Urology is a field of medicine that focuses on the health of the urinary tract system which includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra in both men and women. However, urologists also have a strong role in overseeing the health and functioning of the male organs and reproductive system, including the penis, testes, scrotum, and prostate. From diagnosing and treating a wide variety of medical conditions affecting men, such as urinary incontinence, recurrent bladder infections, weak pelvic floor muscles, erectile dysfunction, Peyronnies Disease, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and prostate cancer, urologists perform a wide variety of procedures to help each of these conditions, many that can be treated successfully as an outpatient procedure.
Here is a look at common outpatient procedures a urologist may recommend and which can be done without stepping into a hospital setting:
The most popular urological surgery performed in the U.S. are vasectomies. More than 500,000 men each elect to have this procedure to prevent pregnancy. This short, minimally-invasive outpatient procedure is usually done within 30 minutes. It involves cutting or tying off the van deferens, a small tube necessary to carry sperm from the testicles to the penis. Vasectomies have a high success rate of 95 percent, are reversible (another type of outpatient procedure), and are a safe and effective means of long-term male birth control.
A cystoscopy or cystourethroscopy allows your doctor to examine the lining of your bladder and urethra in detail. Cystoscopy is used to diagnose, monitor, and treat conditions affecting the bladder and urethra. These conditions may include urinary issues such as frequent urination, painful urination, blood in the urine, frequent urinary tract infections, an overactive bladder, or pelvic pain. This procedure can also be used to diagnose an enlarged prostate, blockages, or small, noncancerous growths.
To perform a cystoscopy, a cystoscope is inserted through the urethra into the bladder. This is a long, thin, lighted tube with a camera.
Prostate outpatient procedures
There are several outpatient procedures used to treat prostate problems, such as:
- Prostate biopsy – This procedure is necessary to remove prostate tissue samples to be examined in a lab for prostate cancer.
- Urolift – This minimally invasive procedure is used to treat mild to moderate prostate enlargement.
One method for examining the urinary tract is a common urology procedure called ureteroscopy. Ureteroscopy is often used to diagnose kidney stones using a ureteroscope guided via the urethra, bladder, and the ureter to find the location of the stone. A ureteroscope is a long, thin tube with both a light and a camera.
To help break up stones discovered in the bladder, kidney, or ureter, a urological procedure called lithotripsy is used. Lithotripsy uses shock waves or a laser to break up stones to make them small enough to pass and for doctors to be able to remove them through the urinary tract.
Penile implants and prosthesis
Men experiencing erectile dysfunction that has not been helped with other treatments may consider a penile implant or prosthesis, both devices inserted into the penis. Besides erectile dysfunction, a penile prosthesis can also be used to treat severe Peyronie’s disease. Peyronie’s disease can lead to a severe curvature of the penis when erect, making sexual intercourse difficult, if not impossible. Penile implants have been shown to have an effective and reliable success rate. Studies have found a 90 to 95 percent satisfaction rate between men and their partners after a penile implant.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911.