Urology is a medical specialty that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the urinary tract and male reproductive system. Urologic conditions can be varied and complex, ranging from urinary tract infections and kidney stones to prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction. Treatment options for urologic conditions can also be diverse and depend on the specific condition and individual needs.
What are common urology treatment options?
- Medications: Various medications can be used to treat urologic conditions, such as antibiotics for urinary tract infections, alpha-blockers for an enlarged prostate, and chemotherapy for bladder or prostate cancer.
- Lifestyle modifications: For some conditions, lifestyle modifications such as diet changes, exercise, and pelvic floor exercises can be effective in managing symptoms.
- Minimally invasive procedures: Procedures such as cystoscopy, ureteroscopy, and ESWL can be used to diagnose and treat urologic conditions without the need for major surgery.
- Surgery: Surgical procedures such as TURP, prostatectomy, and bladder surgery may be recommended for more advanced or complex cases.
- Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy can be used to treat some urologic conditions, such as prostate cancer.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy may be recommended for advanced bladder or prostate cancer.
- Hormone therapy: Hormone therapy can be used to treat prostate cancer by reducing the levels of male hormones in the body.
- Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy can be used to treat bladder cancer by boosting the body's immune system to fight cancer cells.
What procedures can a urologist perform?
- Cystoscopy: A procedure where a thin, flexible tube with a camera on the end (cystoscope) is inserted through the urethra to examine the bladder and urethra.
- Urodynamic testing: A series of tests that evaluate how well the bladder and urethra are storing and releasing urine.
- Prostate biopsy: A procedure where a small sample of tissue is taken from the prostate gland to test for cancer or other abnormalities.
- Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP): A surgical procedure where a portion of the prostate gland is removed to alleviate symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
- Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL): A non-invasive procedure that uses shock waves to break up kidney stones so they can be passed more easily.
- Nephrectomy: A surgical procedure to remove a kidney, often done to treat kidney cancer.
- Vasectomy: A permanent form of birth control for men, where the vas deferens (the tube that carries sperm) is cut and tied off or sealed.
- Penile prosthesis implantation: A surgical procedure where an artificial device is implanted into the penis to help with erectile dysfunction.
- Ureteroscopy: A procedure where a thin, flexible tube with a camera on the end (ureteroscope) is inserted through the urethra to examine the ureters and kidneys.
- Bladder surgery: Various surgical procedures can be performed on the bladder, such as bladder repair or bladder removal, depending on the condition being treated.
Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center nationally recognized urology services is a leader in minimally invasive surgery. The hospital features two operating suites reserved for urological surgery that are equipped with the latest technology.
da Vinci robotic-assisted surgery
Urology surgery suites boast two second-generation da Vinci® robots. The minimally invasive da Vinci system uses the latest surgical and robotics technologies and is well-suited for delicate urologic surgeries such as prostatectomy.
Patients benefit with:
- Fewer complications
- Shorter hospital stays
- Faster return to normal activities
Patients also benefit from the latest high-definition video system in the surgical suites. HD technology, combined with advanced cameras and imaging systems for endoscopy, enhances surgeons’ capabilities in performing minimally invasive procedures. This technology:
- Produces a high level of visual clarity on a widescreen monitor
- Allows a surgeon to easily identify anatomical structures
- Makes the procedure safer and more efficient for the patient