If you’re experiencing symptoms of a urological condition and your primary care physician deems that you need specialized care, they will likely refer you to a urologist—a physician who has advanced training in the diagnosis and treatment of the full range of disorders and diseases that affect the urinary tract and the male reproductive system.
Read on to learn about how to prepare and what to expect at your first appointment with your urologist.
Preparing for Your Appointment
It is helpful to make sure that when you come to your appointment, you disclose all of the information your urologist is supposed to know, such as the details regarding your symptoms, the medications you are taking, and your current health condition. Thus, if you have any questions or anything that you need to discuss with your urologist, write them down before your appointment, so you remember what to ask and tell them at your visit.
If you are experiencing urinary problems, it may be helpful to bring a bladder diary, detailing the frequency of urination, any leaks you may have had, how much and the type of fluid you had been drinking, and the amount of urine passed each time, etc.
It is also a good idea to attend your appointment with a full bladder as your urologist may want to take a urine sample at your appointment. Check with the clinic whether there are any other preparations required before attending your initial visit.
Your Appointment with Your Urologist
You may need to fill out some paperwork on your arrival at your appointment. This allows your urologist to learn a bit more about you and the reason for your visit.
Your urologist will often start the appointment by assessing your medical history including any medications you are taking, the reason for your visit, details of any symptoms you are experiencing and duration of symptoms, and anything else relevant to your condition.
Urological symptoms can have various potential causes. Moreover, since proper urinary function requires coordination of the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra, a number of diagnostic tests may be required to determine the cause of your symptoms.
Your urologist will perform a physical exam to evaluate your condition. The type of physical examination you will have can vary, depending on your symptoms, but may include a pelvic exam and/or a digital rectal examination (an internal examination of the rectum), often carried out to check the prostate.
Depending on what they suspect to be the problem, your urologist may also order a combination of any of the following tests:
- Urine and blood tests
- Cystometry- to assess bladder function
- Urine flow tests- to assess urinary function
- Imaging tests (e.g., CT scan, cystography, prostate/rectal sonogram, ultrasound, renal angiogram, etc.)- to get a view of the urinary tract and identify any blockages, tumors, or abnormalities.
Once a diagnosis has been determined, your urologist will discuss suitable treatment options with you. Your doctor will typically start with nonsurgical methods, such as medications and lifestyle changes. They may also recommend surgery as deemed necessary for your case. They will have to evaluate your overall health to determine your eligibility for surgery.
Urologist in North Carolina
For first-rate urological care, visit Dr. Richard Natale at Carolina Urology Partners. Focusing on the full range of men’s health issues, such as erectile dysfunction, low testosterone, enlarged prostate (BPH), and urinary incontinence, Dr Natale will devise an effective treatment plan that is tailored to your specific needs.
To learn more about our men’s health services or to schedule a urology appointment with Dr. Natale, call us today at (704) 786-5131. You may also request an appointment online now.