Definition and Overview
A urological surgery consultation is an appointment with a urological surgeon who specializes in the urinary system of both men and women, as well as the male reproductive system. This is conducted to determine if surgery is the best treatment option for various conditions that affect the patient. Common urological conditions include bladder, prostate, and kidney cancer, as well as disorders of the genitalia, genitourinary tumours, and bladder infections, among others. It can also be conducted to prepare the patient for an upcoming surgical procedure by explaining the pros and cons, discussing the possible risks and complications, and providing a to-do list prior to the procedure.
Who Should Undergo and Expected Results
A urological surgery consultation may be necessary to:
Determine whether certain urological conditions require surgery – As much as possible, urologists try to treat the condition using non-surgical methods to minimize the risk of complications. An example is the treatment of kidney stones, which could now be performed through medical therapy that relaxes the ureter muscles to help the patient pass the kidney stone more quickly and with less pain.
Confirm or get a second opinion – A consultation usually happens when a doctor refers a patient to a specialist, in this case, a urological surgeon. It could be because he wants to confirm his initial recommendation that the patient needs surgery or to get a second opinion so these health care providers can come up with the soundest health advice for the patient.
Prepare the patient for the surgery – The consultation is a way of prepping the patient on surgery basics like the techniques that are going to be used, medications to be taken, other preparations to be performed, recovery process, cost, insurance, etc. This is the most ideal time for the patient to ask questions and express concerns about the upcoming surgery.
Help the family deal with the surgery – A surgical procedure is daunting for both the patient and his family. The consultation can be beneficial in creating more realistic expectations and preparing them for possible outcomes.
Considering the many organs that are fall under the scope of urology, many diseases might require surgical intervention. These include blockages, growths such as tumors, urination issues, and reproductive problems and procedures (e.g., vasectomy and vasectomy reversal).
How Does the Procedure Work?
A urological surgeon normally works in a hospital setting. Prior to the consultation, the patient schedules a visit with the staff. The primary doctor or the patient then forwards the medical records to the urologist for an initial review.
The patient appears on the scheduled date. One of the nurses will obtain basic vital signs such as blood pressure, temperature, and heart rate. He may also perform an initial interview and ensure the needed medical records are already available.
Upon meeting, the urological surgeon begins the consultation by asking questions, which typically include the following:
- What are your main concerns?
- Why were you referred by the doctor?
- What are the initial findings of the doctor and previous tests?
- How are you feeling?
- Are you taking certain medications or have gone through procedures to correct the problem? What were the outcomes?
- What is your medical history?
- What is your family history?
- Do you have conditions that could prevent a surgery or lead to complications later?
The surgeon will also go over the patient’s medical records and exam results. He may request for more tests, if necessary, which the patient can obtain on the same day or at a scheduled time. Depending on the information provided by the patient, as well as the surgeon’s expertise and experience, the surgeon will be able to determine if the patient requires surgery and if he is eligible for it.
If he is, the succeeding consultation will revolve around pre-surgical and post-surgical care, description of the surgical procedure, risks and complications, costs of the procedure, recovery, and long-term impact on health and quality of life.
Consultations are also conducted after the surgery. These are mostly referred to as follow-ups, which goal is to make the recovery process easier and faster, manage complications, and reduce post-surgery risks.
Possible Risks and Complications
Perhaps one of the downsides of seeking urological surgery consultation is working with a surgeon that the patient is not comfortable dealing with. In its simplest sense, a consultation is a process of building a hopefully comfortable and safe relationship between the patient and the doctor. If such relationship is tense, the patient may be less encouraged to listen to the surgeon’s directions, request for more opinions, and even delay or postpone procedures, which may only put his life at a greater risk.
- American Urological Association
- Urology Care Fou