Urologists are surgical specialists of the urinary system in both genders and the genital organs of men. The scope of urologic surgery includes the treatment of disorders of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, prostate, penis, scrotum and testes. Great advances in the last 40 years have revolutionised the approaches to surgery, meaning that most surgery carried out is either endoscopic (telescopically via the urethra), laparoscopic (keyhole surgery) and robotic assisted laparoscopic surgery, with still some open surgery for major disorders of the bladder and kidneys.
A urologist will be able to advise you of what options and alternatives there are in the treatment of your condition. The success rates and complication rates of the various approaches are often different and he can appraise you of the best available treatments. Some centres and practitioners advertise heavily, claiming to be self styled "prostate clinics" or "men's institutes". You should be aware that in the majority of instances there are no urologists associated with these schemes, mainly GPs promoting unproven herbal treatments and out-of-patent drugs. A proper range of treatments can not therefore be ethically given by those practitioners. Advertisements from these centres on the radio are usually for high cost, low yield unproven products. Non-prescription products in those advertisements are not subject to the necessity of proof of clinical efficacy, thus any bogus claim can legally be made.
Many urologic operations and procedures are carried out as day stay procedures. Even if this is the case, you should be aware not to take alcohol the night after surgery, not to drive a motor vehicle, and not to take any important business or other decisions, until the effects of any sedation or anaesthetic have worn off. The office can advise you of the likely length of stay in hospital, and the likely recuperation time. Remember a "minor operation" is defined as one that is happening to someone else ! Even for minor operations, interstate travel and heavy exercise are not advisbale for at least a week and often longer.
Be reassured that the training of Australasian urologists is of a very high standard and re-certification through continuing medical education occurs via the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand (USANZ). and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. Dr Coombes works with specialist anaesthetists who are highly trained Fellows of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, and experienced in the particular needs of urologic patients. My regular anaesthetists include Dr Robyn Smiles (Mater and NSPH), Dr Neroli Best (NSPH) , Dr Abigail Fynn (Mater, robotics) and Dr Elizabeth Symons (Concord). I have worked with these doctors for more than 20 years.
Please feel comfort in the knowledge that there is no safer country in the world in which to have an anaesthetic, than Australia.