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The American Urologic Association describes the specialty of urology as follows:
"Urology is a surgical specialty which deals with diseases of the male and female urinary tract and the male reproductive organs. Although urology is classified as a surgical specialty, knowledge of internal medicine, pediatrics, gynecology, and other specialties is required by the urologist because of the wide variety of clinical problems encountered."
Physicians who practice urology are called urologists. Urologists diagnose, treat, and manage a broad range of problems related to the structure and/or function of the urinary tract and male reproductive system. Key components of the urinary tract include the kidneys, bladder, ureters (tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder), and urethra (the short tube through which the urine flows out). The male reproductive system includes the penis, scrotum and testicles, vas deferens (sperm duct), prostate gland, and other structures involved in forming and transporting sperm.
Urologists commonly address disorders of urination (blockages, incontinence), kidney and bladder infections (often generically called urinary tract infections or UTIs), kidney stones, serious kidney disease requiring dialysis or transplantation, cancers or injuries involving the urinary tract or male reproduction system (including, especially, kidney, bladder and prostate cancer), male sexual dysfunction or infertility, and birth defects involving the urinary tract or genitals.
Because urologic problems may need medical treatment or surgery, urologists are trained in both sets of skills. The requirement for surgical training is the reason that urology is considered a surgical specialty. Some of the urological disorders that only require medical and not surgical treatment (such as UTIs) can often be addressed by other medical disciplines including primary care physicians. Urologists can also treat patients of all ages, from newborn to elderly, although Pediatric urologists have additional training specific to urinary or genital problems in newborns, children, and adolescents.
Advances in minimally invasive surgical procedures such as laparoscopic and robotic surgery have transformed many urologic surgeries. Urologists are increasingly able to offer the option to correct or treat a problem in the urinary tract or male reproductive tract without the need for a large incision.
The urologists on the Medical Staff at The Chester County Hospital meet all the training and competencies and address all the medical and surgical issues described above. Our urologists also participate in multidisciplinary teams as part of the Hospital's Pelvic Health Program to address issues such as pelvic pain and incontinence in women. Other conditions, such as urological cancers, may require a surgical solution and collaboration with other cancer specialists. Several of our urologists are credentialed in robotic surgery and can offer patients other minimally invasive procedures.
For more information about urologists on the Medical Staff at The Chester County Hospital and Health System, call our Physician Referral Service at 610.738.2300 or visit the Find a Doctor section of our website.
Last Updated: 2/22/2013