Going to the urologist can be a daunting experience, but it’s important to make sure you get the most out of your appointment. Knowing what questions to ask is key in making sure you understand all the options available to you and that your concerns are addressed. Dr. Raul Fernandez-Crespo, MD an assistant professor at the Department of Urology at the University of South Florida, Morsani College of Medicine, has put together a list of the five best questions to ask your urologist during an appointment.
1. What is causing my symptoms?
Of course, one of the best and most common questions to ask your urologist is what is causing your symptoms. This will help you get a better understanding of the underlying cause of the problem and empower you to make more informed decisions. Knowing what is causing your symptoms can help you better understand how to treat them and make sure they don’t persist or come back again in the future.
For instance, your doctor may explain that your symptoms are caused by a bacterial infection, in which case they will then be able to suggest an appropriate treatment plan. However, if you’re having other issues, such as frequent urination due to diabetes, your urologist may suggest you see an endocrinologist to help manage the condition. “There are so many conditions that can affect the urinary tract, and sometimes they require a multi-disciplinary approach. Asking what is causing your symptoms is key in understanding the best approach for treatment,” Dr. Fernandez-Crespo says.
2. Are there any lifestyle changes I can make to help manage my condition?
Depending on the specific diagnosis, lifestyle modifications such as dietary changes, smoking cessation, or exercise can be beneficial in helping manage a urological condition. For instance, incorporating more fluids into your diet can help prevent bladder stones, and maintaining a healthy weight can aid in managing urinary incontinence.
Your urologist will be able to provide specific advice on lifestyle modifications you can make to help reduce your symptoms or prevent them from worsening. Taking accountability and making changes to your lifestyle can be the best way to manage a health condition.
3. Are there any medications or treatments available for my condition?
Understanding what medications and treatments are available is important in making an informed decision about how to manage your condition. “For some patients, physical therapy exercises or even a bladder retraining program can be beneficial in managing urinary incontinence,” explains Dr. Fernandez-Crespo. “At the same time, medications may be necessary to help manage a condition such as an enlarged prostate.” Understanding what options are available will help you make the best decision for your health. In addition, knowing what the risks and side effects are of a particular medication or treatment can help you make an informed decision about what is best for you.
4. Are there any tests I should consider?
In some cases, additional tests may be recommended to help diagnose or manage a condition. For example, an ultrasound may be necessary to help diagnose or monitor a kidney stone. Knowing what tests are available and why your urologist recommends them can help you make an informed decision about your health.
While you might be hesitant to undergo a certain test, understanding why it is necessary can help provide you with peace of mind. “Urinalysis tests can tell us a lot about your kidney functioning, but sometimes they don’t provide enough information,” Dr. Fernandez-Crespo explains. “In these cases, a more extensive test may be necessary to provide us with the information we need to make an accurate diagnosis and provide you with the most appropriate treatment plan.”
5. What follow-up appointments do I need to schedule?
Following up with your urologist is important to ensure your condition is managed and treated properly. Your doctor can provide you with a timeline of when you should return and what tests or exams they recommend in the meantime. Making sure you schedule these follow-up appointments is key to managing your condition. Dr. Fernandez-Crespo says it’s important to stay on top of your follow-ups and to be honest with your doctor about any changes in symptoms or lifestyle that could affect your condition.
By asking these five questions, you can ensure all of your concerns are discussed and addressed during your urologist appointment. Do not hesitate to ask as many questions as needed to help manage your condition in the best possible manner.
About Dr. Raul Fernandez-Crespo
Dr. Raul Fernandez-Crespo MD completed his residency in urology at the University of Puerto Rico in 2019. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Urology at the University of South Florida, Morsani College of Medicine, and winner of the General Surgery Award from the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine. Dr. Fernandez-Crespo is a physician first and an avid lover of cinema second and uses his high spirits to provide high-quality and compassionate care.