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Medieval "healers" who specialized in the surgical removal of bladder stones could be considered the first urologists. The Spanish surgeon Francisco Diaz is the recognized founder of modern urology, however, due to his 1588 treatises on urethra, bladder, and kidney diseases.

Advancements in urology came during the 19th century, when flexible catheters were invented to examine and empty the bladder. In 1877, Max Nitze developed the lighted cytoscope, which is used to view the interior of the bladder. By the 20th century, diseases of the urinary tract could be diagnosed by X-ray.

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