Five Commonly Performed Urology Exams
Urology is medical specialty that involves the study, diagnosis, testing, treatment, and prevention of medical problems and conditions of the urinary system – also known as the renal or urinary tract – which is comprised of the bladder, kidneys, the ureters and the urethra. It is the urinary system that is responsible for eliminating waste from the body, regulating blood volume and blood pressure, regulating our blood pH and controlling our levels of electrolytes and metabolites. With these many and varied responsibilities, the urinary tract is susceptible to an array of health issues. To determine what if you have a urological condition, urologists have the option to conduct a variety of exploratory and clinic exams. Here are five of the most common.
1. Urine Tests – Urologists will test a urine sample to determine any number of urological conditions, to include urinary tract infections and kidney disease. The most commonly used urine tests are:
- The urinalysis, which is used to check for substances such as bacteria, nitrates, white blood cells (indicating infection); as well as foreign substances such as illegal drugs and enhancement-performing steroids.
- Urine cultures, which also test for bacteria and infection. Results from cultures help your urologist determine which kind of infection there is, as well as which medications would be best to treat it.
- 24-Hour Urine tests involve your urine being collected throughout the course of a 24-hour period; the benefit of this test is to check for variations of number of urinary tract conditions such as kidney disease, diabetes, and preeclampsia throughout the course of the day. A 24-hour protein test tracks how much protein is entering into the urine; this can determine a number of health issues such as kidney damage or disease.
2. Blood Tests – Urologists may extract a small sample of blood for testing to determine the presence of infection or disease in your urinary tract. One of the most common blood tests a urologist will perform is to test for low testosterone (low T) in men. Other tests may include:
- Creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) tests assess kidney function by checking for creatinine and BUN levels in the blood.
- Prostate-specific antigen– PSA– screenings check for inflammation of the prostate that may result from cancerous or noncancerous issues. PSA screenings are also used to monitor the progress of prostate cancer in men who have been diagnosed and are undergoing now, or have completed, treatment.
3. Imaging Tests – Urologists rely on imaging tests – think CT scans and ultrasounds – to identify physical conditions within your body. With imaging, urologists are able to detect cysts, stones, enlargements, and tumors in the kidneys, bladder, and other parts of the urinary tract. Urologists also rely on X-ray imaging, particularly –
- Kidney, ureter, and bladder (KUB) X-ray, to view abnormalities in the urinary system organs.
- Intravenous pyelogram X-ray, for which dye is injected into the bloodstream to help study the flow within the urinary tract.
- Voiding cystourethrogram X-ray to study the bladder and urethra as the bladder fills and empties.
4. Seminogram, also referred to as “the sperm analysis test,” test your sperms’ quality and mobility that is needed for fertility purposes.
5. Physical Exam – First and foremost, urologists are medical doctors who strive to ensure your total wellness. In additional to the above mentioned tests, your urologist may conduct in office or refer you for medical testing based on your health, family history, medications you are taking (or those that may be prescribed) and symptoms you may presenting
If you are interested in working with a well-experienced and patient focused urologist to treat your urological needs, consider seeing Dr. Richard Natale of the Carolina Urology Partners. Dr. Natale uses the latest state-of-the-art exams to test for a variety of urological conditions to get you the right diagnosis. Call 704-786-5131 to make an appointment today. You can also request an appointment online.