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What kind of doctors treat renal disease?

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Quick Answer

Nephrologists are doctors that specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of renal disease, according to Davita. Patients experiencing kidney pain may also consult with family physicians and physician assistants, pediatricians, internists and nurse practitioners, reports WebMD.

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Physicians typically refer patients who experience symptoms of renal disease to nephrologists for diagnosis and treatment. Nephrologists help treat kidney diseases and conditions such as chronic renal disease, kidney stones, acute renal failure and polycystic kidney disease, states Davita. Nephrologists also provide care to patients that undergo kidney dialysis and kidney transplants.

To diagnose renal disease, nephrologists collect blood and urine samples from patients, reports Davita. Patients who have kidney cancer, or those that need to have kidney stones removed surgically, are referred to a urologist for further care and treatment.

Patients diagnosed with renal disease may also seek care from medical personnel including dietitians, psychologists and social workers or surgeons, according to WebMD. Dietitians help patients design meal plans that are best suited for specific types of renal disease, while psychologists and social workers help patients and family members cope with renal disease diagnosis and other medical issues. Surgeons perform kidney transplants on patients that qualify. Surgeons may also assist in creating dialysis access sites, reports WebMD.

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