What is a urologist?
Urologists diagnose and treat diseases of the urinary tract in men, women and children. They also diagnose and treat anything involving the reproductive tract in men.
The urinary tract is the system that creates, stores, and removes urine from the body. Urologists can treat any part of this system. This includes the:
- kidneys, which are the organs that filter waste out of the blood to produce urine
- ureters, which are the tubes through which urine flows from the kidneys to the bladder
- bladder, which is the hollow sac that stores urine
- urethra, which is the tube through which urine travels from the bladder out of the body
- adrenal glands, which are the glands located on top of each kidney that release hormones
Urologists also treat all parts of the male reproductive system. This system is made up of the:
- penis, which is the organ that releases urine and carries sperm out of the body
- prostate, which is the gland underneath the bladder that adds fluid to sperm to produce semen
- testicles, which are the two oval organs inside the scrotum that make the hormone testosterone and produce sperm
What is urology?
Urology is the field of medicine that focuses on diseases of the urinary tract and the male reproductive tract. Some urologists treat general diseases of the urinary tract. Others specialize in a particular type of urology, such as:
- female urology, which focuses on conditions of a woman's reproductive and urinary tract
- male infertility, which focuses on problems that prevent a man from conceiving a baby with his partner
- neurourology, which focuses on urinary problems due to conditions of the nervous system
- pediatric urology, which focuses on urinary problems in children
- urologic oncology, which focuses on cancers of the urinary system, including the bladder, kidneys, prostate, and testicles
What are the education and training requirements?
You must earn a four-year college degree and then complete four years of medical school. Once you graduate from medical school, you must then go through four or five years of medical training at a hospital. During this program, which is called a residency, you work alongside experienced urologists and learn surgical skills.
Some urologists decide to do a year or two of additional training. This is called a fellowship. During this time, you gain skills in a specialty area. This can include urologic oncology or female urology. Many of Upstate Urology's surgeons are fellowship trained in one or more areas.
At the end of their training, urologists must pass the specialty certification exam for urologists. The American Board of Urology certifies them upon successful completion of the exam.
Which conditions do urologists treat?
Upstate urologist treat a wide range of diseases and conditions in men, women and children. See a list of some of those conditions.
When should you see a Urologist?
Your primary care doctor physician can treat you for mild urinary problems, such as a UTI. But they may refer you to a urologist if your symptoms don't improve or if you have a condition that needs treatments they can't provide.
How do you know when it's time to see a urologist? Having any of these symptoms below suggests you may want to consult a urologist:
- blood in your urine
- a frequent or urgent need to urinate
- pain in your lower back, pelvis, or sides
- pain or burning during urination
- trouble urinating
- urine leakage
- weak urine flow, dribbling
- a decreased sexual desire
- a lump in the testicle
- trouble getting or keeping an erection
Please note: This is just a partial list. If you have symptoms or have questions about whether to consult a urologist, please call Upstate Urology at 315-464-1500