If you haven’t yet been to a urologist, you may be asking, “What is a urologist and what do they do?” You also may not know what to expect from an appointment with a urology specialist.
We’re here to help answer your questions so you can be prepared for your first appointment.
A urologist is a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating anything related to the genitourinary tract — in other words, the urinary tract and genital areas. This includes the bladder, kidneys, and reproductive organs. They are equipped to treat a range of diseases that can affect these areas, from urinary tract infections and kidney stones to cancer and more.
If you’re asking the question, “What is a urologist?” you’re likely wondering how a urologist can help you! If you’re experiencing pain or something isn’t working the way it should, a urologist can help diagnose what’s occurring and work with you to identify a treatment plan. Here’s what you can expect if you’re scheduling your first appointment with a urologist at Rio Grande Urology:
What to Expect from a Urology Exam
When you meet with your urologist, they will perform a physical exam, focusing on the genitourinary areas. For men, this may also include a prostate exam. This is especially important for men age 50 and over and those with a family history of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer exhibits no symptoms and may spread when not treated early. An annual exam is essential in order to detect prostate cancer.
During your exam, your urologist will walk you through each step to ensure you understand what they are checking for, while asking additional questions about your symptoms or medical history.
We know urological exams might be uncomfortable. At RGU, our physicians perform them with the utmost care and strive to make you comfortable. Our goal is to ensure you receive the best possible care.
Gathering Your Medical History
As with most doctor appointments, you will be asked to complete required paperwork that includes questions regarding your medical history. Answer everything honestly and to the best of your ability! Your urologist will follow up with additional questions when they meet with you so they can take your history into consideration when addressing your health concerns. Please also bring all medication you are currently taking to each office visit. These factors are important in helping the urologist provide an accurate diagnosis and individualized treatment plan.
Collecting a Urine Sample
You will usually need to provide a urine sample at every visit to help assist with your diagnosis, so drink plenty of water prior to your appointment. Upon your arrival for your appointment, RGU staff will provide additional instructions on collecting your sample.
Determining Next Steps
Following the exam, your urologist will make recommendations for next steps. This may include any follow-up tests that may be needed, such as imaging, blood work, or PSA screening for the prostate. From there, they will work with you to identify a treatment plan, which may include surgery depending on your individual health needs. RGU’s urologists are also skilled surgeons.
Once your treatment plan is determined, your RGU urologist will walk alongside you throughout the course of that treatment to see how you’re doing and making any adjustments if needed. Whether it’s surgical treatment or other forms of medical treatment, our providers and advanced practitioners are dedicated to providing patients with quality care to help you get on the road to recovery.
If you’ve been referred to see a urologist, or you still have more questions after learning “What is a urologist?” RGU is here to help. Schedule an appointment and we can help match you with a urology specialist for your individual needs.