that may indicate a disease of the urinary tract. These symptoms may include:
• Pain in your back, pelvis, or sides
• Discomfort, pressure, or bloating in the lower abdomen
• Burning sensation or pain while urinating
• Blood in urine
• Frequent or difficult urinating
• Urinary incontinence
In case of males, you may need to see a urologist if you have symptoms like:
• Decreased sexual drive
• Erection or ejaculation problems
• Mass or lump in testes
Men may also seek a urologist for male infertility treatments and contraception-related procedures such as vasectomy or vasectomy reversal surgery.
3. What Kind of Tests Does a Urologist Perform or Recommend?
You may want to discuss the prior by an online urologist by online chat or online consultation. Based on the presenting symptoms, your urologist may request one or more additional tests, including:
• Urine tests and urine culture
• Blood tests such as prostate specific antigen (PSA)
• Imaging tests such as X-rays, CT, MRI, or ultrasound
• Semen analysis
4. What Kind of Procedures Does a Urologist Perform?
Urologists also perform open or laparoscopic surgeries and invasive diagnostic procedures for conditions of the urinary tract and of the male reproductive system. Examples include:
• Endourological procedures such as cystourethroscopy and ureteroscopy
• Kidney stone procedures like percutaneous nephrolithotomy and shock wave lithotripsy
• Prostate cancer procedures like prostatectomy, brachytherapy, or cryotherapy
• Bladder cancer surgery such as cystectomy or transurethral resection
• Penile implant surgery
• Vasectomy and vasectomy reversal
5. What Questions Should I Ask a Urologist?
You may want to ask a urology online or in person about these kinds of questions:
• What condition do I have?
• What are the chances of having other problems or complications from my condition? What is the success rate of the treatment?
• What treatment options are available? What are the risks and side effects of this treatment? Are there any alternatives to this treatment?
• Will this condition or treatment affect my sexual life or fertility?
• What can I do to prepare for my surgery or procedure?
• What should I expect after the surgery or procedure? How long will I take to recover?
• What symptoms I should watch for after this surgery and when should I have another visit?
• How will the condition or treatment affect my daily life?
• What food and drinks should I have or avoid while my condition recovers?
• What preventive measures do you suggest for my condition?