Urology is the branch of medicine that takes care of the medical and surgical diseases of the adrenals, kidneys and urinary tract which include the ureters, bladder and urethra, in men and women, as well as the male reproductive system and genitalia (testes, epididymis, vas deferens, seminal vesicles, prostate and penis).
In men, the urinary system overlaps with the reproductive system, and in women the urinary tract opens into the vulva. In both sexes, the urinary and reproductive tracts are close together, and disorders of one often affect the other.
Urology combines management of medical (i.e.,non-surgical) problems such as urinary infections, and surgical problems suchas the correction of congenital abnormalities and the surgical management of stones and cancers. Such abnormalities within the genital region are called genitourinary disorders.
Urology was mentioned in the original Greek version of the Hippocratic Oath, wherein specific prohibitions are contained for physicians against cutting "persons labouring under the stone" and to leave it to those who are practioners of this work. Urologic diseases has been described as far back as the ancient Egyptians who did routine suprapubic cystostomies on patients with urinary retention for bladder stones or enlarged prostates. Historically, the subject which clearly established the specialty of urology as being distinct from general surgery was the treatment of urinary tract obstruction. This treatment ranges from the correction of obstructing posterior urethral valves or ureteropelvic junction obstruction in the infant to the correction of bladder outlet obstruction from benign prostatic hyperplasia in the older male.
Although urology is classified as a surgical specialty, a knowledge of internal medicine, pediatrics, gynecology, and other specialties is required by the urologist because of the wide variety of clinical problems encountered. In recognition of the wide scope of urology, the American Urological Association has identified seven branches:
• Urologic Oncology (cancer)
• Renal Transplantation
• Male Infertility
• Calculi (urinary tract stones)
• Female Urology (urinary incontinence and pelvic outlet relaxation disorders)
• Neurourology (voiding disorders, urodynamic evaluation of patients and erectile dysfunction or impotence)
Urology/Minimally Invasive and Laparoscopic Urologic Surgery