Urology is the study of the urinary tract, as well as the male reproductive system. Technically, urology is considered a surgical specialty, and all urologists have a background in surgery. They often also have experience with internal medicine. Some specialists have also studied pediatrics, gynecology or other medical specialties.

Congenital defects affect the urinary tract more than any other system in the human body. Because of this, a large percentage of a urologist’s practice is related to diagnosing and treating these anomalies. The treatment of cancer in the bladder, kidney, prostate and other related organs is also common for urologists. Kidney stone patients make up another large portion of a urologist’s clientele.

Common Urological Conditions

  • African Americans and Kidney Disease – African Americans have the highest rate of kidney disease among all demographic populations. The primary cause of kidney failure is type 2 diabetes, followed closely by high blood pressure.
  • Analgesic Nephropathy: Painkillers and the Kidneys – Most over-the-counter painkillers are excreted only through the kidneys, and can cause an increased risk for kidney problems if taken regularly for long periods of time. In addition, some urological conditions make it dangerous to take these common medicines.
  • Bladder Control for Women – Bladder control and urinary incontinence is a very common problem for women, although most cases probably go undiagnosed. It is sometimes treated jointly by gynecologists and urologists.
  • Children and Kidney Disease – There are several common kidney problems that affect children, from common bedwetting and incontinence to severe congenital defects.
  • Diabetes and Kidney Disease – Diabetes causes almost 44 percent of all diagnosed cases of kidney failure, and kidney damage can occur even in patients with well-controlled diabetes.
  • End-stage Renal Disease – End-stage renal disease is also known as kidney failure. When your kidneys stop working effectively, there are a variety of treatment options including dialysis and transplant.
  • Erectile Dysfunction – Erectile dysfunction has become a subspecialty of urology, because almost 30 million men in the U.S. struggle with the issue. Scientific advances and medications have helped make talking about erectile issues more mainstream in recent years.
  • Glomerular Diseases – Kidneys are so important because they clean wastes from the blood. The glomeruli are the units which actually clean the blood within the kidneys. They can be affected by a variety of both genetic and environmental factors.
  • High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease – Blood pressure and the kidneys have a cooperative relationship, in that the kidneys help to keep blood pressure low by eliminating waste products from the bloodstream. High blood pressure can damage the blood vessels in the kidneys, making them less efficient. At the same time, kidney problems can raise blood pressure.
  • Incontinence – There are many causes of loss of bladder control. Incontinence can occur in any age group, but the risks increase with age. It is more common in women than men.
  • Infection in the Kidney – When a common urinary tract infection progresses and affects one or both kidneys, it is known as pyelonephritis. It is usually treated with antibiotics.
  • Interstitial Cystitis – Interstitial cystitis is also known as painful bladder syndrome because it causes moderate to severe recurring pain in the bladder and pelvis.
  • Kidney Stones – Kidney stones are known for being incredibly painful, but few need surgical intervention. Most will pass without medical intervention, although it is recommended to visit the doctor if you believe you have kidney stones.
  • Nephrotic Syndrome in Adults and Children – Nephrotic syndrome is the name for the symptoms that indicate damage in the kidneys.
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease – Numerous cysts grow in the kidneys and impede normal function in patients with polycystic kidney disease. It is a genetic condition.
  • Prostatitis: Disorders of the Prostate – Prostate health is important for all men, although publicity typically only addresses prostate cancer. There are also a range of other disorders which affect the prostate.
  • Renal Dysplasia – Renal or kidney dysplasia is a congenital condition that causes cysts to develop inside a developing fetus’ kidneys instead of normal kidney tissue. If it affects 1 kidney, the child can lead a normal life. Infants with 2 affected kidneys need a transplant early in life.
  • Urinary Tract Infections – Urinary tract infections are among the most common kidney problems With treatment, these infections are relatively harmless but can be debilitating if left untreated.

Journals and Publications

There are both national and international peer-reviewed journals dedicated to the study and practice of urology. Many of them are available in a traditional printed format, but most also have an online format as well.

 

Organizations

There are several organizations for urological doctors, researchers, surgeons and other professionals involved in the study of the kidneys and renal system. There are also support groups for people who suffer from urological disorders and disease-specific groups.

 

University and Hospital Departments
Most hospitals have urologists on staff, and many also have dedicated urology departments. Major medical centers and teaching hospitals often have specialists in the field, and conduct research on renal disorders.

 

Urological Databases

Databases track kidney disorders and other renal problems to help doctors and researchers in their treatment and advancement of the science. There are several databases available nationally, including a national repository for samples.