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Urologist

An urologist is a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases related to the male and female urinary tract and male reproductive organs. Urologists are meant to be surgeons who have specialized in the aforesaid field. Urologists specialize in treating diseases related to the kidney, uterus, urinary bladder, male reproductive organs and urethra. Urologists have to complete medical school followed by one year internship and then followed by specialization of three years in the field of urology. They can further attain qualifications in sub-specialties such as pediatric urology, female urology, neurourology etc.


Tasks of an urologist



Urologists mainly focus on:

  • Prescribe medications for urinary infections. In women, urogynecologists treat problems related to the reproductive systems in women.
  • Perform surgeries for urinary infections.
  • Treat problems such as incontinence (holding back urine).
  • Give treatment for urinary stones.
  • Treat impotence in men and any other related problem with the reproductive organs of men such as infertility.
  • Conduct renal transplants (kidney transplantation).

Latest techniques employed in the field of urology

Modern technologies have seen the use of:

  • Ultrasound and various other diagnostic imaging techniques are used to detect stones in the bladder. They give clear picture of the bladder and its contents.
  • Cytoscope is used to study the bladder in detail thereby giving a clear picture of any disorder present.

Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer usually surfaces in the lining of the bladder (transitional cells )and later spreads to other areas. Cases of bladder cancer are mostly noticed in persons over 60 years. Bladder cancer is often hereditary. Smoking and exposure to toxic chemicals increase the risk of bladder cancer. Men are more likely to develop bladder cancer than women. Persons who have repeated instances of urinary infection or have been using catheters for long are at increased risk for bladder cancer. Superficial bladder cancer in the initial stages indicates that the cancer is restricted to the surface of the inner lining of the bladder. Later it spreads to the inner lining and invades the wall of the bladder. The surrounding tissues, lymph nodes and other organs are the next to get affected by the cancerous cells.


Symptoms of bladder cancer include pain during urination and increased frequency of urination. The patient suffering from bladder cancer is likely to have pelvic pain. Blood is noticed in the urine. Blood clots are also sometimes noticed in the urine. Often there are no symptoms during the early stages of bladder cancer. A urologist will check the functioning of the kidneys and conduct a physical examination. IVU (Intravenous Urogram) is a diagnostic imaging tool that allows the doctor to examine the kidneys, ureters and bladder. Blood tests and chest x-ray aids in diagnosis of bladder cancer. The urologist might use a cystoscope to examine inside the bladder. A biopsy is often conducted.


Surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy are resorted to while treating bladder cancer. The treatment is based on the stage of bladder cancer. Drinking plenty of water and increasing the consumption of cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli can minimize the chances of developing bladder cancer.


Cystoscopy

Cystoscopy is done to examine and diagnose disorders of the urinary bladder and urinary tract. In this procedure, the internal structure of the urinary bladder and the urinary tract can be examined by using the cystoscope. Cystoscopes are administered as both diagnostic and treatment tools. Cystoscopy is predominantly done for patients experiencing recurrent urinary tract or bladder infection, urinary incontinence, hematuria and pain because of obstruction in the urinary tract. The procedure is performed by a urologist by inserting a tube called cystoscope through the urethra to identify disorder.


Cystoscopy Procedure

The duration of the procedure depends upon the condition of the patient. The procedure usually lasts about 45 minutes and it is performed under local, spinal or general anesthesia. Pathological specimens of the urinary bladder can also be obtained by using cystoscopes. Patients are advised to abstain from taking food or water six hours prior to the procedure. In case of rigid cystoscopy, the inserted cystoscope is used to remove any kind of lesions present in the urinary tract or the bladder. In the flexible cystoscopy procedure, the internal lining of the urinary bladder and the urinary tract are examined for abnormalities.

With cystoscopy, small bladder stones or foreign objects can be removed; thereby eliminating surgical intervention. Cystoscopy is useful in examining enlarged prostate, kidney stones and urethral blockage. This procedure is used to place urethral catheters or stents.

Complications of Cystoscopy

The complications associated with the cystoscopy procedure are mostly due to a perforation in the urinary tract. These perforations are caused during the procedure and might lead to urinary tract infection and bleeding. In men epididymitis occurs if testicles are involved during the procedure. The other complications include difficulty in passing urine and abdominal pain. In order to avoid the onset of urinary tract infection after the procedure patients are advised to take fluids preferably water every hour.

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Bibliography / Reference

Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: September 23, 2019