When Should You Consult Urologist?
Urologist is a specialist who deals with urinary tract disorders in males and females. People sometimes get confused regarding who to consult if they have complaints involving their urogenital system; a specialist or a general physician?
It is important to mention that there are certain conditions which requires consulting a specialist instead of seeking help from a general physician (who would recommend you to see the urologist in any case). So save yourself time, energy and money and learn who to consult if you have certain complaints. For example, passage of blood in urine is a serious complaint and can be a result of prostatic enlargement, urinary stones or other serious conditions. It is highly recommended to see an expert before things get more serious.
What Are Some Indications Of Seeing Your Urologist?
We are going to discuss certain conditions which are alarming and require immediate consultation from a specialist.
1. Testicular Mass Or Pain
Pain in testes or a testicular mass can be a result of an acute inflammatory condition or an infection but it may also be a rather harmless symptom of an underlying serious condition such as cancer or torsion i.e. twisting of spermatic cord. Therefore, if you are experiencing testicular pain or mass, refer to your urologist so that a quick action can be taken.
Hematuria or blood in urine is a symptom which should never be ignored even if it has occurred only once. Blood in urine can be an early sign of kidney or bladder cancer. An early diagnosis will definitely help in more effective and less aggressive treatment. Hematuria can be of two types, gross hematuria (in which frank bleeding in urine is visible to naked eye) and microscopic hematuria (in which blood is detected only on laboratorial testing).
Elevated PSA level doesn’t confirm that you have prostate cancer but it can be an early warning sign. If you have received abnormal PSA levels in your screening test, consultation with your urologist is mandatory to rule out a serious condition (regardless of symptomatology).
4. Urinary Retention
Urinary retention refers to an inability to urinate, which may lead to collection of urine in the kidneys (or urinary system). It is an acute emergency and requires emergent attention. If someone is experiencing urinary retention, heroic measures should be taken to identify the source and site of obstruction (to urinary flow) and remove the urine via drainage catheter.
5. Stones In Kidney, Ureter, Urinary Bladder
Urologist specializes in removing stones from the urinary bladder, ureter and kidneys via non-surgical procedures. Therefore, speak to a urologist if you are experiencing acute, excruciating flank pain, onset of blood in the urine, high grade fever and other symptoms that are suggestive of renal/urinary stones.
6. Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer affects approximately 21 men per 100,000 of the general population and requires optimal management via one or more of the available therapies (surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and hormone therapy).
7. Kidney Tumor Or Mass
In early days, biopsy was considered as the gold-standard test to diagnose a cancer or tumor. But due to several myths and misconceptions associated with biopsy, most people are afraid to opt for this diagnostic modality. Thanks to latest medical and technological advancements, a lot of urologists have identified advanced methods to detect tumor and its nature via noninvasive techniques. The care for kidney cancer has been completely transformed due to advances in robotic surgeries and laparoscopy (2).
8. Male Infertility
Men who are experiencing fertility issues should consult urologist because sometimes chronic medical or health issues also presents as infertility and if primary health issues are managed adequately, normal fertility can be restored. For example, certain scrotal conditions such as varicocele (disorder of venous plexus of scrotum) can also present with infertility (3). It has been observed that minor surgeries and intervention can sort out these ailments for optimal physical and sexual health.
1. Sanguedolce, F., Liatsikos, E., Verze, P., Hruby, S., Breda, A., Beatty, J. D., & Knoll, T. (2014). Use of flexible ureteroscopy in the clinical practice for the treatment of renal stones: results from a large European survey conducted by the EAU Young Academic Urologists-Working Party on Endourology and Urolithiasis. Urolithiasis, 42(4), 329-334.
2. Imkamp, F., Herrmann, T. R., Tolkach, Y., Dziuba, S., Stolzenburg, J. U., Rassweiler, J., … & Burchardt, M. (2015). Acceptance, Prevalence and Indications for Robot-Assisted Laparoscopy-Results of a Survey Among Urologists in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Urologia internationalis, 95(3), 336-345.
3. Samplaski, M. K., Yu, C., Kattan, M. W., Lo, K. C., Grober, E. D., Zini, A., … & Jarvi, K. A. (2014). Nomograms for predicting changes in semen parameters in infertile men after varicocele repair. Fertility and sterility, 102(1), 68-74.