Health Care Providers: Urologists
What Is Urology?
Urology (yuh-RAHL-uh-jee) is the medical specialty that treats diseases and problems of the kidneys and urinary tract.
What Is a Urologist?
A urologist (yuh-RAHL-uh-jist), sometimes called a urologic surgeon, is a doctor who studies, diagnoses, and treats problems that affect the urinary tract, kidneys, and genitourinary system.
Why Would Someone Need One?
Urologists can help kids with urogenital problems such as:
- recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- varicoceles (swollen veins in the scrotum)
- vesicoureteral reflux (VUR)
- blood in the urine (hematuria)
- undescended testicles
- inguinal hernia
- kidney stones
- meatal stenosis
- neurogenic bladder (problems with bladder control)
- phimosis (tightness of the foreskin of the penis)
- testicular torsion
- voiding dysfunction
- ambiguous genitalia (when the outer genitals don't have the typical appearance of either a male or a female)
They do medical tests and procedures such as:
- kidney transplant
- imaging tests, such as CT scans, MRI scans, or ultrasounds
- urine tests to check for bacteria or other signs of disease
- biopsies to check for cancer and other disorders
- laser therapy to treat cancer or kidney stones
What Is Their Training?
Urologists have more than 12 years of medical training, which includes:
- 4 years of pre-medical education at a college or university
- 4 years of medical school — a medical degree (MD) or doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) degree
- 5 years of training that includes 1–2 years in a general surgery internship and 3–4 years in urology residency program
After medical school, internship, and residency, they may also do a fellowship in a subspecialty such as pediatric urology, urologic oncology, or kidney transplantation.
Good to Know
Besides helping kids, urologists are important care team members for many adults. For women, childbirth, menopause, and hysterectomies can lead to conditions (such as pelvic floor weakness, overactive bladder, incontinence, and cystitis) that urologists can treat. They also can treat men for conditions like an enlarged prostate, prostatitis, and kidney stones.