Concerned about your kidneys and wondering which specialist to see? Here’s how to determine if a nephrologist or a urologist is right for you.
What Is a Nephrologist?
A nephrologist is a medical doctor specializing in diseases and chronic conditions of the kidneys, the bean-shaped structures that rid the blood of toxins through urine. The kidneys also help regulate blood pressure, produce red blood cells, and release Vitamin D to strengthen bones and regulate mood.
What Does a Nephrologist Treat?
A nephrologist treats problems associated with kidney function. In other words, nephrologists have the expertise and experience to work with the physiology of the kidneys.
If your primary care physician suspects you have one of the following conditions, they may refer you to a nephrologist:
● Glomerulonephritis, inflammation of the kidney’s internal filtering system
● Hypertension unrelated to cardiovascular disease
● Kidney stones, or renal calculi, calcium deposits that block portions of the urinary tract, causing extreme pain
● Renal failure, in which kidney function shuts down
● Blood and/or protein in the urine
● Chronic and acute urinary tract infections
● Kidney or bladder cancer
● Polycystic kidney disease (benign cysts within the pelvis or kidney)
● Congenital malformations and disease of the kidneys and urinary tract
What is a Urologist?
A urologist is a medical doctor that specializes in diseases and dysfunction associated with the urinary tract. The urinary tract consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Urologists also diagnose and treat acute and chronic health problems of the male genitals — the prostate, testicles, penis, vas deferens, and seminal vesicles.
What Does a Urologist Treat?
Urologists treat a wide range of genito-urinary issues, such as:
● Incontinence, a problem with bladder control
● Low-testosterone, the male hormone responsible for sex drive, muscle mass, and more
● Vasectomy, the surgical birth control option for men
● Vasectomy reversal to restore male fertility after sterilization
● BPH, or benign prostatic hypertrophy, an overgrowth of the prostate gland
● Peyronie’s disease, penile curvature that causes pain and sexual dysfunction
● Erectile dysfunction, difficulty achieving or sustaining an erection
● Male infertility due to Low-T, undescended testicles, varicose veins in the scrotum (varicocele), and more
● Cancers of the prostate, bladder, and testicles
● Pelvic prolapse in women (also treated by gynecologists)
Ironwood Urology In Phoenix and Gilbert, AZ
Choosing a medical specialist is a very personal and important decision. Based on the symptoms you are experiencing, it can be fairly easy to deduce which specialist you need to see. If you need help, talk to your primary care doctor about your condition. They will help you decide if a nephrologist or a urologist is the right choice for you.
If you need a urologist, consider the services of the top urologist in the Phoenix area: Dr. Desi Avila. He offers both conservative and surgical treatment options for a wide range of urinary tract and male reproductive issues.
We have two offices to serve you. For a confidential consultation, please call our Phoenix office at (480) 961-2323. For our Gilbert office, call (480) 664-0261. You can also request an appointment with Dr. Avila online.