Tag Archive | "urological health"

Your Guide for Urological Health

Urology is an important field of medicine that often gets overlooked. It is the study of the urinary tracts in men and women, as well as the reproductive organs of men. Spanning from expertise on urinary tract infections to kidney stones, the knowledge of medical experts in this field includes anything concerning the kidneys, the bladder, and even the adrenal glands.

When most people think of urology medical services, urinary tract infections first come to mind. But many circumstances exist that require the aid of a urology specialist. And many of these problems require incredible professionalism, education, and discretion on the behalf of the specialist as these conditions involve the urinary tract system or the male reproductive system.

Urology field training in the diagnosis, treatment, management, and surgical procedures related to disorders associated with the kidneys, bladder, urethra, and ureters is required for a urologist. These specialists are also knowledgeable in erectile dysfunction, male infertility, overactive bladder, cancers of the testicles, prostate, penis, bladder, kidneys, and the adrenal gland. Yet, the main flow of information begins with you: you must know what to look for and what to ask your urologist in order to help maintain urological health.

Your urological system consists of kidneys, which filter out waste products from your blood stream, and ureters that transport liquid waste products to the bladder. Millions of nerves, dozens of muscles, sphincters, and supporting ligaments all work together to remove wastes from the body. However, illness, old age, and injuries can cause weakening or damage to the whole system, leading to the need for medical treatment.

Urinalysis is often used as a first test to determine urological health. The test requires a urine sample that is sent to a lab for further testing. An additional test, called the urodynamic test, may be conducted. This test involves a small tube called a catheter, which is inserted into the urethra to allow for visual examination.
In addition to UTIs, some common conditions that may require medical attention include enlarged prostate, painful bladder syndrome, kidney stones, urinary incontinence, stress incontinence, and urinary retention. Cranberry juice often alleviates symptoms in many instances of urinary tract infections, but a specialist may be needed to treat the underlying causes of the infection in order to prevent future infections and further complications.

The field of urology, like many specializations in medicine, is further broken down into medical services for both surgical and nonsurgical procedures. Urology includes so many bodily systems and specialties that sub-disciplines are required to improve overall urological health. Sub-disciplines in urology include:
Endourology—A field of surgery that requires the least amount of invasive treatments. It uses the urinary tract as an access point for many procedures.

Oncology—A field designed specifically for cancers of the urological system.

Neurourology—The specialty of neurological causes of abnormal urination.

Pediatricics—The specialty of urological disorders in children.

Andrology—A sub-specialty for the male reproductive system.

Reconstructive urology—A field dedicated to the correction, repair, and augmentation of the genito-urinary tract.

Female urology—The specialty that focuses on overactive bladder, incontinence, and prolapsed pelvic organs.

The best way to maintain your urological health is by becoming aware of the many types of urological symptoms, which are warnings of potential future problems. Further, you must drink plenty of fresh, clean water every day. And finally, make immediate appointments with your urologist if you suspect

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Urologists’ Growing Concern for 2010

Urology is the surgical specialty of urinary tracts and the male reproductive system. Nearly forty-three million men are affected by some form of urological disorder, whether it is bladder incontinence, urinary tract infections, benign prostatic hyperplasia, cancer, or congenital abnormalities. Some urologists will further specialize to treat either non-surgical conditions or the surgical conditions. This is generally uncommon in smaller hospitals and practices, but found in large urban centers.

This year, urologists across the country are expressing concern over urological health. Several factors have been specifically noted, such as urology demographics, a weak economy and aging population, and healthcare reform.

In regards to the growing concern over demographics, the National Kidney Foundation, NKF, has stated that over 5% of the United States population is affected by urologic disorders. And more than 260,000 deaths from these urological problems are reported each year. Ethnic populations are at a higher risk, and age is one of the largest contributing factors.

With the worsening economy, paired with an aging population, the field of urology has witnessed an overburdening effect. Many patients have lost jobs and their access to healthcare, and a significant number of doctors are refusing new Medicare patients. As a result, urology clinics are over flooded with patients with little to no insurance. Emergency medicine, urgent care, family practice, and internal medicine specialties are also witnessing this effect.

And as the baby boomers age and reach retirement years, a severe influx of older patients will be seen. Urological problems are a huge problem for patients over the age of 45. Urologists document that 90% of men over the age of 70 are afflicted with benign prostatic hyperplasia alone.

More urologists will be needed. If economic principles are taken into account, the supply-demand curve will indicate a rise in services as more patients will be seeking relatively few urologists. Because higher prices will be associated with urological visits and treatments, many patients will begin to ignore urological disorders far longer than they should. Permanent damage will ensue, leading to even more costly and intensive treatments. The already flooded emergency rooms will continue to increase its burdens.

Finally, healthcare reform will also be affecting most urology specialists. The reforms suggested will deem Medicare patients unprofitable. Potential physicians will reconsider going into the medical field, and those who are already in the field may look to other careers as they can no longer afford their practices. The quality of care for Medicare patients will decrease because of the overburdening effect from too few physicians compared to the number of Medicare patients. Urologist specialists, as well as other specialists in the medical field, may specifically be hurt because of the preferential treatment of certain specialties like internists and family practitioners. Internists and family practitioners will automatically receive 5-10% increases in reimbursements under the healthcare reform plan, and the remaining specialties will only qualify for the reimbursements if 50% of their patients are Medicare patients.

Overall, the urologists and specialists in this country fear for their careers. Not only are their jobs and profits on the line, but also their patients may experience a decrease in the quality of their care. This year has truly been a telling year for the field of urology.

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