General Urology

Kidney Stones

Kidney stones (calculi) are hardened mineral deposits that form in the kidney. They originate as microscopic particles and develop into stones over time. Urinary stones may contain various combinations of chemicals. The most common type of stone contains calcium in combination with either oxalate or phosphate.

Other stones may form from uric acid – the chemical that causes gout (a type of arthritis).  A less common type of stone is caused by an infection in the urinary tract. This type of stone is called a struvite or infection stone. Other rare stones include cystine stones, which form due to a specific metabolic abnormality.

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Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is the involuntary leakage of urine. In real terms, it is a bladder that ends up controlling your life, and can result in living in continual fear of urine leakage. Whilst not a life-threatening condition, it can have an enormous impact on an individual’s life with a profound loss of quality of life. The effects of incontinence are many, including severe embarrassment, restriction in daily activities and social life as well as limiting the ability to work and travel. People suffering from incontinence bear additional heavy costs due to the use of protection devices such as incontinence pads to help deal with the problem.

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Haematuria

Haematuria is the presence of blood in the urine. Haematuria can be classified into 2 types:

  • Microscopic haematuria -where the blood is not visible and present only on testing of the urine.
  • Macroscopic haematuria- where there is visible blood in the urine causing it to be discoloured pink, red, brownish-red or tea-coloured. Gross haematuria is another term for visible blood in the urine.

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Benign Prostate Hyperplasia

This is a gradual enlargement of the central portion of the prostate that compresses the urethra and causes obstruction to urine flow, giving rise to various symptoms including a weak flow of urine, urgency and nocturia (getting up from sleep to urinate). BPH is not cancer, and does not turn into cancer. BPH seems to be a normal part of ageing in men, but the degree of enlargement, as well as the severity of symptoms varies greatly. The most important aspect of BPH and the symptoms it causes is how much it bothers the man. Many men have minor symptoms which are of no concern to them and therefore treatment is not required. However, for those whose quality of life is being affected, there are several highly effective treatment options available. Medications can relax or shrink the prostate, whereas surgical treatments remove the obstructing prostate tissue. The most commonly performed operation for BPH is a TURP (trans-urethral resection of prostate), in which a telescope is passed through the urethra to the prostate, which is then shaved away from the inside.

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Neuro-Urology

A neurogenic bladder is the term given to the loss of normal bladder function caused by damage to part of the nervous system. Normal bladder function relies on a complex co-ordination of nerve and muscle function to allow the storage and elimination of urine.

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Australian Urology Associates