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Conditions

Dr Pokorny has provided the following information about medical conditions that affect the human urological system.

Bladder

The function of the bladder is to store and expel urine in a low pressure environment and under subconscious and conscious control of the individual. The bladder and its function can be disturbed by numerous problems, including cancer, obstruction by the prostate, overactive bladder muscles, infection and damage from radiation and pathology in adjacent organs. 

Learn more about conditions of the Bladder

Kidney

The kidneys are responsible for filtering waste products out of the bloodstream and excreting these into the urine. The kidneys receive a very high blood flow and are very sensitive to toxins and changes in blood pressure. However, they have a tremendous reserve capacity and a person can survive on the function of just one quarter of one kidney. Urological kidney problems include various cancers, kidney stones, infections, cysts, and blockage from other problems below the kidneys 

Learn more about conditions of the Kidney

Prostate

The prostate is a small gland that is situated just below the bladder in men and the urinary stream from the bladder passes through the centre of the prostate via the prostatic urethra. The prostate's function is to produce a significant proportion of the seminal fluid and this contains sugars, nutrients and enzymes essential to sperm function. In addition the ejaculatory ducts carrying sperm pass through the prosate posteriorly. The prostate is affected by numerous conditions, the most well known being prostate cancer and benign (non-cancerous) enlargement, abbreviated as BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy) or BPE (bening prostatic enlargement) in medical literature. It is also susceptible to infections and chronic inflammation. The PSA (prostate specific antigen) is an enzyme secreted by prostate glands and is detectable in the bloodstream. It is a non-specific marker for cancer, enlargement, and other prostate problems. A high PSA raises suspicion for the presence of prostate cancer, but it is not a definitive test for cancer, which is found by performing a prostate biopsy. Nowadays in New Zealand and around the world many urologists perform an MRI of the prostate first when investigating the possibility of prostate cancer.  

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Penis

The penis serves as the conduit for urine expulsion in the male and also is the organ for penetration and insemination during sexual intercourse.  The penis is affected by infections, trauma, stricture (narrowing of the urethra or "water pipe"), scarring causing a bend (chordee), anatomical defects from birth, and rarely cancer. 

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Scrotum and Testis

The scrotum holds the testes in two separate pouches. The testes are responsible for production of mature spermatazoa and also testosterone. During development as a foetus, the testes actually start inside the body near the kidneys and migrate down during development, passing through the groin (or inguinal) canal and coming to rest finally externally in the scrotum. The testes can be affected by cancer (quite rare), infections, and benign problems like cysts and collections of fluid. They can also twist (called a "torsion" medically) in boys, teenagers and young adults, causing severe pain and requiring emergency treatment. Varicose veins of the testes (varicocoele) are another common problem seen by urologists, as well as infections of the scrotum itself. 

Learn more about conditions of the Scrotum and Testis