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Common Instruments of Urology

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In the medical field of urology, physicians focus their treatment efforts on issues of the male and female urinary tract, as well as problems with male reproductive organs. Doctors of urology may specialize in urologic oncology, pediatric urology, male infertility, renal transplant, urinary tract stones, female urology or neurology. As with all medical fields, the equipment used for urology has become continually refined, and now features a set of common instruments, from laparoscopes to a urethrotome. To better understand the devices available in this field, we’ve created the following guide to instruments of urology.

Laparoscope

A laparoscope is a type of slender, lighted endoscope that is typically inserted through an incision in the patient’s abdomen so that the urologist may perform minor surgery. In addition, a laparoscope may be used to examine organs residing in the abdomen. A variety of assessments may be made using the laparoscope, including identification of cysts, fibroids, infections, or adhesions in females. In general, this medical device is employed in place of laparotomy surgery, a procedure that is more extensive in nature and involves larger abdominal incisions in order to be performed.

Lithotripter

This instrument is primarily used for patients who are enduring the pain caused by kidney stones. A lithotripter is helpful in breaking down stones, whether they reside in the ureter or in one or both kidneys. A lithotripter is made up of a number of different elements and includes the use of a table for the patient being treated, as well as an imaging device—either an x-ray or ultrasound machine. An electromagnetic shock wave emitter is found below the table. These shock waves pass through the water in a water-filled cushion that is wrapped around the patient prior to treatment. Physicians are able to manipulate the table in order to find the proper angle for a comprehensive image of the offending stone(s) within the patient.

Resectoscope

This endoscopic instrument of urology is commonly used in surgeries to remove tissue in the bladder, urethra, uterus, or prostate. Its camera allows physicians to identify various parts of a patient’s internal organs. The resectoscope provide patients lower surgical trauma when compared to traditional surgical equipment, and it can provide a faster healing time, as it promotes minimally invasive techniques. It also features a microscope which can view a number of differing angles, enabling surgeons better viewing of surgical sites. An attached loop of wire cauterizes while removing the targeted tissue from the surgical area, which helps to decrease bleeding in the patient during the procedure or diagnostic tests, and spares the patient from needing sutures.

Urethrotome

A urethrotome is used by urologists to treat patients who have a urethral stricture (a narrowing of the urethra). After administering proper anesthetic, the long, thin instrument is inserted through the patient’s urethra and guided to the offending stricture by the surgeon, and it features a mechanism for stricture location. The instrument carries a blade near the tip that is employed via a trigger device to perform the necessary cut to the stricture.