Urology Glossary

Urology Glossary

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Biopsy

Removal of a small tissue sample for microscopic examination.

Bladder

The midline, lower abdominal organ which stores urine

Bone Scan

A type of scan which is usually used to determine if there has been spread of tumour into the bones

BPH

Benign prostatic hyperplasia; benign (non cancerous) enlargement of the prostate gland, invariably seen with increasing age

Brachytherapy

A type of radiotherapy where radioactive seeds are implanted directly into an organ, usually the prostate gland

Calcium Oxalate

The commonest constituent of kidney stones and the type of stone which is most prone to recur

Calculus

A stone, usually in the kidney or ureter, but may also occur in the prostate or bladder

Calyx

The outermost part of the collecting system of the kidney where urine is first released for excretion

Catheter

A rubberised or silicone tube passed into a hollow organ (usually the bladder) to drain its contents

Chemotherapy

The use of drugs to treat cancer

Circumcision

Removal of the foreskin

Cystitis

Inflammation of the internal lining of the bladder

CT scan

Computerised tomography; a form of X-ray where slices are taken through the body to produce imagesat different levels

Cystectomy

Surgical removal of the bladdder, usually for invasive cancer

Cystocele

Prolapse of the bladder into the vagina

Cystoscopy

Inspection of the bladder using a telescope (either flexible or rigid) with an attached light source to illuminate the interior of the bladder

Cytology

The study of individual cells, usually in the urine, to identify malignancy or other disorders

Dilatation

Stretching or widening of an opening, usually the urethra or neck of the bladder

Diverticulum

An abnormal pouch leading off the cavity of a hollow organ; most commonly seen in the bladder

DRE

Digital rectal examination; insertion of a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum usually to check for any abnormalities of the prostate.

Dysuria

Painful passage of urine

Epididymis

The sperm-carrying mechanism lying behind the testis which carries sperms from the testis to the vas deferens during ejaculation

Epididymitis

Inflammation/infection of the epididymis, often involving the testis as well (epididymo-orchitits)

Erectile dysfunction

Impotence; the inability to obtain or maintain an erection sufficient for penetration and the satisfaction of both sexual partners

ESWL

Extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy; shockwaves generated in water, focussed and fired through the body to fragment stones in the kidney or ureter

Frequency

Passing urine too often, usually during the day

Haematospermia

Blood in the semen during ejaculation

Haematuria

Blood in the urine. It can be macroscopic (seen with the naken eye), or microscopic (detected only by testing the urine)

Hesitancy

Having to wait an abnormally long time for the flow of urine to start

HoLEP

Holmium Laser Enuleation of the Prostate. Removing the part of the prostate gland blocking the flow of urine using the holmium laser

Holmium

A type of laser energy used to cut prostate tissue or to break up renal stones

Hydrocele

An abnormal collection of fluid in the naturally-occurring sac which surrounds the testicle

ICSI

Intracystoplasmic sperm injection, where a single sperm is injected into a female's egg to create an embryo. This is a form of IVF

Incontinence

Involuntary leakage of urine

IVF

In-vitro fertilisation, where embryos are made by fertilizing the female's eggs outside the womb

IVU

Intravenous urogram; an X-ray of the kidneys, ureters and bladder performed using an injection of dyeinto a vein in the arm

Kidney

One of two paired organs (normally) which lie at the back of the abdomen, in front of the lower ribs, andfilter the blood to produce urine

Laser

Light amplification by the stimulated emission of radiation; an energy source for performing some typesof urological surgery

Laparoscope

A telescope with a light source and camera attached which is inserted into the abdomen (through a smallincision) to perform 'keyhole' surgery

Litholapaxy

Crushing of a stone, usually in the bladder, to reduce it to fragments small enough to be passed spontaneously or removed through an endoscope

Lithotripsy

Breaking a stone; usually synonymous with ESWL

Lymphadenectomy

Surgical removal of lymph nodes to determine whether they are involved with cancer

Metastasis

A secondary tumour (remote from the original cancer) which has arisen by spread through the blood, the lymph system or by direct invasion

MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging; a means of producing cross-sectional images of the body to characterise tissues by the way the electrons in the tissue move in response to a strong magnetic field

MSU

Mid Stream Urine. The collection of a specimen of urine to see if there is a urinary tract infection

Nocturia

Abnormal passage of urine at night

Paraphimosis

Retraction of a tight foreskin which becomes "stuck" due to an inability to return it to its original positioncovering the head of the penis

PCa3

A molecular test for the detection of prostate cancer cells in the urine

Phimosis

Tightness of the foreskin, either due to a scarring disease or as a result of a congenital abnormality

Polyuria

Over-production of urine, usually at night; often occurs in the elderly due to poor water handling ability with increasing age

Prostate gland

A walnut-sized organ lying at the base of the bladder which produces chemicals to nourish sperm and facilitate their transport to the female uterus

Prostatitis

Infection or inflammation of the prostate gland

Prosthesis

An artifical implant used to replace any part of the body (e.g. a testicle)

PSA

Prostate-specific antigen; a chemical released into the bloodstream by the prostate gland which may be raised in men with prostate cancer

Radiotherapy

The use of X-Rays to treat cancer

Renal Colic

The passage of a stone down the ureter which causes severe intermittent pain

Testosterone

The main male hormone produced mainly by the testicles (and by the adrenal glands)

TNM

A staging system for cancer which describes the extent of the primary tumour (T), the lymph nodes(N) and metastases (M)

Transitional Cell Carcinoma

A malignant (cancerous) tumour arising from the internal lining of the urinary tract, usually the bladder

TUR

TransUrethral Resection, usually of the prostate gland (TURP) or of a tumour in the bladder (TURBT)

Ultrasound

High-frequency sound waves used to reflect off tissues to determine their nature

Ureter

The thin, muscular tube which propels urine down from the kidneys to the bladder

Ureteroscopy

Inspection of the ureter (and/or kidney) using a telescope (either flexible or rigid) with an attached light source passed into the bladder and up the ureter towards the kidney

Urethra

The tube through which urine passes to the outside of the body from the bladder

Urgency

A sudden, irresistible desire to pass urine

Urodynamics

An investigation which looks at the function of the bladder

UTI

An investigation which looks at the function of the bladder

Varicocele

An abnormal collection of varicose veins above the testicle, usually on the left side

Vas deferens

A muscular tube which carries sperm from the epididymis into the urethra during ejaculation of semen