Kidney & Ureter
A normal urinary system is comprised of two kidneys, two ureters, the bladder, two sphincter muscles, and the urethra. Together, these components work to filter waste products from the blood, and dissolve and excrete them with urine from the body. Men, for a variety of reasons, are more prone than women to encounter certain urological problems or issues during their lifetime. Most are not diagnosed until late in life or at an advanced stage, however, early detection is important in obtaining an effective treatment outcome. The urologists at Academic Urology & Urogynecology of Arizona specialize in treating a wide range of urology conditions, including those that affect the kidney & ureter, such as the ones listed below, as well as male infertility, male incontinence, and prostate cancer. Read on to learn more about kidney & ureter conditions, and contact us if you question your renal health. We’ll give you answers, and if medical care is needed, we’ll review with you available treatment options and determine the one most suitable for a better quality of life.
- Kidney Stones - hardened mineral deposits (of varying size) that form in the kidneys and cause mild to severe pain. Compared to women, men, particularly over 40 years old, are more likely to develop kidney stones during their lifetime. The reasons why include larger muscle mass, enlargement of the prostate gland as men age resulting in a condition known as benign prostate hypertrophy (BPH), and the structure of the penile urethra due to gonorrhea infection, catheterization, or penile trauma.
- Kidney Cancer - cancerous (malignant) cells that originate in the kidneys and either stay localized to one kidney or metastasize (spread) from one kidney to another or from the kidneys to the bones, lungs, liver, and/or lymph nodes. Men are about twice as likely as women to be affected by kidney cancer and most men contract the disease over the age of 50.
- Hydronephrosis - swelling of the kidney as a result of urine backup when the flow is obstructed. The frequency of hydronephrosis is higher in men as they age and calculi (mineral deposits or kidney stones) are the most common causes.
- Kidney Obstruction - blockage where the kidney meets the ureter. An enlarged prostate, bladder failure, or other urethral blockages are common causes of kidney obstruction in men.
- Kidney Infection - bacterial infection of the kidneys (or upper urinary tract). In men, kidney infections are often caused by bacteria entering through the urethra and traveling up through the ureters, bladder, and into the kidneys.
- Ureter Cancer - cancerous cells that originate in the ureter and often spread to adjacent soft tissue. In men, the condition may spread to the tissues of the penis and perineum, the prostate gland, the ligament that surrounds the urethra, the regional lymph nodes, and the penile and scrotal skin.
- Ureter Obstruction and Stricture - narrowing of the urethra, causing functional obstruction. Ureter obstruction and stricture in young and middle-aged men is often caused by calculi (mineral deposits or kidney stones) and in rare cases, a seminal vesicle cyst.
- Ureteropelvic Junction Obstruction - blockage where part of the kidney connects to one of the ureters that move urine to the bladder. In adult men, an ureteropelvic junction obstruction may result from injury during surgery or from scarring from a past surgery, kidney stones, upper urinary tract inflammation, or a tumor.
If conditions, such as a kidney obstruction are left untreated, temporary and sometimes permanent renal damage may result. In cases of kidney infection, symptoms that begin as urinary problems may spread to other parts of the body if treatment is not received. For these (and other) reasons, it is important to seek the medical care of urologists who are experienced in diagnosing and treating kidney & ureter issues. As early as possible or at the sudden onset of symptoms, contact Academic Urology & Urogynecology of Arizona. After a diagnosis has been achieved, we will explain your surgical and non-surgical treatment options.