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Urology is a branch of medicine that deals with the diseases of the female and male urinary tract (kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra). This branch of medicine also deals with male reproductive organs (testes, epididymis, vas deferens, seminal vesicles, prostate, and penis).
Urology has a number of sub-disciplines, including:
Medical professionals specializing in the field of urology are called urologists. Urologists can diagnose and treat diseases of the urinary tract in both women and men, as well as diagnosing and treating any problems in men’s reproductive tract. In some cases, urologists may also perform surgery. In the case of certain conditions, urologists may need to work in conjunction with medical professionals who specializes in other fields, such as oncologist, radiotherapists, nephrologist, and gynecologist.
Urologists can treat the following conditions:
During your first appointment, your urologist may ask you questions about your health history, any medicines you take, and your current symptoms. Your urologist may do a physical exam that includes a rectal and genital exam. They may also do some tests, such as:
After your urologist makes a diagnosis, the treatment will depend on your specific condition. It may include the use of medications and surgery.
Types of medication include:
Some of the most common types of surgery include:
The surgery can be performed in one of two ways: open through a large incision, laparoscopically through several tiny incisions. Both methods are usually performed under general anesthesia. In some cases, local anesthetic may be used instead.
Depending on the procedure you will have, you may be able to leave the hospital on the same day or you will have to stay for up to 5 days. In general, it is highly advisable that you stay in South Korea for several days following your procedure for initial recovery and to attend scheduled follow-up checkups. For surgical procedures, you may need to stay in the country for at least 10 to 14 days.
The recovery time varies, depending on the procedure you have, the reason why you need the procedure, and your overall health. For surgical procedures, it may take about one to six weeks until you can go back to your full activity. For non-surgical procedures, you may be allowed to go back to your normal routine within several days. Your urologist will give you a detailed recovery timeline, which includes the time you can go back to work, normal activity, and strenuous activities, such as exercise and heavy lifting.
Your urologist will give you a set of instructions for your aftercare. The instruction may include a diet plan, exercise, restrictions, and medication to take, and wound care. It is important that you follow every instruction closely. After surgery, you will be encouraged to do some light exercise, such as walking, to help your healing process. You may also need to eat easily digestible food until you are recovered.
Depending on your specific condition, you may need to attend regular checkups following your treatment. For instance, if you had cancer treatment, your doctor will suggest you attend a checkup once or twice a year to ensure that cancer has not come back.
The field of urology is at the forefront of research and innovation. Due to its constant advancement, the procedures are becoming more effective and safer. Each urological treatment is also known to offer high success rates. However, any procedure comes with risks, such as infection, bleeding, and damage to nearby organs. Therefore, it is important that you choose a skilled and experienced urologist.
If you have any injury or disease in your urinary tract and/or reproductive organ (for men), there is no other alternative besides visiting a urology department. However, if your disease is found to be caused by other problems, the doctor will refer you to a relevant doctor.
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