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Frequently Asked Questions

Updated: Jan 3, 2020

Here are some frequently asked questions about Urology. Contact us with any additional questions you may have and we will promptly reply.

What is Urology?

Urology is a surgical specialty and is a part of health care that deals with diseases of the male and female urinary tract, which include the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. It also deals with the male specific organs such as the penis, testes, scrotum, and prostate.

Do urologists treat both males and females?

Yes! Urologist deal with both male and females and treat a wide range of disorders related to the kidneys, ureters, adrenals, and the bladder. Common conditions that afflict both men and women are kidney stones and urinary symptoms such as urgency or incontinence.

What are some common urological conditions?

Some common urological conditions are kidney stones, urinary symptoms such as urinary urgency and incontinence, urinary tract infections, blood in the urine, and cancers of the kidney, bladder, or prostate.

When should I see an urologist?

Primary care providers such as Family Medicine Doctors will often make referrals to a urologist based on the patient’s symptoms. However, if someone has a known urological problem, they can often call to make an appointment for a consultation.

What is overactive bladder?

Overactive bladder or OAB, is a common condition that affects millions of people in the US. The hallmark symptom of OAB is urinary urgency with sometimes associated incontinence or inability to hold one’s urine. People with OAB have to go to the bathroom many times a day with a sudden feeling of urge that is often difficult to control.

Can urinary incontinence be reversed?

Depending on the type of incontinence, this problem can often be treated very effectively. Sometimes patients may require simple things such as life style modifications or pelvic muscle strengthening exercises. Other times medications may be required and lastly surgical procedures are also available that are often very effective in treating patient’s symptoms.

How can I stop my bladder from leaking?

It depends on the reason for the leaking. A urologist can diagnose and recommend treatment options that will suit each individual patient.

How often should I be going to the bathroom?

An empty bladder is a gladder bladder! If you empty your bladder every 4-6 hours, then you can avoid many problems down the road.

Is it safe to have a vasectomy?

A vasectomy is considered a permanent birth control solution for men. Even though we can sometimes reverse a vasectomy, it is only effective <50% of the time. A vasectomy is an office procedure that is done under local anesthesia with numbing agents. It is usually well tolerated. The risks of a vasectomy, like any procedure, are infection, bleeding, and damage to surrounding structures we work on. More specifically there is a 1% risk of a vasectomy failure as well as a 1% risk of chronic testicular pain reported. The risks of a vasectomy are considered less compared to other birth control surgeries such as a female hysterectomy or tubal ligation.

Can I have a vasectomy reversed?

A vasectomy can often be reversed by reconnecting the tubes that were initially cut and separated. It is often an outpatient procedure with similar recovery time as a vasectomy. It may take 4 months to a year before a partner can get pregnant after a reversal procedure.

What can I do to reduce my risk of a urinary tract infection?

Most people can reduce their risk of a UTI by adequate hydration with water and timed voiding or emptying their bladder every 4-6 hours while awake. Stale urine in the bladder predisposes patients to UTIs. People such as teachers or nurses who hold their urine for extended periods of times tend to get infections more often. Females are generally more prone to infections than males.

What causes kidney stones to form?

The two most common reasons are dehydration and dietary factors. People who have had a kidney stone or have a family history should drink at least 2 to 2 ½ liters of water per day. That’s 4-6 16oz water bottles. Reducing salt intake, red meats, and foods that contain high levels of oxalate can also help reduce one’s chances of forming a kidney stone. Examples of oxalate containing foods are spinach, rhubarb, and herbal teas. More extensive lists can be obtained from our office or by going online.

What are the current screening guidelines for prostate cancer?

Patients who are between the ages of 55-69 years old should undergo yearly PSA blood test and digital rectal exams. Those with a family history or of African American background should have these tests done at around age 45. There are studies that have shown benefit in getting the PSA test checked once at age 40-45. Patients should have a discussion with a urologist to discuss all of the risks and benefits of screening.

What are some reasons for pain during intercourse?

Pain during intercourse in the male can be related to disorders of the penis or prostate gland. These could include things such as prostatitis or infection of the prostate or curvature of the penis or peyronie’s disease.

In a female pain may be due to disorders of the vagina or other pelvic organs. Some examples include inflammation or infection, injury or irritation, not enough lubrication, or pelvic organ prolapse or interstitial cystitis, which is an inflammatory disorder of the bladder.

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