Urology also known as genitourinary surgery is the branch of medicine that focuses on surgical and medical diseases of the male and female urinary tract system and the male reproductive organs. The organs under the domain of urology include the kidneys, adrenal glands, ureters, urinary bladder, urethra, and the male reproductive organs (testes, epididymis, vas deferens, seminal vesicles, prostate, and penis).
Urology combines the management of medical (i.e., non-surgical) conditions, such as urinary tract infections and benign prostatic hyperplasia, with the management of surgical conditions such as bladder or prostate cancer, kidney stones, congenital abnormalities, traumatic injury, and stress incontinence.
Urology has traditionally been on the cutting edge of surgical technology in the field of medicine, including minimally invasive robotic and laparoscopic surgery, laser-assisted surgeries, and a host of other scope-guided procedures. Urologists are trained in open and minimally invasive techniques, employing real-time ultrasound guidance, fiber-optic endoscopic equipment, and various lasers in the treatment of multiple benign and malignant conditions. In addition, urologists are pioneers in the use of robotics in laparoscopic surgery. Urology is closely related to (and urologists often collaborate with the practitioners of) oncology, nephrology, gynaecology, andrology, pediatric surgery, colorectal surgery, gastroenterology, and endocrinology.
SUB SPECIALTY As a medical discipline that involves the care of many organs and physiological systems, urology can be broken down into several sub disciplines.
Endourology is the branch of urology that deals with the closed manipulation of the urinary tract also includes all minimally invasive urologic surgical procedures Endourology is performed using small cameras and instruments inserted into the urinary tract. Transurethral surgery has been the cornerstone of Endourology. Most of the urinary tract can be reached via the urethra, enabling prostate surgery, surgery of tumors of the urothelium, stone surgery, and simple urethral and ureteral procedures.
2. Laparoscopy and Robotics:
Laparoscopy is a rapidly evolving branch of urology and has replaced some open surgical procedures. Robot-assisted surgery of the prostate, kidney, and ureter has been expanding this field. Many prostatectomies are carried out by robotic assistance.
Neurourology concerns nervous system control of the genitourinary system, and of conditions causing abnormal urination. Neurological diseases and disorders such as a stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and spinal cord injury can disrupt the lower urinary tract and result in conditions such as urinary incontinence, detrusor over activity, urinary retention, and detrusor sphincter dyssynergia. Urodynamic studies play an important diagnostic role in neurourology.
4. Urologic oncology:
Urologic oncology concerns the surgical treatment of malignant genitourinary diseases such as cancer of the prostate, adrenal glands, bladder, kidneys, ureters, testicles, and penis, as well as the skin and subcutaneous tissue and muscle and fascia of those areas. The treatment of genitourinary cancer is managed by either a urologist or an oncologist, depending on the treatment type (surgical or medical).
Andrology focuses on the male reproductive system. It is mainly concerned with male infertility, erectile dysfunction and ejaculatory disorders. Since male sexuality is largely controlled by hormones, andrology overlaps with endocrinology. Surgery in this field includes fertilization procedures, vasectomy reversals, and the implantation of penile prostheses.
6. Female urology
Female urology is a branch of urology dealing with overactive bladder, pelvic organ prolapse, and urinary incontinence. Thorough knowledge of the female pelvic floor together with intimate understanding of the physiology and pathology of voiding are necessary to diagnose and treat these disorders. Depending on the cause of the individual problem, a medical or surgical treatment can be the solution.
7. Pediatric urology
Pediatric urology concerns urologic disorders in children. Such disorders include cryptorchidism (undescended testes), congenital abnormalities of the genitourinary tract, enuresis, underdeveloped genitalia (due to delayed growth or delayed puberty, often an endocrinological problem), and vesicoureteral reflux.