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Common Urologic Conditions

Urology is a surgical specialty that addresses diseases of the urinary tract in both women and men and in reproductive systems in men.

Most urologic surgery involves the treatment of cancer, including kidney, ureteral, and bladder cancer in both men and women. Recent prostate cancer screening recommendations for men have become more complex and controversial. Urologists detect, evaluate, and treat prostate cancer. Testis cancer, while rare, is a serious but treatable condition typically seen in younger men.

Noncancerous conditions that urologists treat include urinary tract infections, kidney stones, trauma to any reproductive or urinary organ, narrowing of the urethra, incontinence, and leakage of urine. Urologists also see male patients with infections or inflammation of the prostate and testes.

Should I See a Urologist?
A primary care provider may refer a patient to a urologist if the patient is experiencing the following symptoms: blood in the urine, painful urination, difficulty urinating, and pain in areas that might link to urinary organs. For instance, inflammation or infection of the prostate can cause pain in the lower abdomen, the lower back, the rectum, or between the legs. Kidney stones trigger severe pain in the midback, on the side, on the lower abdomen, or in the groin area, depending on where the stone tries to pass. Testis pain is usually a sign of an infection or inflammatory condition. Cancer can cause pain, but it is usually painless in urologic conditions.

Urogynecologists specialize in surgery for female stress incontinence, though urologists can implant sacral nerve stimulators, a valuable treatment option for women and men who have severe urge incontinence.

Do Urologists Treat Children?

Urologists evaluate and treat children, from prenatal ultrasound to adolescence and into adulthood. A urologist may be consulted if a prenatal ultrasound shows abnormal findings in an unborn child’s kidney or bladder. Teenagers may be treated for testis cancer or bladder infections.

Common surgeries urologists perform on children include:

  • Circumcisions
  • Circumcision revisions from adhesions or other problems later in childhood
  • Procedures to bring undescended testes down into the scrotum
  • Repairing hydroceles and hernias in young boys 

A broad variety of conditions require urologic attention. Consult a primary care provider on whether to see a urologist.

Bradley Anderson, MD, FACS is a board-certified urologist with Barton Urology, located at 2169 South Avenue, South Lake Tahoe. He is trained in the da Vinci® Surgical System and can perform minimally invasive surgical procedures. His office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. To make an appointment with Dr. Anderson, contact your primary care physician for a referral or call 530.543.5400.