Nephrology

Nephrology is the specialty of internal medicine which focuses on the treatment of diseases that affect the kidneys. Humans have 2 kidneys located below the ribcage on either side of the spine. The kidneys perform several functions, which includes:

  • Removing waste & excess fluid from the body
  • Releasing hormones for functions like managing blood pressure

What does a nephrologist do?

graphical representation of the human urinary system

A nephrologist is a doctor who specializes in treating the diseases present in the kidneys. Not only do nephrologists have the expertise on diseases which affect the kidney, but also have the knowledge about how kidney disease can affect other parts of the body.

Conditions a Nephrologist treats

A Nephrologist can diagnose the following diseases:

  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Blood in urine
  • Kidney infections
  • Kidney cancer
  • Renal artery stenosis
  • Last-stage kidney disease
  • Kidney failure, both chronic and acute

Tests a nephrologist performs

The doctor may involve a variety of tests to determine the problem:

Laboratory Tests

medical laboratory tests

There are a wide range of tests which can be used to assess the function of the kidneys. The tests are performed on either a urine or blood sample.

Blood Tests

blood test

  • Serum Creatinine: Creatinine is a waste product which is present in the higher levels in the blood of people who are having kidney dysfunctioning.
  • Glomerular Filtration rate: This test will measure how well your kidneys are filtering the blood. GFR begins to decrease below the normal levels in case the person has any kidney disease.
  • Blood Urea Nitrogen: As with Creatinine, finding the high levels of this waste product in the blood is a sure sign of kidney dysfunction.

Procedures of Nephrologist

In addition to interpreting the results of the laboratory tests, a nephrologist may perform on the following procedures:

  • Kidney Biopsies
  • Dialysis
  • Imaging tests of kidneys
  • Kidney Transplants

Urology

Urology is the field of medicine which focuses on diseases of the urinary tract and male reproductive system. There is specialization in types of urology, like:

  • Male Infertility: Which highlights the problems which prevent a man from conceiving a baby.
  • Pediatric Urology: It focuses on the urinary problems in the children.
  • Female Urology: It highlights the conditions of a woman’ urinary and reproductive tract.
  • Urologic Oncology: It focuses on cancers of the urinary system, which also includes prostate, kidneys, testicles, etc.

What is a Urologist?

man consulting a urologist

Urologist diagnoses & treat diseases of the urinary tract in both women and men. They are able to treat anything which involves the reproductive tract in men. In some cases, they may perform surgery. For example, they may be able to remove cancer.

What procedures do urologists perform?

The doctor will do one or more tests to find what condition you have:

  • Cystogram, which includes taking X-ray images of the bladder.
  • The urologist will use your urine sample to check the urine for bacteria which cause infections.
  • The urologist can check urodynamic testing to measure the pressure & volume inside your bladder.
  • A urologist will perform a Cystoscopy, which involves a thin scope called cystoscope to see the inside of your urethra.

Surgeries performed by Urologists :

  • Cystectomy, which also involves removing the bladder to treat cancer.
  • A repair of urinary organs which don’t perform well
  • A sling procedure, which also involves using strips of mesh to support the urethra

Also Read: 10 Natural Foods for Erectile Dysfunction

3 thoughts on “Urologist vs. Nephrologist: Know the Difference”

  1. Wow! This blog is so interesting and informative. I also didn’t know the difference until I saw this article. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. The article provided complete information about urologist and nephrologist. I was confused and I thought that both urologist and nephrologist are same but this article made me understand better about them.

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