A urologist is a medical doctor with specialist training and skills in problems related to the kidneys, bladder and genitalia.
A paediatric urologist has special training and skills in kidney, bladder, genitalia and sexual function problems that affect children.
Other urologists specialise in areas like women's incontinence or prostate problems in men.
Why your child might see a urologist
Boys often see urologists for advice on and treatment of problems like undescended testes, hypospadias or foreskin problems.
Girls might see urologists because of recurrent urinary tract infections or daytime wetting problems.
Children of both genders see urologists about night-time wetting, and kidney abnormalities like hydronephrosis.
Together you and the urologist will work out the best treatment options for your child. This could involve medication, surgery or behaviour changes.To see a urologist, your child will need a referral from your GP or another medical specialist. GP referrals last for 12 months, and specialist referrals last for three months. Your GP or other doctor can help you decide about seeing a urologist and help you find someone who's right for your child.
Before going to a urologist
Before seeing a urologist, it's a good idea to find out some information about the following:
- Why you're going to the urologist: talk with your GP (or the specialist who referred you) about why your child needs to see a urologist and whether there's anything you can do while you're waiting for the appointment.
- Waiting lists: how long before you can get an appointment to see the urologist?
- Making an appointment: it might take you more than one phone call to make an appointment. Some urologists have their own websites where you can book an appointment.
- Costs: how much will the appointment with the urologist cost? It might be expensive, so you could check whether you're eligible for a Medicare, private health insurance or other rebate. In Australia, private health insurance doesn't usually provide a rebate for an out-of-hospital consultation with a urologist.
- What to take: for some conditions, you'll need to get some tests done. It's a good idea to take your test results and any X-rays, ultrasound pictures or urine culture reports to your appointment with the urologist.
- Locations: find out where you have to go to see the urologist - for example, a public or private hospital or consulting rooms. You might have to travel further than you expect, depending on your needs.
You might want to talk about these things and any other questions you have with your GP before you go to the urologist. You could also ask the urologist's clinic when you make the appointment.