The risk of developing bladder cancer, for example, increases 16-fold between the ages of 40 and 80. Thus, the demand for urological services increases with age and at the same time, due to demographic change, the medical specialty of urology is increasingly in demand!
So what is Urology?
As an important subfield of health care, dealing with diseases of the male and female urinary tract and the reproductive organs, which can occur at any time in any person, urology is one of the most important medical specialties.
Urology is known primarily as a surgical specialty, but the urologist is confronted with a wide variety of clinical problems.
The field of urology is extensive and can be divided into seven subspecialties:
- Pediatric Urology
- Urologic oncology
- Kidney transplantation
- Male infertility
- Urinary tract stones
- Female Urology
Interdisciplinarity plays an essential role in urology: For certain conditions, such as urinary tract cancer, urologists may need to work with oncologists, radiation oncologists, or even nephrologists who deal with kidney disease, as well as gynecologists who deal with the female reproductive system and endocrinologists who deal with endocrine system diseases and hormone imbalances.
Urologists are experts who can treat problems ranging from kidney stones to cancer. Your urologist is a specialist in the urinary system, which includes the kidneys, bladder, ureters and urethra. Urologists also treat the male reproductive system, which includes the penis, testicles, scrotum and prostate.
But these areas do not cover the urologist’s full scope of practice:
Regular problems with kidney stones, prostate cancer, problems with urine output and more are also part of the scope here.
To become a urologist requires many years of very specific training. In addition to four years of medical studies, this includes five years of specific training, entirely aimed at the urinary tract and the male reproductive system.
Moreover, a specific field can be additionally selected as a specialization, such as urology for children, for women, male infertility, cancer and more. The basic requirement is also to pass an exam.
Symptoms with which you should see a urologist
Bladder problems, urinary tract infections (UTIs), bladder and kidney cancer, kidney blockage and kidney stones are all treated by a urologist.
However, a urologist is also consulted for diseases and emerging problems in men such as Erectile Dysfunction (ED), Enlarged Prostate Gland, Prostate and Testicular Cancer.
Women, on the other hand, should see a urologist for problems related to urination after pregnancy or pelvic organ prolapse.
In children, common problems such as urinary problems associated with bedwetting are a reason to see a urologist.
The list of signs to see a urologist is diverse and varied:
These include, for example, blood in the urine, loss of bladder control,, pain when peeing, difficulty getting or keeping an erection, and an enlarged prostate.
The following is a more detailed discussion of some of the symptoms for which the urologist can help and should be seen:
If you are experiencing burning, painful and frequent urination that does not improve with antibiotics, this could be a sign that you have interstitial cystitis (IC), also known as pain bladder.
By testing the urine, the urologist can prescribe the most effective anti-inflammatory medications or identify triggers (diet, alcohol consumption) to stop as a result.
Kidney stones are most noticeable by severe pain on one side of the lower back, but also by excruciating abdominal pain, blood in the urine and other symptoms. Only the urologist can apply the correct diagnosis and treatment here.
A urologist is the first doctor to whom men should turn when difficulties are given to get or keep an erection. The problem may be psychological, but in most cases there is an underlying medical or physical cause.
If partners have not been able to conceive for six months to a year, despite regular attempts, it is advisable to see a urologist to have fertility evaluated. Sperm tests, blood tests and ultrasound examinations provide information and an accurate diagnosis.
What is the process of a visit to the urologist and what treatments are offered
First, your urologist will ask about medical history, symptoms, medications taken, and other background information.
The physical exam that follows includes a genital and rectal exam. Blood tests are also common, as well as computerized tomography scans and ultrasound.
In terms of treatments, these vary entirely depending on the individual and symptoms, as well as the severity of the problem.
From medications, to behavioral training, to surgical procedures, the urologist can guide everything that promises the best chance of success.
The most common procedures and interventions include:
Cystoscopy, which is a close-up view of the bladder and urethra with a special telescope-like instrument!
The so-called prostate biopsy, in which the urologist takes tiny tissue samples from the prostate to test for cancer.
The vasectomy, in which the fallopian tubes that carry sperm are cut, preventing pregnancy.
Urology at THE Wiener Privatklinik