Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Urology Definition:

Specialty in medicine that deals with the male and female urinary tracts and the male genitalia.

From Dr. David Naysmith:

"Urology, in it’s broadest sense, is the specialty in medicine that deals with the male and female  urinary tracts and the male genitalia. This includes everything from the paired kidneys, each with a ureter (the tube connecting the kidney to the bladder), the midline bladder, and the urethra (the tube connecting the bladder to the outside world-usually significantly longer in males than females). The fact that urologists usually only look after the male genitalia and not the female genitalia is not sexist or discriminatory in any way but more to do with the fact that gynecologists deal with the female bits.

"The spectrum of urology deals with everything from congenital deformities (those one is born with) such as duplicate kidneys, horseshoe shaped kidneys, to ureter problems like failure to have a functional value where it joins the bladder (causing reflux or backwash of urine up the ureter) to bladder extrophy (bladder opening out onto the abdominal wall), to hypospadius where the male urethra doesn’t quite make it to the end of the penis, etc.

"Metabolic problems such as kidney stones (renal calculi) keep urologists busy either fetching them with a little wire basket slipped up the urethra (this is where having a short urethra is handy), through the bladder and into the ureter where they usually lodge or by blasting them with an ultrasound device. Occasionally all of that fails and they have to operate and remove them directly.

"Urologists deal with surgical management of cancers of the genitourinary system, usually involving the kidney, bladder, prostate or testicles. They also spend a fair bit of time handling incontinence for males and females and of course the converse, obstruction from prostate glands that seem to want to show off (this is one of those cases where bigger isn’t necessarily better!). Anything that can go wrong with any plumbing system (obstruction, backing up, or leaking) is the biological bailiwick of urologists.

"They also deal with both sides of the fertility coin for men. Vasectomy for those who fear commitment and everything from biopsy of the testicle and harvesting sperm for in vitro fertilization to vasovasostomy (reconnecting the vas deferens, the tube connecting the testicle to the world at large) for those who have been told by a significant other that they “mustn’t fear commitment” and wish to once again work with live ammunition. So, urologists do all of the above and usually with a smile and often with wet shoes.

"It is not uncommon in larger centres for urologists to sub specialize and do only one aspect of the specialty."

REFERENCES:

  • Duhaime.org wishes to thank Doctor David Naysmith of Victoria, British Columbia for the text of this medical-legal definition.

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