Ask the BJC Expert

Ask the BJC Expert

When to See a Urologist

Published on Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Andrew Blackburne, MD

What conditions do urologists commonly treat?
One of the most common conditions urologists treat are kidney stones. They also help both men and women with issues regarding difficulty with urination, including too frequent urination or inability to control urination. Urologists also treat cancers of the kidney, bladder and prostate, as well as conditions regarding men's sexual health.

What type of treatments and procedures do urologists perform?
Urologists can offer many treatments, including robotic surgery for both prostate and kidney cancers and minimally invasive keyhole-type surgery for some kidney cancers. To treat kidney stones, medication may be used or a minimally invasive endoscopic procedure might be required. Urinary issues might be treated with medication or surgical treatment.

What are some causes of problems in the urinary system?
Heat and humidity, common in the summer months in the Midwest, can cause dehydration and increase the risk of kidney stone formation. One of the biggest risk factors for cancer, particularly bladder cancer, is smoking. Many people don’t realize how common bladder cancer is, with about 80,000 new cases every year.

What can you do to promote a healthy urinary system?
Many things that promote urinary health also promote your overall health. It’s important to maintain a healthy body weight, as obesity increases the risk of kidney stones and urinary tract infections. Quitting smoking can be helpful in decreasing the risk of bladder cancer and men’s sexual health issues. It’s also recommended to moderate the use of alcohol, as it can cause urinary urgency and frequency. By making these healthy choices, you can help keep a healthy urinary system.

Andrew Blackburne, MD, is a urologist with St. Louis Urological at Progress West Hospital. To learn more, visit or schedule an appointment with Dr. Blackburne by calling 636.344.3711.

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