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What Is Urology?

Urology is one of the most varied branches of surgery and encompasses diseases of kidneys, bladder and prostate, including incontinence, impotence, infertility, cancer and reconstruction of the genito-urinary tract. It caters for patients of both sexes and all ages, from newborn infants to elderly pensioners.

Over the last 20 years, urology has proved itself to be one of the most innovative surgical specialties. Urologists still use traditional surgical methods, but they have also pioneered modern, high-tech, fibreoptic and endoscopic techniques (sometimes called minimally-invasive surgery). We were one of the first specialties to use "keyhole" surgery routinely, and to use robotic assistance for complex surgery; we still retain the most comprehensive array of minimally-invasive techniques for patients.

One quarter (25%) of all surgical referrals to hospital are for urological conditions, and urology makes up one tenth (10%) of GP consultations. Hospital referrals for urological problems have increased by one fifth (20%) over recent years. However, only 1 in 8 to 1 in 10 patients (10 to 12%) actually need surgery to treat their condition; put another way, this means that approximately nine out of 10 (90%) patients referred to a urologist do not need surgery, and can be managed medically.

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