Urology is the surgical & medical specialty that addresses and treats problems of the urinary tract in men and women alike. Disorders of the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra are treated in both men and women. These may include tumors, stones, infection, and urinary disorders. In men, disorders of the prostate, penis, testes, and scrotum are included as well, such as prostate cancer and benign prostate enlargement, prostate infection, testis cancer, erectile dysfunction, infertility, and vasectomy reversal. In women, pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence are addressed as well. Complex urinary problems can develop in individuals with neurological disorders such as spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.
Investigation of the urinary tract includes a physical exam, urine analysis, and often includes other tests such as blood work, cystoscopy, x-ray examination, and urodynamics.
Often, urological conditions overlap or occur as a result of treatment of other problems, such as: incontinence and/or pelvic organ prolapse after a hysterectomy; certain medications that can predispose to kidney stones. Other times, benign and malignant conditions can present in similar fashions such as prostate cancer and benign prostate enlargement and require evaluation to differentiate between the two.
Medical therapy is often the solution to various conditions and surgery is reserved for conditions such as cancer or when medical therapy is inappropriate or has failed. Urology is at the cutting edge of technology and often when surgery is necessary, can be performed with minimally-invasive techniques such as robotics and laparoscopy, endoscopes, mesh, laser, high-powered microscopes, or cryotherapy. Often, urological procedures can be performed in the office such as vasectomy or cystoscopy. Most can be performed as an out-patient.