Urology is the branch of medicine that focuses on surgical and medical diseases of the male and female genitourinary tract (urinary-tract) system and the male reproductive organs.
The conditions treated in urology include: men and women with urinary symptoms, urinary tract infection, tumours of the urinary tract (kidney, bladder, prostate, testicular and penile), kidney stones, erectile dysfunction, fertility issues and many more.
Beacon Hospital’s Urology Department is located on the 5th floor of the hospital and can be accessed via the second floor, Emergency Department corridor.
The Unit has been recently upgraded and houses 3 state-of-the-art urology suites along with the latest in diagnostic equipment. We also have a da Vinci Robot, which our Consultant Urologists use regularly to perform delicate urological surgical procedures should this be necessary.
Urine testing and blood tests are commonly the first steps in diagnosing urologic conditions.
Your Consultant Urologist may then send you to our Radiology Department for diagnostic imaging. Beacon Hospital’s Radiology Department is home to the most technologically advanced radiology equipment in Ireland, ensuring you have access to the very best.
Imaging tests such as pyelogram, cystography, CT scan or ultrasound of the kidney, prostate/rectal sonogram and renal angiogram provide visibility into the urinary tract to look for blockages, tumours and other abnormalities. Cystometry and urine flow tests allow doctors to assess whether or not urinary function is normal or if it needs treatment.
Cystography is an imaging test that uses X-rays to help diagnose problems in your bladder. They may be X-ray pictures or fluoroscopy, a kind of X-ray ‘movie’.
During cystography, the healthcare provider will insert a thin tube called a urinary catheter into your bladder and inject this with contrast dye. The contrast dye allows the healthcare provider to see your bladder more clearly. He or she will then take X-rays of the bladder. Cystography can also be combined with other procedures. For example, cystourethrography takes images of both the bladder and the urethra. The healthcare provider may also use fluoroscopy to watch how the bladder empties while you urinate (voiding cystourethrography).
Cystography may show whether any urine backs up into the kidneys (vesicoureteral reflux). Computerised tomography (CT) cystography is sometimes used following trauma or recent surgery.
Kidney CT Scan
CT scans of the kidneys provide more detailed information about the kidneys than standard kidney, ureter and bladder X-rays, thus providing more information related to injuries and/or diseases of the kidneys. CT scans of the kidneys can be used to detect conditions such as tumours, lesions, obstructive conditions such as kidney stones, congenital anomalies, polycystic kidney disease, accumulation of fluid around the kidneys, and the location of any abscesses.
A kidney ultrasound is a non-invasive diagnostic exam that produces images, which are used to assess the size, shape, and location of the kidneys. Ultrasound can also be used to assess blood flow to and from the kidneys. This is a quick imaging process and no radiation is used in ultrasounds.
Pyelogram / Fluoroscopy
An antegrade pyelogram is an imaging test to find a blockage or obstruction in the upper urinary tract. Your urinary tract is made up of your kidneys, ureters (narrow tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder), and bladder.
An antegrade pyelogram is a type of X-ray. It uses a small amount of radiation to create static images of your bones and internal organs.
Fluoroscopy may also be used during this test. It is like an X-ray ‘movie’. The radiologist may also decide to use ultrasound to guide placement of the needle. These tests can help the radiologist locate the kidneys and ureters.
During this test, your radiologist will inject a contrast dye through a needle that is placed through the flank area of your back. The area will be cleansed with sterile material and you will be given a local anaesthetic prior to being injected. The X-ray images are used to watch the contrast dye, as it moves from the kidney into the ureter.
Results and Next Steps
Once all the necessary diagnostics have been performed, your Consultant will assess any findings. If no further follow up or treatment is required, you will be discharged into the care of your GP. Your GP will then receive a full report of all investigations.
Should you require further investigations, or treatment, an appointment will be scheduled for you to discuss this with your Consultant. Typical steps for treatment of urological conditions and diseases can use medical therapies, surgical intervention, or a combination of both. Your Consultant will discuss all relevant options with you and advise you on the best course for your case.
Should you require surgery, your Consultant will discuss the procedure with you prior to you being contacted with a date from the scheduling department. All surgeries can take place in our state-of-the-art theatres whether they are manual or robotic surgeries.
If you require care from an MDT (Multidisciplinary team), eg in the case of cancers being discovered, your Consultant will discuss this with you and will bring in the necessary experts from all areas needed to work together in ensuring you get the best care and treatment at all stages of your journey.