Urology is an often-misunderstood field of medicine. This post is designed to demystify what a urologist does, why you might need to see one, and what to expect when you visit a urologist for the first time. We’ll also explain the difference between urology and nephrology, and highlight key symptoms that should prompt a visit to a urologist.
A urologist is a physician that specializes in health conditions that impact the urinary tract in both men and women, including the bladder, urethra, ureters, and kidneys, as well as the reproductive system in men including the penis, prostate, and testicles. Comprehensive Urology in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, is a full-service urological center.
Most people are either referred to a urologist by their primary care doctor, or they decide to seek out a urologist due to concerning symptoms. Some of the most common reasons to see a urologist can include persistent urinary tract infections (UTIs), incontinence, or urinary urgency, as well as problems with urination, such as blood in the urine or pain during urination. In men, a urologist can address conditions related to the prostate, such as an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer, sexual dysfunction, infertility issues, and sexually transmitted disease or infection. If you’re looking for a urologist Los Angeles is home to one of the best urological centers.
It’s highly recommended that you book an appointment with a Los Angeles urologist if you have the following symptoms:
Blood in your urine (hematuria): This may be a sign of various conditions, including urinary tract infections, kidney stones, or more serious issues such as bladder or kidney cancer.
Frequent or urgent need to urinate: These symptoms can indicate a urinary tract infection, an overactive bladder, or conditions like interstitial cystitis or prostate enlargement in men.
Pain during urination (dysuria): This symptom can indicate a urinary tract infection, bladder infection, kidney stone, or other urologic condition.
Pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen or back: These could be signs of conditions like kidney stones or urinary tract infections.
Difficulty starting or maintaining urination: This may be a symptom of an enlarged prostate, a urinary tract infection, or a nerve problem.
Urinary incontinence or leakage: This can be a symptom of a variety of conditions that a urologist can help to diagnose and treat.
Decreased sexual desire or issues with sexual performance: For men, these could be signs of conditions like erectile dysfunction, which a urologist can help to address.
Testicular pain or swelling: These symptoms can indicate conditions like epididymitis, orchitis, varicocele, or testicular torsion, which need immediate medical attention. They could also be signs of testicular cancer.
Abnormal urine color or strong-smelling urine: These symptoms can be a sign of a urinary tract infection, kidney stone, bladder infection, or other urologic condition.
Urology and nephrology are two distinct medical specialties, each focusing on different aspects of human health. Both are important in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases related to the urinary system, but the specifics of what they cover differ.
Urology is a surgical specialty that deals with diseases of the male and female urinary tract and the male reproductive system. Urologists are able to resolve some problems with the kidneys; however, they tend to focus on the lower ports of the urological tract, such as the bladder, urethra, and male reproductive system. Urologists diagnose and treat conditions such as urinary tract infections, bladder and kidney stones, incontinence, benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostate cancer, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, testicular cancer, and erectile dysfunction. Urologists are trained to perform surgical procedures for treatment of these diseases, such as removing kidney stones, treating cancers, and repairing congenital abnormalities.
Nephrology, on the other hand, is a subspecialty of internal medicine, and a nephrologist deals with the diagnosis and management of diseases of the kidney. Nephrologists treat conditions like chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury, glomerular diseases, tubulointerstitial diseases, kidney and urinary tract infections, mineral metabolism disorders, and hypertension related to kidney disease. They also manage patients on dialysis and evaluate patients for kidney transplantation.
While there is some overlap in the areas that urologists and nephrologists deal with (specifically concerning the kidneys and urinary tract), their approach and training are different. Urologists are surgical specialists, while nephrologists are medical specialists. If a kidney disease requires surgical intervention, a nephrologist would refer the patient to a urologist.
For more information about urology, Los Angeles physician Dr. Kia Michel is a trained urological specialist. Reach out to his team today.
Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s)
Loss of bladder control called urinary incontinence
Bladder and Kidney Cancer
BPH Benign prostatic hyperplasia
Cosmetic Penile Procedures like removing Pearly Papules and Adult Circumcisions
Penile Enlargement and Male Enhacement
A urologist is a physician who specializes in diseases of the urinary tract and the male reproductive system. The urinary tract includes kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. It also involves the male reproductive organs like the testes, prostate, seminal vesicles, and penis.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of what a urologist typically does:
Diagnosis: Urologists diagnose various conditions related to the urinary and male reproductive system. These conditions can range from urinary tract infections and kidney stones to prostate cancer and male infertility. Diagnostic tools used by urologists can include urine tests, imaging tests like ultrasounds or CT scans, cystoscopy (where a thin camera is inserted into the urethra), and biopsy among others.
Treatment: Urologists can provide medical treatment for various conditions. This can range from prescribing antibiotics for a urinary tract infection, medication for overactive bladder or enlarged prostate, urologic oncology and Focal Therapy, to hormone therapy for certain types of cancers.
Surgery: As surgical specialists, urologists are trained to perform a variety of procedures. They may remove kidney stones, treat cancers of the bladder, kidneys, or prostate, perform kidney transplantation, perform vasectomies or reverse them, repair congenital abnormalities, perform minimally invasive surgery, including robotic- assisted surgery, and more.
Counseling and management: Urologists also counsel patients on managing chronic conditions, such as kidney disease or recurrent urinary tract infections. They provide education on disease prevention and lifestyle modifications that can improve urological health.
Specialized care: Some urologists also specialize in specific sub-disciplines. These can include pediatric urology (urological issues in children), urologic oncology (urological cancers), male infertility and sexual medicine, and more.
So, in essence, a urologist plays a vital role in diagnosing, treating, and managing a wide variety of urological and male reproductive health conditions. If you’re experiencing symptoms related to these areas, a urologist is typically the type of specialist you would seek out.
Urologists can perform a wide range of procedures for diagnosis and treatment, including:
Prostate biopsy, including an MRI Fusion Prostate Biopsy: A Prostate biopsy removes small pieces of prostate tissue to send to a pathologist to rule out prostate cancer.
Urodynamics Studies: Allow a urologist to example the residual urine left in the bladder after urinating.
UroCuff: A test that evaluates your urethra and bladder functions during urination.
Cystoscopy: Using a telescopic device called a cystoscope a urologist is able to see inside your urethra and bladder.
Ureteroscopy: Much like the cystoscopy, a urologist can use this device to see inside a woman’s ureters and kidneys.
Nephrectomy: This is surgery can remove part or all of a kidney if there is cancer.
Vasectomy: To prevent pregnancy, the tubes that carry sperm are cut.
Los Angeles Urology experts at Comprehensive Urology are trained to perform these procedures, and more.
Yes, urologists can perform an STD test or STI test for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Urologists are ideal physicians for STD's because they can rule out whether you have an STD or another condition that aren't STD's like UTI's and prostatitis. Book an appointment if you're experiencing symptoms such as pain during urination, abnormal discharge, genital sores, or other symptoms that might indicate an STD or STI, a urologist can help identify the issue. Urologists also provide counseling and education regarding safer sexual practices to prevent STDs or STIs. Beverly Hills urologist Kia Michel, MD, and his team provide discreet, reliable STD and STI testing services.
If you’re experiencing concerning symptoms, you may ask, “can urologist treat STDs?” Urologists can treat certain STDs and STIs. For example, they can provide treatment for infections such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, which can affect the urinary tract. For more systemic or complicated infections, like HIV, a urologist would most likely coordinate care with other specialists, such as infectious disease doctors.
During your first visit to a urologist, you can typically expect several steps:
Medical History Review: The urologist will review your medical history, including current symptoms, past illnesses, and any previous surgeries. They will also ask about your lifestyle habits, such as smoking or alcohol use, and family medical history, especially concerning any urological conditions.
Physical Examination: Depending on your symptoms, the urologist may conduct a physical examination. This might include a genital and prostate exam for men, and a physical exam for women that could include a pelvic exam. They may also examine other areas of your body as appropriate.
Diagnostic Tests: Depending on your symptoms, the urologist may order further diagnostic tests to better understand your condition. These could include urine tests (urinalysis), blood tests, imaging tests (like ultrasounds or CT scans), PSA Prostate Specific Antigen tests, STD testing and STI testing, prostate biopsy, imaging (such as ultrasound or MRI), or a cystoscopy, where a small camera is inserted into the bladder through the urethra. PCR testing for UTI may also be performed for a higher accuracy diagnosis than cultures.
Discussion of Findings and Treatment Options: Based on your medical history, physical exam, and any test results, the urologist will discuss their findings with you. They will explain any diagnoses they’ve made, what they mean, and potential treatment options. They will also answer any questions you may have about your condition and treatment.
Follow-up and Next Steps: Depending on your condition, the urologist may prescribe medication, suggest lifestyle changes, schedule a follow-up appointment, or arrange for additional tests or consultation with other specialists.
If you’re ready to see a urologist, Beverly Hills urological specialists at Comprehensive Urology are standing by. Remember that it’s important to come prepared for your first appointment. Bring any relevant medical records, write down your symptoms and questions you may have, and make sure to fully understand any instructions or information your urologist provides.
There are several signs and symptoms that should trigger a visit to a urologist, including:
Blood in urine (hematuria): This may indicate a variety of conditions, from kidney stones to urinary tract infections, or even more serious conditions like bladder or kidney cancer.
Painful urination or persistent urge to urinate: These symptoms may suggest a urinary tract infection, bladder infection, or a condition such as interstitial cystitis.
Persistent lower back, lower abdomen, or pelvic pain: These symptoms can point to a variety of urological conditions, including kidney problems.
Urinary incontinence or loss of bladder control: This is often a sign of an underlying condition that a urologist can help diagnose and treat.
Erectile dysfunction or painful ejaculation in men: These are often urological issues and can indicate conditions ranging from prostate problems to vascular disease.
Swelling or lumps in the testicles: This can be a sign of testicular cancer or other conditions affecting the testicles.
It’s always essential to consult with a healthcare provider if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, as early detection and treatment often lead to better outcomes. If you need urology, Beverly Hills urologist Dr. Kia Michel is ready to see you today. Don’t spend any longer worrying about your symptoms; it’s time to take back control of your health with Comprehensive Urology at your side. Schedule an appointment today.