Kidneys are major organs in the urinary system. They function to filter blood and to help regulate blood pressure. When kidneys filter blood, the product of the filtration process is urine.
Individuals are born with a set of kidneys that are located in the upper part of the abdominal cavity on the right and left side of the body. Kidneys have an adrenal gland on top, and a ureter at the bottom. The ureters serve to move urine from the kidneys, to the bladder, for removal from the body. At any given time, about one quarter of a person’s total blood volume is circulating through the kidneys. When kidneys are not functioning properly, a nephrologist or urologist will be consulted.
Urologists treat patients for various kidney conditions. Some of these conditions can be treated or managed with medications or minimally invasive procedures. Others require more complex surgical treatments. Common kidney conditions treated by urologists include:
A kidney infection is an inflammation caused by bacteria. Kidney infection symptoms can include fever, nausea, painful urination, and burning during urination. A urinalysis will help determine if infection is present.
Stones are a common condition of the kidneys that affect thousands of individuals. In the United States alone, data reveals that one in 11 people are affected by kidney stones. Kidney stones are generally quiet until they begin to move. Some stones are so small, they pass out of the urethra unnoticed. Others are large enough that their movement causes excruciating pain. When kidney stones are discovered, there are various methods for breaking up or removing the stones, including surgery, shock wave lithotripsy or laser lithotripsy.
Kidney cysts are fluid filled sacs that form on the outside, or on the inside, of kidneys. Oftentimes they are designated as ‘simple’ cysts that do not require treatment. However, they can become infected, burst, or cause obstructions.
Polycystic kidney disease
Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disorder in which fluid filled cysts cover one or both kidneys. There are two different forms of polycystic kidney disease that lead to several different complications. This disease may lead to dialysis in order to properly filter blood.
Kidney cancer is one of the top ten cancers, that generally affects older adults. However, men are more likely to develop kidney cancer. While their are several types of kidney cancer, renal cell carcinoma is the most common. Risk factors for kidney cancer include smoking, genetics, obesity, chemical exposures, race, and advanced kidney disease.
If you have kidney concerns, or a family history of kidney problems, contact Urology Austin to schedule an evaluation.