Urology in Asia – Indonesia


  • Basuki B Purnomo


Basuki B Purnomo M.D., Ph.D., Editor

Indonesia is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia comprises 13 466 islands and 33 provinces. With a population of over 238 million people, it is the world's fourth most populous country. The country is richly endowed with natural resources and cultural wealth.

The Indonesian Urological Association was established in 1973 in Yogyakarta, on the occasion of the Biennial Scientific Meeting of the Indonesian Surgical Association, by nine interested surgeons who had undertaken urological training abroad, most of whom had been trained in Europe, the USA and Australia. Led by Professor Oetama these surgeons started establishing the Indonesian Urological Association (IAUI) as a chapter of the Indonesian Surgical Association. The IAUI also conducts professional development and the improvement of urology experts in accordance with established standards of competence to guarantee the provision of quality urological services.

Since then urological training has been gradually developed in Jakarta (at the University of Indonesia) and Surabaya (at the University of Airlangga), although completion of the training is still being done abroad. Previously, urological training in Jakarta and Surabaya was conducted by apprenticeship. In 1994 the University of Padjajaran, Bandung, was officially opened as the third centre of urological training in the country. Nowadays training programs are also conducted in Malang, Semarang, Solo, Banda Aceh, Padang, Palembang, Makassar, and Medan. Starting with less than 10 urologists 40 years ago, today there are almost 236 urologists serving the country, almost all of whom are the members of the Indonesian Urological Association. In addition, at the time of writing there are almost 100 residents being trained in various centres in Indonesia.

Urinary tract stone was previously the most common reason for surgery in Indonesia, followed by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and urinary tract infection. There has been a change in the location of the stone from the bladder to the kidney and ureter because of changes in lifestyle and diet. Before the 1990s lower urinary tract stones were the most common urinary stone in Indonesia, but nowadays upper urinary stones are more common.

A total of 95 percent of BPH in Indonesia used to be managed with a transurethral resection of the prostate, except in areas with no urologists. Recently, some urology centers have been using lasers as the energy source of urology equipment for the treatment modalities of BPH.

Nowadays, the incidence of an overactive bladder, painful bladder syndrome or interstitial cystitis, erectile dysfunction and late onset hypogonadism is increasing in Indonesia. It is a challenge for all urologists in Indonesia to manage such cases.

Conflict of interest

None declared.