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Urgent Urologic Conditions

When to get help for urgent urologic conditions

If you have blood in your urine, are unable to urinate, or suffer from other symptoms, you may be experiencing a urologic emergency. Urgent urologic conditions need immediate care to prevent complications. Our Austin urologists provide the expert treatment you need during a medical crisis.

Urologic emergency symptoms

Urgent urologic conditions aren’t very common, but when they occur, it’s important for you to recognize the symptoms so you can seek assistance as soon as possible.

  • Finding blood in your urine, semen or at the tip of your penis
  • Being unable to urinate
  • Severe pain in your genitals or lower abdomen that comes on suddenly
  • Swollen or discolored genitals or abdominal area
  • Having an erection that is prolonged and painful
  • Any of the above symptoms, with nausea, vomiting or a high fever

Ignoring these urgent symptoms can permanently damage your reproductive organs or urinary tract. Other problems can occur with urgent urologic conditions, such as erectile dysfunction and chronic kidney disease.

What causes emergencies in urology?

A urologic emergency can be caused by a variety of problems. Here are a few that can cause critical issues.

  • Infections — Serious urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted infections or other infectious problems
  • Trauma — Sports injuries, vehicular accidents, falls
  • Obstructions in the urinary tract — Tumors, scar tissue, kidney stones

Certain medications and vascular conditions that affect genital blood flow can also cause complications.

Understanding the most common urgent conditions

Our Austin urologists diagnose and treat urologic emergencies, from the most to the least common problems. Fortunately, most of the conditions we treat urgently in our office are easily treatable and involve the following conditions.

Blood in the urine. Hematuria can result from kidney stones or urinary tract infections (UTIs). Kidney stones can cause microscopic or visible blood due to the irritation and damage they inflict on the urinary tract, while UTIs lead to blood in the urine because of inflammation and infection in the urinary system.

Acute urinary retention. If you can’t urinate at all, you may experience severe pain. When something such as a blockage makes it impossible to urinate, it’s a medical emergency that requires emergency catheterization and treatment.

Flank pain. Discomfort or tenderness in the side or upper back area often indicates kidney or urinary system issues. This symptom serves as a crucial indicator of urgent urologic conditions, such as kidney stones or urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Priapism. Erections that last for four or more hours are a urologic emergency because they can lead to permanent problems if left untreated.

Other urgent conditions

While our Austin urology team most often sees common issues, we are also mindful of other types of less common concerns requiring urgent treatment.

Fractured penis. If an accident fractures your penis, you will need surgery.

Testicular torsion. This occurs when blood vessels that supply blood to the testicles get twisted. If you have blood in your semen, pain or redness in your scrotum or lower abdomen, or a lump or swelling in a testicle, seek care right away. Tissue death can happen quickly, so it’s best to get treatment within six hours of noticing symptoms.

Urotrauma. Men and women experience urotrauma if they suffer from an injury to their reproductive organs or urinary tract.

Fournier’s gangrene. If you have diabetes, infections or immunosuppression issues, or you abuse alcohol, you are at risk of developing this infection. If you experience serious pain in the scrotum, perineum or penis, which may be accompanied by fever and chills, you need emergency care ASAP.

Paraphimosis. If you aren’t circumcised, you could develop paraphimosis. This inflammation in the foreskin causes the foreskin to retract, making it unable to return to the normal position. Males who have infections, trauma or poor hygiene are at risk.

Most people never experience urgent urologic conditions, but it’s helpful to understand the issues and symptoms in case it ever does happen. Our Austin urologists are here to help you with everything related to urology. Contact us today for an appointment.

Seek Treatment Quickly for These Issues

  • Blood in the urine
  • Flank pain
  • Testicular torsion
  • Acute urinary retention
  • Fournier’s gangrene
  • Priapism
  • Paraphimosis
  • Fractured penis
  • Urotrauma