Urologists: What they can do for you

By News

A urologist is a physician who specializes in diseases of the urinary tract and the male reproductive system.

Patients may be referred to a urologist if their physician suspects they may need treatment for a condition relating to bladder, urethra, ureters, kidneys, and adrenal glands.

In men, urologists treat disorders related to the epididymis, penis, prostate, seminal vesicles, and the testes.

When would I see a urologist?

A patient may be referred to a urologist for treatment of a range of conditions:

Urinary tract infections (UTIs): These often arise when bacteria migrate from the digestive tract to the urethra. Symptoms include abnormal urination, pain, incontinence, nausea, vomiting, fevers, and chills. It mostly affects women.

Incontinence: A malfunction in the urinary system can lead to involuntary loss of bladder control. In women, this may result from a weakening of the pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy.

Male infertility: This can result from damage to the male reproductive tract and a variety of sperm disorders. One common cause is varicoceles, an enlarged vein in the sac beneath the penis. Surgery can sometimes help.

Kidney disease: Damage to the kidneys can lead to swelling of the hands and ankles, high blood pressure, and other symptoms. If the kidneys no longer work effectively, this is kidney failure. Ultimately, it can be fatal.

Renal transplantation: A person may require kidney transplants following kidney failure.

Urologic oncology: Treatment of cancers that relate to the urological or male reproductive system, such as bladder cancer and prostate cancer.

Bladder prolapse: when the tissues and muscles of the pelvic floor are no longer able to support the organs in the pelvis, the organs can drop from their usual position.

Cancers: the bladder, kidneys, prostate gland, testicles, and any other cancer that affects the urinary system or, in men, the reproductive system.

Enlarged prostate: Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) affects 1 in 3 men over the age of 50 years. An overgrowth of cells in the prostate gland causes the urethra to constrict, leading to problems with urination.

Erectile dysfunction: The penis is unable to attain sufficient rigidity to fully participate in sexual intercourse. This is often a symptom of an underlying condition.

Peyronie’s disease: A fibrous layer of scar tissue develops beneath the skin of the penis. This can lead to bending or curving in the penis (phimosis) during an erection that can cause pain and lead to difficulties with sexual intercourse.

Interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome: A chronic inflammatory bladder condition can produce discomfort ranging from mild to severe.

Kidney and ureteral stones: Small, hard deposits made from mineral and acid salts form in the kidneys but can pass through into the ureters. They can affect urination and cause pain, nausea and vomiting.

Prostatitis: Infection or inflammation of the prostate can cause painful urination or ejaculation. It can be acute or chronic.

Undescended testes, or cryptorchidism: Normally, the testicles form inside the abdomen of a fetus and descend into the scrotum before birth. If one or both does not descend, sperm production can be impaired, and there is a risk of complications.

Urethral stricture: scarring of the urethra can narrow or block the path of urine flowing from the bladder. Causes include infection, inflammation or injury. Symptoms include painful urination and reduced output. It can lead to complications such as prostatitis and urinary tract infections.

Pediatric urology: This includes the treatment of urological problems in children that are too complex for non-specialized pediatricians.


The Urology Hospital, the only specialised hospital of its kind anywhere in Africa, has been in existence for more than 20 years as a centre of excellence in its field.

With more than 20 urologists under one roof, it offers unparalleled expertise in urology using the latest in highly specialised technology as well as nursing staff specially trained in urology. The hospital specialises in the treatment of male, female and paediatric urological conditions, including prostate cancer, kidney stones, bladder control problems and pelvic floor. Other common procedures performed at the hospital include: circumcisions, vasectomies, prostatectomies, nephrectomies (removal of the kidney) and male infertility. The hospital maintains its association with the academic world to ensure ongoing research, medical education and training in the development of urology.

Have a question regarding treatment options?

We look forward to welcoming you for a consultation. Should you wish to see a consultant for a urological concern, please do not hesitate to contact our office on (012) 423 4000 or email urology@urology.co.za