Diseases of the urinary system affect people of both genders and may be detected at any age. The most common urinary pathologies are bladder and kidney infections, enlarged prostate and prostate cancer in men, kidney stones and urinary incontinence. In Germany, the treatment of urinary pathologies is carried out at specialized urology centers or large university hospitals with the department of urology. German urologists offer last-generation medications, minimally invasive interventions and laser procedures, robotic surgery and comprehensive rehabilitation programs.
- Diagnostics of the most widespread urological pathologies
- Classification of therapeutic methods
- Peculiarities of German hospitals
- The best urological hospitals in Germany
- Treatment abroad with Booking Health
Diagnostics of the most widespread urological pathologies
Treatment in Germany starts with diagnostic tests, as it is possible to elaborate the effective treatment regimen only after confirming the diagnosis. The medical examination includes the following:
- General clinical and urological examination. The doctor asks questions about the duration and character of complaints, palpates/auscultates the internal organs, and examines the external genital organs.
- Laboratory tests. Depending on the clinical indications, the doctor may recommend complete blood count (e.g. for revealing inflammation), urine analysis (e.g. to detect bacteria or crystalluria), biochemical blood test (e.g. for the assessment of kidneys and liver function), PSA blood test (in clinical suspicion of prostate cancer), urethral swab (e.g. in suspicion of infections), semen analysis (in men with inflammation or infertility).
- Visualizing examinations. These include ultrasound scans, endoscopic examinations (e.g. cystoscopy, ureteroscopy, etc.), renal angiography, MRI and CT.
- Functional examinations. Urodynamic testing allows physicians to assess urine passage, e.g. evaluate the residual urine volume, the urinary bladder volume, etc. If there is a medical necessity, urography can be performed. Urography combines functional study with X-ray imaging.
Physicians of other specialties (e.g., gynecologists, neurologists) are sometimes involved in the diagnostic process, as urological symptoms may indicate diverse pathologies.
Classification of therapeutic methods
Depending on the results of examinations, the therapy of the diseases of the urinary tract includes lifestyle modifications, pharmacological treatments, minimally invasive interventions, surgical treatment, or the combination of several methods.
Lifestyle modifications include the elimination diet, as certain food and drinks irritate the bladder. These products include coffee and tea, alcohol, carbonated drinks, spicy foods, cranberry juice and citrus, chocolate, and artificial sweeteners. A reduced salt intake is also recommended. Stress reduction and practicing yoga are helpful for patients with interstitial cystitis and urinary incontinence. Pelvic exercises (i.e. kegel exercises) also improve control of the bladder.
Pharmacological treatments include different groups of medications. Antibiotics and antibacterial drugs are used to treat cystitis and sexually transmitted infections. Glucocorticoids are administered in autoimmune pathologies of kidneys, e.g. in glomerulonephritis. Cytostatics, drugs for immunotherapy and targeted therapy are used in cancer of the urinary system. Drugs for dissolving kidney stones are indicated in patients with urolithiasis.
Minimally invasive interventions allow for removing polyps, kidney stones, benign or malignant neoplasms without traumatic open surgeries. These include Holmium laser enucleation of the prostate in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia, drainage procedures (e.g. percutaneous nephrostomy and suprapubic catheter), stone management with the help of the ureteric stent placement, endovascular embolization of tumors and gonadal vein embolization, thermal ablation in renal cancer, transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) and GreenLight laser prostatectomy. At first glance, it may seem that cost of treatment with minimally invasive interventions exceeds the price of conventional surgery significantly. However, minimally invasive procedures require shorter hospital stay and rehabilitation, so they ultimately appear to be more cost-effective.
Surgical treatment includes open removal of kidney stones, benign or malignant tumors, polyps, etc. Plastic interventions are indicated for patients with congenital or acquired urinary system defects. The most sparing and precise surgeries are performed with the help of the da Vinci robotic system. Working with this system, the surgeon uses robotic manipulators with a high volume of movements and sees the operating field in magnification. The da Vinci robotic system allows preserving nerves and blood vessels, which leads to better functional outcomes.
Peculiarities of German hospitals
Thousands of patients choose treatment in Germany due to precise diagnosis and perfect treatment outcomes. German physicians elaborate on individual treatment regimen that considers the age and gender of a patient, presence of concomitant pathologies, reproductive plans, etc. When administering drug therapy, doctors choose modern medications with excellent efficacy, safety profile and minimal side effects.
When it comes to more invasive therapeutic options, German physicians give preference to minimally invasive and robotic surgeries. This is possible as surgeons constantly improve their skills and master new techniques. Availability of the necessary equipment in specialized hospitals and the departments of urology is of great importance as well.
In addition, German healthcare professionals pay attention to urological rehabilitation after completing the main treatment. While main therapy eliminates the pathology, rehabilitation improves the patient's quality of life and maintains the treatment results. The cost of treatment in German hospitals may seem to be higher than in hospitals in developing countries. However, the ultimate result is definitely worth it.
The best urological hospitals in Germany
Hospitals in Germany are among the European healthcare facilities with the most credibility and the highest treatment success rates. Annual reports reflect the number of patients with urological pathologies who visit each hospital, availability of diagnostic and therapeutic equipment, the precision of diagnosis making, treatment success rates, level of comfort during the inpatient treatment and other factors. Considering all this information, the list of hospitals with the best urologists and the best urology departments is compiled annually.
In 2020, the list of hospitals with the best indicators includes:
- University Hospital of Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Department of Adult and Pediatric Urology. This is the department with the best results in prostate cancer treatment. It also offers Holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP) for patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia.
- Marien Hospital Marl, Department of Adult and Pediatric Urology. Specialists of the department manage to treat the whole range of pathologies, from congenital malformations to functional disorders and cancer. Patients often visit the department for diagnostic purposes if the clinical case is complicated.
- University Hospital Saarland Homburg, Department of Adult and Pediatric Urology. Urologists of this department specialize in surgical treatment, including radical and organ-preserving interventions, plastic surgeries, robotic surgeries, etc.
- Helios Hospital Berlin-Buch, Department of Urology. The department admits patients with malignant urological neoplasms, such as prostate cancer, testicular, kidney and bladder cancer, including patients with the advanced stages of the pathologies.
- DRK Altenkirchen-Hachenburg Hospital, Department of Urology. The treatment conditions of the department combine comprehensive examinations with laser, endourologic and other minimally invasive interventions.
Treatment abroad with Booking Health
Booking Health is a medical tourism operator organizing the treatment of people with urological pathologies, including kidney and prostate cancer, in the best hospitals in Germany for more than 10 years. People from 75 countries choose urology treatment in Germany with Booking Health.
High international standards of the company's work are confirmed by the prestigious ISO 9001: 2015 certificate. Booking Health offers help with the following important aspects:
- Making a choice among the best hospitals in Germany based on the annual qualification profile
- Establishing communication with the chosen physician
- Preparing a medical program in advance so that a patient doesn’t need to repeat previous examinations
- Providing favorable cost of treatment, excluding additional coefficients and higher prices for foreign patients (saving up to 50%)
- Booking the appointment on the desired date
- Peer monitoring of the medical program
- Help in buying and forwarding medicines for further outpatient treatment
- Communication with the hospital after completion of treatment in Germany
- Control of prices, invoices and return of unspent funds
- Organization of additional examinations
- Booking hotels and plane tickets, transfer organization
- Services of interpreter
- Communication with the personal medical coordinator 24/7
To start planning your treatment, leave the request on the website of Booking Health. A patient case manager or medical advisor will contact you the same day to discuss all the details of visiting hospitals in Germany.
Authors: Dr. Nadezhda Ivanisova