Any medical procedure can be difficult to understand if you’re not a trained professional. Medical terms, long words, and confusing diagnoses can seem overwhelming, especially in the field of urology, but exams are easy to understand when broken down. Even the most common exams can be filled with confusing terminology, so here is a breakdown of some of the most common urology exams you may experience throughout your life.
Urology Physical Exam
When you visit a urologist for the first time, it’s likely that you’ll undergo some sort of physical exam. This usually begins with the urologist asking you a series of questions regarding your health, medical background, symptoms, and other questions typical of any doctor. This will eventually lead up to an in-office physical examination that can include the doctor putting pressure on the kidney, pelvic, and bladder areas to determine if there is any inflammation or hardness. The doctor may also examine the penis and testis, especially if the patient reports erectile dysfunction as one of their symptoms. This baseline exam will help the doctor determine what other tests are needed and begin a course of action.
Digital Rectal Exam
A digital rectal exam (DRE) is perhaps the most talked about exam in urology, but it is a simple and necessary test. The DRE is usually performed during the physical exam, and it is performed so that the doctor can manually evaluate the prostate gland. The doctor can feel for the prostate and ensure that it is in the right position and is a normal size, determine its stiffness, and feel for any abnormalities. During this procedure, a urologist will insert a gloved and lubricated finger into the rectum of the patient. Many are often intimidated by this procedure, but it’s a perfectly routine and normal exam that can be the first step to treatment for serious conditions.
Blood tests are used in urology to diagnose and determine many things, from the reason for erectile dysfunction to the cause of infertility. When testing your blood, urologists will perform three common tests. The first is a Prostate-Specific Antigen Test, which is used to detect proteins that are released by the prostate when it’s inflamed. This can help diagnose prostate cancer and determine the cause of inflammation. The second test is called a creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) test. This test can help determine whether or not the kidneys are functioning properly by ensuring that the creatinine levels are not too high. High creatinine levels can be caused by lack of blood flow to the kidneys and assessing this can help diagnose the problem. The last test is for testerone levels, which is especially important to check in men over the age of 40. A decrease in T levels can result in erectile dysfunction, infertility, and other urological conditions. Any or all of these diagnoses can be expedited and treated by starting with a blood test.
Urine tests are extremely common in urology and can help diagnose many urological conditions. A simple urinalysis can diagnose conditions such as diabetes, UTIs, and kidney diseases. Urine cultures can also be used to see if any infections have developed. If they have, urologists can use the urine culture to determine which antibiotic will best combat the infection. In some cases, the urologist may order a 24-hour urine test, which is when the urologist collects all the urine the patient produces over a 24-hour period. This type of test is used to help diagnose suspected kidney disease, diabetes, lupus, and other conditions. If you’re going to a urologist, you can typically expect some variation of a urine test to take place.
A seminogram, or semen analysis, is an exam that is quite common in urology. This is the first step for patients who go to a urologist to determine the cause of potential infertility. A sample of the patient’s semen is collected and tested to determine the sperm level, mobility, and quality of the sperm produced. This is a routine exam, and any patient going to the urologist for infertility reasons can expect a seminogram.
Schedule a Urology Exam in Livingston, NJ
With 25 years of experience in the field of urology, Dr. Ron Israeli is more than qualified to perform any and all of these common urological exams. He and his staff will do everything in their power to ensure that you are comfortable, well informed, and content with your experience at their offices. With a convenient location in Livingston, Dr. Israeli offers a plethora of services for anyone seeking urological help. Contact us today to schedule an exam and let us aid your health!