Urology is the branch of surgery concerned with the urinary system of both males and females. It also covers health conditions related to male genitals and male reproduction.

The urinary tract consists of the:

  • Kidneys
  • Bladder
  • Ureters
  • Urethra.

The organs covered by urology include the:

  • Kidneys
  • Ureters
  • Urinary bladder
  • Urethra
  • Male reproductive organs (testes, epididymis, vas deferens, seminal vesicles, prostate and penis)

Urologists (also known as urological surgeons) treat problems of the female urinary system and the male genitourinary tract. They diagnose and treat disorders of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, prostate and male reproductive organs.

Nature of the work:

Urologists are surgeons, but much of their work also involves the medical management of conditions or disease without surgery. They work with patients of all ages from babies and children to elderly people.

Conditions treated include disorders of the:

  • Bladder – stones, tumours, congenital disorders, incontinence in women and men and erectile dysfunction
  • Urethra and prostate – tumours, obstructions and infections
  • Male reproductive organs – impotence, tumours, congenital disorders, infection, sterilisation and male infertility

Urologists use a thin lighted instrument known as a cystoscope to examine the bladder and urethra. Other conditions can also be treated using endoscopic (telescopic) procedures including the removal of bladder tumours and treatment of bladder and kidney stones.

Common procedures/interventions:

Common surgery procedures include:

  • Removal of bladder, kidney or prostrate to treat cancer
  • Kidney stone removal
  • Formation of a stoma to divert urine into a bag
  • Bladder reconstruction after removal
  • Vasectomy
  • Circumcision
  • Laser Surgeries
  • Laparoscopic Surgeries

Sub-specialties:

The main sub-specialties include:

  • Endourology – prostate, bladder and kidney conditions, including kidney stones and small bladder tumours, treated using key-hole techniques
  • Urological oncology – prostate, bladder, kidney, testicular and penile cancer
  • Functional urology – the investigation and treatment of bladder symptoms and incontinence and neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis and spinal injury
  • Andrology – male fertility and sexual health
  • Reconstructive urology – repair and restoration of the lower urinary tract, and particularly the urethra and management of urethral stricture disease