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Urology and Andrology: What’s the Difference?

As a specialised centre in men’s sexual dysfunction, urogenital reconstructive surgery and male subfertility, we often need to explain to our patients what Andrology is.

Whereas patients are very familiar with urology as a medical speciality and understand in general what a urologist does this is usually not the case with Andrology.

What is Urology?

Urology also known as genitourinary surgery, is the branch of medicine that focuses on the surgical and medical diseases of the male and female urinary tract system and the male reproductive organs.

Urology is one of the most varied branches of surgery, encompassing diseases of kidneys, bladder and prostate to include incontinence, impotence, infertility, cancer and reconstruction of the genito-urinary tract. It includes patients of both sexes and all ages, from newborn infants to elderly pensioners.

All urologists receive training in these areas but given the very wide spectrum that urology covers it is only natural that further specialisation is required in order for a doctor to truly become an expert in his field.

As a result urology has a number of sub-branches such as:

– oncological urology focusing mainly on cancer surgery and most often prostate cancer surgery;

– paediatric urology focusing on urological problems in children; and

andrology which focuses on male genitalia reconstructive surgery, sexual dysfunction and subfertility.

In summary, whereas all andrologists are surgeon urologists, the opposite is not true. In fact, andrologists tend to specialise even further with some doctors focusing on subfertility only and others on sexual dysfunction and genital surgery. However, all andrologists will have extensive training and experience on male genital surgery having excellent knowledge of the penile and testicle anatomy and state of the art surgical techniques.

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