Urologists are specialists who can assist with a range of disorders of the kidneys, urinary tract, bladder and urethra. They also help with conditions affecting the male reproductive organs, such as enlarged prostate and erectile dysfunction.
Here are three scenarios in which your doctor may suggest seeing a urologist.
If you have trouble urinating or have a slow stream
Do you go to the toilet only to find a trickle comes out when you try to pass urine? In this instance, it may be worthwhile seeing your GP for a referral to a urologist.
A urologist can test the flow of your urine using a diagnostic tool called Uroflow. It measures how much urine comes out and the time it takes.
In some cases, patients may have an obstruction in their urinary tract, such as an enlarged prostate, so it’s worth investigating the underlying cause of the issue.
- You drink 5-6 glasses of water 1.5 hours before your appointment
- Upon arrival, you’re asked you to empty your bladder into a flow rate device
- An ultrasound is performed to check whether your bladder has emptied properly.
If you have trouble making it to the toilet
Urologists can also assist with issues such as incontinence. There are all sorts of treatments available for incontinence nowadays, and a urologist can advise you about what’s best for you.
At Bayside Specialist Suites, our sister clinic, there’s a minimally invasive therapy available for incontinence called Urgent PC. It works by modifying the signals to achieve bladder and bowel control.
- With this treatment, a thin needle electrode is inserted into your ankle. This delivers electrical impulses through the tibial nerve to the sacral plexus.
- Usually, you’d start off with 12 treatments, a week apart. If you respond well to the treatment, some improvement may be seen from about 5-7 weeks.
- You keep a bladder diary so the urologist can monitor changes in your toilet habits.
- If everything goes well, you may only need a maintenance dose every so often.
If it sounds painful or scary, rest assured it’s not. Patients actually describe the sensation as “tingling” or “pulsating”, so it shouldn’t be overly unpleasant.
If you have bladder pain
Your doctor may suggest seeing a urologist if you suffer severe bladder pain. This can be caused by conditions such as interstitial cystitis or recurrent urinary tract infections.
One treatment they may suggest is a bladder instillation. With this option, a liquid medication is inserted into your bladder via a catheter through your urethra.
This medication treats the bladder lining. It’s similar to the chemicals found naturally on the surface lining of your bladder and is designed to help protect your body from toxic substances in your urine.
- An antiseptic gel containing a local anaesthetic is inserted into your urethra, followed by the catheter.
- The medication is instilled into your bladder slowly.
- The catheter is removed. You’re asked to avoid passing urine for 2-3 hours.
- Treatments are usually weekly for six weeks.
Like to find out more?
Above are just three examples of when to see a urologist. Urologists also treat a wide range of issues, from prostate and kidney cancer to general urology, pelvic floor problems, and kidney or bladder stones.
If you’d like to see a urologist, the first port of call is to discuss your concerns with your GP. They can then refer you to our urologist at Bayside Specialist Suites, Dr George Koufogiannis.
To make an appointment with your GP, book now or call 03 9583 1630.