Blood in the Urine
Blood in the urine can be startling. It can occur for several reasons. Some reasons are entirely benign. Unfortunately, urinary bleeding can also be caused by serious conditions such as kidney stones or cancer.
If you see visible signs of blood in your urine, it is important to schedule an appointment with a qualified, experienced urologist as soon as possible. At the Urology Place, we can test for blood in the urine, as it is not always visible to the naked eye. Sometimes, it takes a microscope to detect blood cells in the urine. If we detect blood in your urine, we will pursue additional tests to determine its cause.
One indicator we look at is pain. Luckily, painful urination is usually an infection. If bloody urination is painless, we are more concerned about cancer. Unfortunately, patients who smoke or work with toxic chemicals have higher rates of bladder cancers.
Blood in the urine can come from anywhere along the urinary tract. The kidneys, ureters, and bladder are all potential sources. In men, blood can also come from the prostate and urethra.
Diagnosing and Treating Urinary Bleeding
When determining a cause for urinary bleeding, we use a number of different tests. The tests depend on your specific clinical history, but can include a physical exam, urine tests, imaging tests and/or cystoscopy. Your doctor at The Urology Place will create a personalized plan to determine the cause of your bleeding and help you return to health quickly.
Imaging is often required to determine the cause or source of urinary bleeding. The Urology Place is equipped with many types of on-site imaging equipment so that patients can receive efficient care without having to go to an outside, and often expensive, imaging center. Your doctor might order a CT scan to see cross-sectional images of your body, an ultrasound to produce images of your kidneys and bladder, or a cystoscopy, which is where we insert a tiny camera into your bladder to get a better look of your bladder and urethra for signs of disease. We use a very thin and flexible fiberoptic scope during cystoscopy that that minimizes discomfort and allows us to perform most of these procedures right in our office. Occasionally, we will do the procedure in the surgery center.
Finally, we may send urine specimens for further testing. Testing could involve a microscopic examination, called cytology. It could also involve more sophisticated testing using fluorescent hybridization. Once we receive your results, we will sit down and review your diagnosis and care options in detail.