Endourology refers to a specific specialty area in urology in which small internal endoscopes and instrumentation are used to see into the urinary tract and perform surgery. Urology is a surgical specialty which deals with diseases of the male and female urinary tract and the male reproductive organs. Although urology technically is a “surgical specialty,” a urologist must be knowledgeable in other areas including internal medicine, pediatrics, and gynecology because of the wide variety of clinical problems that a urologist deals with. The American Urological Association has identified seven subspecialty areas:

  • Pediatric Urology
  • Urologic oncology (cancer)
  • Renal transplantation
  • Male infertility
  • Calculi (urinary tract stones)
  • Female urology (urinary incontinence and pelvic outlet relaxation disorders)
  • Neurourology (voiding disorders, urodynamic evaluation of patients and erectile dysfunction or impotence)

Different Endourology Procedures

Endourological procedures differ from the traditional urological procedures as they are minimally invasive. The different types include the following:



This is performed if the surgeon needs to have a thorough look at the urethra or the bladder and needs to take sample tissues from the lining of either area to clarify the problem. The procedure is used to treat strictures of blockages of the urethra.



Used to look inside the bladder using a thin camera called a cystoscope. It is inserted the urethra and passed into the bladder to allow a doctor to see inside. Small instruments can be passed down the cystoscope to treat bladder problems.



It is an effective way for the urologist to get a clear view of the urinary tract, remove or break up stones and remove suspicious-looking tissue. Doctors sometimes use this procedure as part of shock wave lithotripsy, a treatment to break up kidney stones. Ureteroscopy is used to treat a urine blockage and tumours of the ureter.



This is a non-surgical way to examine the inside of the kidneys. It is used to treat kidneys stones, tumours of the kidney lining and other conditions in the upper urinary tract. Using a small instrument, called a nephroscope, the thin tube part is inserted into the skin.

Who needs Endourology?

Endourology can be extremely useful for many patients, however, an evaluation with an endourologist or laparoscopist is first essential. Your medical condition and your particular condition will be evaluated, before the right procedure is selected. Conditions that may be benefited from Endourology include:

  • Kidney stones and tumours
  • Bladder stones and tumours
  • Blockages of the urethra and the ureter
  • Enlarged prostate in males

Are You a Candidate for Endourology?

So how do you know if you are a candidate for endourology? Well first, you will need to meet and be evaluated by and endourologist or laparoscopist. The physician will take into account your specific medical history and the particular nature of your disease.

The specialty of urology is constantly advancing. Many urologic operations that were once done by open surgery can now be performed through the Many urologic operations that were once done by open surgery can now be performed through the cystoscope, ureteroscope, or laparoscope.

Much of this change has been due to improved technology. It will become increasingly important for urologists to be able to have the skill and experience using these techniques.