Visiting a urologist for the first time can be a daunting experience. Many people feel anxious or uncertain about what to expect. As an established clinic, we’ve seen it all! 

This guide aims to provide you with a clear understanding of what happens during a visit to the urologist. By the end of this guide, you’ll feel more prepared and reassured about your upcoming appointment.

What is Urology?

Urology is a branch of medicine that focuses on the health of the urinary tract in both men and women, as well as the male reproductive system.

Urologists are specialised doctors trained to diagnose, treat, and manage patients with urological disorders. These disorders can affect the kidneys, bladder, ureters, urethra, and in men, the prostate and reproductive organs.

Common reasons to see a urologist

There are several reasons why someone might need to see a urologist. Common conditions treated by urologists include:

You might also be referred to a urologist for preventive screenings, such as prostate cancer screenings or evaluations for urinary symptoms.

Preparing for your appointment

The first step in preparing for your urology appointment is to schedule your visit with us. Depending on your healthcare system and insurance requirements, this might involve getting a referral from your GP.

When scheduling, choose a time that works well for you and provide any necessary information about your medical history.

What to bring

To ensure your appointment goes smoothly, it’s important to bring several key items:

Personal preparation

Your urologist might provide specific instructions on how to prepare for your visit. This could include dietary restrictions or guidance on fluid intake. For example, you might be asked to drink plenty of water before your appointment for a urine sample or ultrasound. Additionally, avoid certain medications if instructed to do so, and prepare a list of symptoms and questions you want to discuss.

What happens at a Urology appointment?

Upon arrival at the clinic, you’ll check in at the reception. Provide your identification and insurance information (if necessary), and complete any given paperwork. There might be a short wait before you are called in for your consultation.

Initial consultation

Your appointment will likely begin with a meeting with a nurse or medical assistant. They will take your vital signs, such as blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature. You will also discuss your medical history and current symptoms. This information helps the urologist understand your health background and tailor their examination and tests accordingly.

The physical examination

The physical examination is a standard part of a urological visit. This might involve:

It’s natural to feel a bit embarrassed or uncomfortable, but rest assured that urologists are professionals who conduct these exams routinely and with the utmost respect for your privacy and comfort.

Diagnostic tests

The urologist may order additional diagnostic tests depending on your symptoms and medical history. Common tests include:

These tests help the urologist make a precise diagnosis and develop an effective treatment plan. Some tests might be done on the same day, while others may require a separate appointment.

After your appointment

Once all necessary examinations and tests are completed, your urologist will discuss the findings with you. They will explain your diagnosis in detail and answer any questions you might have. Understanding your condition is crucial for making informed decisions about your health.

Treatment plans

Based on your diagnosis, the urologist will recommend a treatment plan. This could involve:

Your urologist will explain the benefits and potential risks of each treatment option and help you decide on the best course of action.

Patient support and resources

Managing a urological condition can be challenging, but numerous resources are available to help. Your urologist might provide educational materials, recommend support groups, or suggest counselling services. Additionally, they will give you contact information for any follow-up questions or concerns you might have after your visit.

Addressing misconceptions

There are several common misconceptions about visiting a urologist. Here are a few of them clarified:

Only men need to see a urologist…

This is not true. While urologists do treat many conditions specific to men’s health, such as prostate issues, they also treat women and children. Conditions like urinary tract infections, kidney stones, bladder problems, and incontinence can affect anyone, regardless of gender.

You only see a urologist for serious issues…

Urologists handle a wide range of conditions, from routine check-ups and preventive screenings to serious illnesses. Early detection and management of urological issues can prevent more severe problems later on. Regular visits to a urologist can help maintain your overall urinary and reproductive health.

A visit to the urologist is always uncomfortable or painful…

While some urological procedures can be uncomfortable, many are quick and relatively painless. Urologists are skilled at minimising discomfort and will explain each procedure beforehand to help alleviate any anxiety.

If I don’t have symptoms, I don’t need to see a urologist…

Preventive care is an essential aspect of urology. Even if you don’t have symptoms, you might still benefit from routine screenings, especially if you have risk factors for conditions like prostate cancer or kidney disease. Early detection can make a significant difference in treatment outcomes.

Urology is only about the kidneys and bladder…

Urology covers a wide range of organs and systems, including the kidneys, bladder, ureters, urethra, and in men, the prostate and reproductive organs. Urologists are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting all these areas.

I can just see my GP for urological issues…

While GPs can handle many general health issues, urologists have specialised training and expertise in the urinary and male reproductive systems. A urologist is better equipped to provide specialised care if you have persistent or complex urological symptoms.

You’re in safe hands

Visiting a urologist for the first time doesn’t have to be intimidating. By understanding what to expect and how to prepare, you can approach your appointment with confidence!

Our urology clinic is here to help you maintain your health and address any concerns you may have. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions before your visit.

Frequently asked questions

Will the examination be painful?

Most urological exams are not painful, though some might be uncomfortable. Your urologist will take every measure to minimise discomfort and explain each step of the examination to help put you at ease.

How long will the appointment take?

The length of the appointment can vary depending on the complexity of your condition and the tests required. Typically, a first visit lasts about an hour, including the initial consultation, physical examination, and any immediate tests.

What should I wear to the appointment?

Wear comfortable clothing that is easy to remove if necessary. You might be asked to change into a medical gown for the physical examination. It’s best to avoid wearing heavy jewellery or clothing with complicated fastenings.

Can I bring someone with me?

Yes, you can bring a friend or family member with you for support. They can wait in the waiting area or accompany you during the consultation, if you prefer. Having someone with you can also help you remember the information discussed during the appointment.

Will I need to undergo any procedures on my first visit?

This depends on your specific condition and symptoms. Some diagnostic tests, like a urinalysis or ultrasound, may be performed on the same day. Based on the initial findings, other procedures might be scheduled for a later date.

How will I receive my test results?

Your urologist will explain how and when you will receive your test results. Some results might be available immediately, while others could take a few days. You might receive results via phone, email, or a follow-up appointment.

Is my privacy protected?

Yes, your privacy is our top priority. Urologists and their staff are trained to handle all patient information confidentially and respectfully. Examinations and consultations are conducted in private rooms to ensure your comfort and confidentiality.

What if I feel embarrassed or anxious?

It’s completely normal to feel embarrassed or anxious about a urological examination. Urologists are used to dealing with sensitive issues and will do their best to make you feel comfortable. If you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to discuss them with your urologist.



Additional Resources

Contact Information

Mr Maneesh Ghei

Urology Consultant and Founder of Urocare London

Mr Ghei is a Consultant Urological Surgeon with a specialist interest in minimally-invasive urology, complex endourology and stones. He also holds an NHS post as Consultant Urological Surgeon at the Whittington Hospital and is the Lead Cancer Clinician for the Department of Urology. Maneesh maintains a keen interest and focus on research and training. He is a big supporter of prostate cancer awareness and the Movember campaign.

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