Urologists: What Do They Do?

Urologists are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of conditions that affect the urinary tract, male reproductive organs, and adrenal glands. These conditions can affect both men and women.

What conditions do urologists treat?

Urologists treat a wide range of conditions, including:

  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs): UTIs are infections of the urinary tract, which includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.
  • Bladder and kidney stones: These are hard deposits that form in the urinary tract.
  • Kidney disease: Kidney disease can affect the kidneys’ ability to filter waste products from the blood.
  • Prostate problems: These can include prostate cancer, enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia), and prostatitis.
  • Erectile dysfunction: This is the inability to get or maintain an erection.
  • Male infertility: This is the inability of a man to conceive a child with his partner.
  • Adrenal gland disorders: These can include adrenal insufficiency, Cushing’s syndrome, and pheochromocytoma.

What procedures do urologists perform?

Urologists perform a variety of procedures, including:

  • Cystoscopy: This is a procedure to look inside the bladder using a cystoscope, a thin, lighted tube.
  • Ureteroscopy: This is a procedure to look inside the ureters, the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder.
  • Nephroscopy: This is a procedure to look inside the kidneys using a nephroscope, a thin, lighted tube.
  • Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP): This is a procedure to remove tissue from the prostate gland.
  • Vasectomy: This is a procedure to cut or seal the vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the penis.
  • Kidney stone removal: This can be done using a variety of techniques, including ureteroscopy, shock wave lithotripsy, and percutaneous nephrolithotomy.
  • Adrenal gland surgery: This can be done to remove tumors or other abnormalities of the adrenal glands.

When should I see a urologist?

You should see a urologist if you have any of the following:

  • Blood in your urine
  • Difficulty urinating or pain while urinating
  • Frequent urination
  • Urinating at night that you didn’t used to
  • Pelvic pain
  • Pain during sex
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Male infertility
  • A family history of kidney disease, bladder cancer, or prostate cancer

What should I expect at my appointment with a urologist?

At your appointment with a urologist, you will be asked about your medical history and symptoms. You may also be asked to provide a urine sample. Your doctor may perform a physical exam, including a pelvic exam. Depending on your symptoms and medical history, your doctor may order additional tests, such as imaging tests or laboratory tests.