Urology Austin

When the GP says Hematuria

When the doctor says "hematuria," don't panic: there are many benign causes.
When the doctor says “hematuria,” don’t panic: there are many benign causes.

Like the good husband he was, Ron dragged himself to his annual doctor’s appointment, completed the forms, answered the questions and peed in the cup. But something proved little different this year. This year, beyond the usual “eat healthy and exercise more” that he kept meaning to do, the doctor reviewed the results of his pee-in-a-cup exam, and let him know that it revealed “microscopic hematuria”. But Ron wasn’t one to panic, so he waited patiently for more information.

Hematuria is blood in the urine and can be either visible to the naked eye, or in Ron’s case, microscopic and detectable only through testing. It means that somewhere between his kidneys, his bladder, his prostate gland and where his urine exits his body, it had picked up some blood. “What’s next?” he asked.

Next, his doctor explained, is determining the cause. There can be many causes for hematuria, including strenuous exercise, certain medications including but not limited to anti-inflammatories and antibiotics, kidney stones, urinary tract infections, kidney disease, prostate gland enlargement, prostate infection and even some cancers associated with the kidneys and bladder. Ron’s gut clenched at the C word, but heard his doctor out as she began to dig for a few more details.

Did he have pain when he urinated? How many times did he wake up to urinate over night? Did he feel a sense of urgency to urinate? Or did he have a weak stream? As his doctor reviewed the possible symptoms, some began to ring true. Ron shifted uncomfortably, answering as best he could.

Finally, the doctor discussed the different options for further testing. While urinalysis was a good first step, there were lab tests, imaging studies, and potentially outpatient procedures to determine how well his system was functioning and where the blood was coming from that were beyond the scope of her practice.

According to the Urology Care Foundation, the official Foundation of the American Urological Association, only 2 to 3 people out of 100 who have blood in their urine turn out to have cancer. Rather, in Ron’s case, it could be related to his history of prostate enlargement. Between both the enlarged prostate and the hematuria, she felt he would be best to see a specialist. She outlined some potential treatment options which ran the gamut from simply monitoring his symptoms to medications to surgery. Options, she said, that the doctors at Urology Austin would review with Ron.

With locations in and around Austin, Round Rock and Cedar Park, they were convenient. Browsing their site, he read that they utilized the most trusted and technologically advanced techniques and had a sparkling reputation in the community. Ron left his appointment confident that he would be in good hands with Urology Austin.

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