West Coast Urology  –  Geelong   |   Hamilton    |   Colac   |   Winchelsea

A. PROF RICHARD GRILLS

DR KATHRYN MCLEOD

MR PATRICK PREECE

Urological Surgeons

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Glossary of medical terms

Artificial urinary sphincter

An artificial urinary sphincter is a medical device used to treat urinary incontinence in men. It consists of three components: a cuff that surrounds the urethra, a pump placed in the scrotum, and a pressure-regulating balloon implanted in the abdomen. The sphincter is manually controlled to allow or block urine flow, providing improved bladder control and quality of life.

Androgen

Androgens are a group of hormones, primarily testosterone, responsible for the development and maintenance of male characteristics. They play a crucial role in regulating sexual development, reproductive function, muscle mass, bone density, and red blood cell production. Androgen levels can impact various aspects of health and are involved in conditions like hypogonadism and certain types of cancer.

AdVance™ Male Sling

The AdVance™ Male Sling is a surgical device used to treat male stress urinary incontinence. It consists of a mesh sling that supports the urethra, helping to control urine leakage during activities such as coughing, sneezing, or physical exertion. The procedure is minimally invasive and can provide significant improvement in bladder control for men with urinary incontinence.

Adjuvant therapy
  1. Adjuvant therapy refers to additional treatment given after the primary treatment of a disease, such as surgery or radiation therapy. It aims to destroy any remaining cancer cells, reducing the risk of recurrence or spread. Adjuvant therapy can include chemotherapy, hormone therapy, immunotherapy, or targeted therapy, depending on the specific disease and its characteristics.

Adrenalectomy

Adrenalectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove one or both adrenal glands. It is usually done to treat adrenal tumors, such as adrenal adenomas or adrenal cancers. The surgery can be performed using open surgery or minimally invasive techniques, and it may involve removing the entire adrenal gland or just the affected portion.

Adrenal gland

The adrenal glands are small, triangular-shaped endocrine glands located on top of the kidneys. They produce hormones that play vital roles in regulating various bodily functions, including metabolism, blood pressure, stress response, and electrolyte balance. The adrenal glands secrete hormones such as cortisol, aldosterone, and adrenaline (epinephrine) that are essential for overall health and well-being.

Acute retention (of urine)

Acute retention of urine is a sudden inability to empty the bladder. It can be caused by various factors, including urinary tract obstruction, nerve damage, medication side effects, or bladder muscle dysfunction. Symptoms include severe lower abdominal pain, a strong urge to urinate but inability to do so, and distended bladder. Prompt medical intervention is necessary to relieve the obstruction and facilitate bladder emptying.

Brachytherapy

Brachytherapy is a type of radiation therapy used to treat cancer. It involves placing radioactive sources, such as seeds or wires, directly into or near the tumor. This localized radiation delivery allows for high doses to be delivered precisely to the cancer site while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissues.

Bladder scan

A bladder scan is a non-invasive diagnostic procedure used to assess the bladder’s volume and determine if it is adequately emptying. It utilizes ultrasound technology to measure the amount of urine in the bladder. A bladder scan is commonly used in urology and helps guide decisions regarding urinary management, such as catheterization or medication adjustments.

Bladder

The bladder is a hollow organ located in the lower abdomen that stores urine produced by the kidneys until it is eliminated through urination. It is composed of muscular walls that expand to accommodate urine and contract to facilitate emptying. The bladder plays a crucial role in maintaining urinary control and waste elimination in the body.

Biopsy

A biopsy is a medical procedure in which a sample of tissue or cells is removed from the body for microscopic examination. It is performed to diagnose or determine the nature of a disease, such as cancer or inflammation. Biopsies can be obtained through various methods, including needle biopsy, surgical biopsy, or endoscopic biopsy.

Benign

Benign refers to a non-cancerous condition or tumor. Benign tumors do not invade nearby tissues or spread to other parts of the body. While they may cause symptoms or require treatment, they are generally not life-threatening. Medical professionals often monitor benign conditions but may remove or treat them if necessary for symptom relief or prevention of complications.

Balanitis

Balanitis is the inflammation of the glans (head) of the penis. It can be caused by various factors, including poor hygiene, infection, irritation, or underlying medical conditions. Symptoms may include redness, swelling, itching, pain, and discharge. Treatment involves proper hygiene, topical medications, and addressing any underlying causes to relieve symptoms and prevent recurrence.

Cystoscopy

Cystoscopy is a procedure that allows visual examination of the bladder and urethra using a cystoscope, a thin, flexible tube with a camera. It helps diagnose and treat various urinary conditions, such as bladder tumors, urinary tract infections, or bladder stones. Cystoscopy can be done as an outpatient procedure and provides valuable information for guiding treatment decisions.

Cystectomy

Cystectomy is a surgical procedure in which the bladder is partially or completely removed. It is typically performed to treat bladder cancer that has not responded to other treatments. In some cases, the surgeon creates a new way for urine to leave the body, such as a urinary diversion. Cystectomy requires careful post-operative management and can significantly impact urinary function and quality of life.

Cyst

A cyst is a fluid-filled sac or pocket that can form in various parts of the body, including organs, tissues, or bones. Cysts can develop due to different factors, such as infection, inflammation, blockages, or genetic conditions. While most cysts are benign and do not cause symptoms, some may require medical intervention if they grow, become painful, or affect organ function.

CT

CT, or computed tomography, is a diagnostic imaging technique that uses X-rays and computer processing to create detailed cross-sectional images of the body. It provides valuable information about internal structures, such as bones, organs, and soft tissues. CT scans are commonly used to detect and diagnose various conditions, guide treatment decisions, and monitor disease progression.

Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is a medical treatment that involves using extreme cold to freeze and destroy abnormal tissues or cells. It is commonly used in dermatology to treat skin lesions, such as warts or precancerous growths. Cryotherapy can also be employed in certain cancer treatments or to alleviate muscle pain and inflammation.

Corpora cavernosa

The corpora cavernosa are two cylindrical erectile tissue structures located along the length of the penis. They are responsible for the majority of penile rigidity during an erection. When filled with blood, the corpora cavernosa expand, causing the penis to become erect and facilitating sexual intercourse.

Continence

Continence refers to the ability to control and hold urine or feces voluntarily. It involves the coordinated functioning of the urinary and anal sphincters, as well as the muscles of the pelvic floor. Continence is important for maintaining bladder and bowel control and preventing involuntary leakage or accidents.

Congenital

Congenital refers to a condition or trait that is present at birth or acquired during fetal development. It can encompass a wide range of abnormalities or disorders that are either inherited or occur due to developmental factors in the womb. Congenital conditions may affect various body systems and can range from mild to severe in their impact.

Chronic retention (of urine)

Chronic retention of urine refers to a long-term inability to fully empty the bladder. It can be caused by various factors, including bladder outlet obstruction, nerve damage, or weak bladder muscles. Symptoms may include frequent urination, weak urine stream, and a persistent feeling of incomplete bladder emptying. Treatment options aim to address the underlying cause and improve bladder function.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a systemic cancer treatment that uses drugs to destroy cancer cells or inhibit their growth. It is administered orally or through injections and can target cancer cells throughout the body. Chemotherapy may be used alone or in combination with other treatments like surgery or radiation therapy to control or eliminate cancer, relieve symptoms, or prolong survival.

Cavernosal nerves

Cavernosal nerves are responsible for controlling the relaxation and constriction of the smooth muscle within the corpora cavernosa of the penis. These nerves play a crucial role in erectile function, as they transmit signals from the brain to trigger the dilation of blood vessels and the subsequent engorgement of the penis during sexual arousal.

Catheter (urinary)

A urinary catheter is a flexible tube inserted into the bladder through the urethra to drain urine. It is used in various medical situations, such as urinary retention, surgery, or monitoring urine output. Catheters can be temporary or permanent and may pose risks of infection or discomfort, requiring proper care and management.

Carcinoma

Carcinoma refers to a type of cancer that originates from epithelial cells, which line the body’s internal and external surfaces. It is the most common form of cancer and can affect various organs, including the breast, lung, prostate, or skin. Carcinomas are characterized by uncontrolled cell growth and can invade nearby tissues or spread to other parts of the body.

Cancer

Cancer is a complex disease characterized by the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. It can affect any part of the body and has many types, including carcinomas, sarcomas, leukemias, and lymphomas. Cancer can cause various symptoms and is often treated through a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or targeted therapy.

Calculus

In medical terms, calculus refers to the formation of hard deposits, such as kidney stones or dental calculus (tartar). Kidney stones are solid masses that develop in the kidneys, while dental calculus is a calcified plaque that forms on teeth. Both conditions can cause pain, discomfort, and require specific treatments for removal or prevention.

Detrusor

The detrusor is a layer of smooth muscle in the wall of the urinary bladder. It contracts to squeeze and expel urine from the bladder during urination. The detrusor muscle is under voluntary control and is regulated by the nervous system to coordinate bladder emptying and maintain urinary continence.

Da Vinci™ robot

The Da Vinci™ Surgical System is a robotic-assisted surgical platform used in minimally invasive procedures. It enables surgeons to perform complex surgeries with enhanced precision and control. The system consists of robotic arms equipped with surgical instruments and a high-definition 3D camera, providing magnified views and improved dexterity during surgery.

Erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition characterized by the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual activity. It can be caused by various factors, including underlying health conditions, medications, psychological factors, or lifestyle factors. Treatment options for ED include medications, therapy, lifestyle changes, or surgical interventions.

Enema

An enema is a medical procedure in which fluid is introduced into the rectum and colon through the anus. It is used to stimulate bowel movements, cleanse the colon, or administer medication. Enemas can be performed using various solutions, such as water, saline, or medicated solutions, to address different medical needs.

Ejaculation

Ejaculation refers to the process of expelling semen from the penis during sexual climax. It is a reflex action that involves the contraction of muscles in the pelvic region, including the muscles surrounding the reproductive organs. Ejaculation releases sperm and seminal fluid, allowing for the potential fertilization of an egg during sexual reproduction.

Frequency (of urination)

Frequency of urination refers to how often a person needs to urinate. It can vary depending on factors such as fluid intake, bladder capacity, and individual differences. Increased frequency may indicate conditions like urinary tract infection, overactive bladder, or excessive fluid intake, while decreased frequency can be caused by dehydration or certain medications.

Flip-flow valve

A flip-flow valve is a medical device used for managing urinary incontinence in individuals with neurogenic bladder dysfunction. It consists of a one-way valve that allows urine to flow out during voiding but prevents backflow or leakage when pressure changes occur in the bladder. The valve is typically implanted in the urethra to improve bladder control and reduce incontinence episodes.

Grade

In a medical context, the term “grade” typically refers to the assessment of the abnormality or aggressiveness of cancer cells. It is used to classify tumors based on the degree of cellular differentiation, helping to determine their level of malignancy and guide treatment decisions. Higher grades indicate more aggressive and poorly differentiated tumors.

Gonads

Gonads are the primary reproductive organs in males and females. In males, the gonads are the testes, which produce sperm and secrete testosterone. In females, the gonads are the ovaries, which produce eggs and release hormones like estrogen and progesterone. The gonads play a crucial role in sexual development, fertility, and hormone regulation.

Gleason score

The Gleason score is a grading system used to assess the aggressiveness of prostate cancer based on the microscopic appearance of cancer cells in a biopsy sample. It ranges from 2 to 10, with higher scores indicating more aggressive cancer. The Gleason score helps guide treatment decisions and predict the prognosis of prostate cancer patients.

Glans penis

The glans penis refers to the sensitive, bulbous structure located at the tip of the penis. It is rich in nerve endings and is highly sensitive to touch and sexual stimulation. The glans penis plays a crucial role in sexual arousal and pleasure and is typically covered by the foreskin in uncircumcised individuals.

Hormone

Hormones are chemical messengers produced by glands in the body’s endocrine system. They travel through the bloodstream and regulate various physiological processes, including growth, metabolism, reproduction, mood, and stress response. Examples of hormones include insulin, estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, and thyroid hormones. Imbalances or deficiencies in hormones can lead to health issues.

HIFU

HIFU, or High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound, is a non-invasive medical procedure that uses focused ultrasound waves to heat and destroy targeted tissues in the body. It is commonly used in the treatment of prostate cancer, uterine fibroids, and certain types of tumors. HIFU offers precise treatment with minimal side effects and shorter recovery times compared to traditional surgery.

Hereditary

Hereditary refers to traits, characteristics, or conditions that are passed down from parents to offspring through genes. It involves the transmission of genetic material, including DNA sequences and mutations, from one generation to the next. Hereditary factors play a significant role in determining the risk of inheriting certain diseases or predispositions to certain traits.

Intracavernous injection

Intracavernous injection is a medical procedure in which medication is directly injected into the erectile tissue of the penis. It is commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction when oral medications are ineffective. The injected medication typically causes increased blood flow to the penis, resulting in an erection that lasts for a certain duration.

Indolent

Indolent refers to a slow-growing or non-aggressive nature of a disease or condition. In medical terms, it often describes certain types of cancers or tumors that have a relatively low rate of progression or pose a lower risk of spreading to other parts of the body. Indolent conditions may require monitoring or treatment for symptom management but generally have a more favorable prognosis.

Incontinence

Incontinence refers to the involuntary loss of control over bladder or bowel function, leading to unintentional urine or fecal leakage. It can result from factors like weak pelvic floor muscles, nerve damage, prostate problems, or medical conditions. Incontinence can have a profound impact on one’s life, but treatments such as medications, exercises, and lifestyle adjustments can help manage symptoms effectively.

Impotence

Impotence, also known as erectile dysfunction, is a condition characterized by the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual activity. It can be caused by various factors, including underlying health conditions, medications, psychological factors, or lifestyle choices. Treatment options for impotence include medications, therapy, lifestyle changes, or surgical interventions.

Ileal conduit

An ileal conduit is a surgical procedure used to create a urinary diversion after bladder removal (cystectomy). It involves redirecting urine flow from the kidneys to a stoma on the abdominal wall using a segment of the ileum (part of the small intestine). A urine collection pouch is attached to the stoma to collect urine externally.

Idiopathic

Idiopathic refers to a condition or disease of unknown or uncertain cause. It indicates that the underlying reason for the condition is not yet understood or identifiable through current medical knowledge and diagnostic tools. Idiopathic conditions are often diagnosed based on the presence of symptoms and the exclusion of known causes.

Kidney

The kidneys are vital organs located on either side of the spine, responsible for filtering waste products and excess fluids from the blood to form urine. They help regulate blood pressure, electrolyte balance, and the production of hormones. Kidneys play a crucial role in maintaining overall body health and functioning.

Keyhole surgery

Keyhole surgery, also known as minimally invasive surgery or laparoscopic surgery, is a surgical technique performed through small incisions using specialised instruments and a camera. It offers several advantages over traditional open surgery, including smaller incisions, reduced blood loss, shorter hospital stays, and faster recovery times. Keyhole surgery is used in various surgical procedures across different medical specialties.

Kegel exercises

Kegel exercises, also known as pelvic floor exercises, involve contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles to strengthen them. These exercises are beneficial for both men and women and can help improve bladder control, treat urinary incontinence, enhance sexual function, and support pelvic organ health. Kegel exercises are typically performed by consciously contracting and releasing the muscles used to stop urine flow.

Lymph nodes

Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped structures found throughout the body as part of the lymphatic system. They act as filters, helping to remove waste, toxins, and foreign substances from the lymphatic fluid. Lymph nodes also contain immune cells that play a crucial role in fighting infections and diseases. Swollen or enlarged lymph nodes can indicate an underlying health condition.

Lithotripsy

Lithotripsy is a non-invasive medical procedure used to break down kidney stones or gallstones into smaller fragments for easier elimination from the body. It is typically performed using shock waves, focused ultrasound, or laser energy. Lithotripsy can help relieve pain and promote the passage of stones without the need for invasive surgery.

Laparoscopy

Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive surgical technique that allows for examination and treatment of abdominal or pelvic organs. It involves making small incisions through which a laparoscope (a thin tube with a camera) and surgical instruments are inserted. Laparoscopy offers advantages such as reduced scarring, shorter recovery time, and decreased post-operative pain compared to traditional open surgery.

MRI

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a medical imaging technique that uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the body’s internal structures. It is particularly useful for visualizing soft tissues, organs, and the central nervous system. MRI scans provide valuable diagnostic information and help detect various medical conditions.

Morbidity

Morbidity refers to the state of being diseased or afflicted with illness or injury. It is a measure of the prevalence or impact of a particular disease or condition within a population. Morbidity is often assessed by evaluating the number of cases, the severity of symptoms, and the functional impairment caused by the disease.

Mixed incontinence

Mixed incontinence refers to a combination of different types of urinary incontinence, such as stress incontinence and urge incontinence, occurring simultaneously. It involves symptoms of both urine leakage due to pressure on the bladder (e.g., coughing, sneezing) and a sudden, strong urge to urinate that cannot be controlled. Mixed incontinence may require a comprehensive treatment approach targeting both types of incontinence.

Midstream Urine

Midstream urine refers to the technique of collecting a urine sample after the initial portion of urine has been passed. It involves starting urination, then collecting the middle portion of the urine stream in a sterile container. Midstream urine samples are commonly used for diagnostic testing to minimize contamination and obtain a representative sample for analysis.

Metastasis

Metastasis is the process by which cancer spreads from the primary tumor to distant sites in the body. Cancer cells can invade nearby tissues, enter the bloodstream or lymphatic system, and establish secondary tumors in other organs. Metastasis is a critical factor in cancer progression and significantly affects prognosis and treatment options.

Malignant

Malignant refers to the characteristic of cancer cells or tumors that are invasive, destructive, and have the potential to spread to other parts of the body. Malignant cells display uncontrolled growth, abnormal features, and can infiltrate surrounding tissues. Malignant tumors are typically cancerous and pose a greater threat to health compared to benign tumors.

Nocturnal enuresis

Nocturnal enuresis, commonly known as bedwetting, refers to the involuntary release of urine during sleep in individuals beyond the age at which bladder control is typically expected. It can be primary (since childhood) or secondary (developing after a period of dryness). Causes may include genetics, bladder dysfunction, hormonal factors, or psychological issues. Treatment options include behavioral strategies, alarm therapy, medications, and counseling.

Nocturia

Nocturia is a condition characterized by the need to urinate frequently during the night, interrupting sleep. It can be caused by various factors, including bladder overactivity, excessive fluid intake, certain medications, urinary tract infections, or underlying medical conditions such as diabetes or prostate enlargement. Treatment options depend on the underlying cause and may include lifestyle modifications, medications, or addressing specific medical conditions.

Nephron

The nephron is the functional unit of the kidney responsible for filtering blood and producing urine. It consists of a glomerulus, which filters waste and excess fluids, and a tubule that reabsorbs essential substances while excreting waste products. Nephrons regulate electrolyte balance, blood pressure, and acid-base levels, playing a vital role in maintaining overall body homeostasis.

Nephrectomy

Nephrectomy is a surgical procedure that entails the removal of one or both kidneys. It can be performed for numerous reasons, including kidney cancer treatment, severe kidney damage, or kidney donation. The procedure can be carried out using open surgery or minimally invasive techniques, depending on the individual case and surgeon’s preference.

Neobladder

A neobladder is a surgically created urinary reservoir used to replace the bladder after its removal. It is typically constructed using a segment of the intestine and connected to the urethra, allowing for voluntary urination. Neobladder reconstruction aims to restore urinary function and is commonly performed in cases of bladder cancer or other conditions requiring bladder removal.

Overflow incontinence

Overflow incontinence is a type of urinary incontinence characterized by the inability to completely empty the bladder, leading to constant or frequent leakage of urine. It occurs when the bladder becomes overfilled and unable to contract effectively. Causes may include bladder outlet obstruction, nerve damage, or weak bladder muscles. Treatment options include catheterization, medication, or surgical intervention.

Overactive bladder

Overactive bladder (OAB) is a condition characterized by a sudden and uncontrollable urge to urinate, often accompanied by frequent urination and nocturia. It can be caused by involuntary contractions of the bladder muscles or hypersensitivity of the bladder. Treatment options include lifestyle modifications, bladder training, medications, and in severe cases, nerve stimulation or surgery.

Orchidectomy

Orchidectomy, also known as orchiectomy, is a surgical procedure involving the removal of one or both testicles. It is commonly performed as a treatment for testicular cancer, prostate cancer, or as part of gender-affirming surgery for transgender individuals. Orchidectomy may be performed through open surgery or minimally invasive techniques, depending on the specific circumstances.

Oncology

Oncology is the branch of medicine focused on the study, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. It involves the prevention, early detection, and management of various types of malignancies. Oncologists utilize a multidisciplinary approach, including surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapies, immunotherapy, and supportive care, to provide comprehensive cancer treatment to patients.

Occult

Occult refers to something hidden or not easily visible or detectable. In a medical context, occult may refer to occult blood, which is blood present in the stool or urine but not visible to the naked eye. Detecting occult blood requires specific diagnostic tests, such as fecal occult blood testing or urine occult blood testing.

Pyeloplasty

Pyeloplasty is a surgical procedure performed to correct a blockage or narrowing of the renal pelvis, a condition known as ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) obstruction. During pyeloplasty, the blocked or narrowed segment of the ureter is surgically repaired or reconstructed to restore proper urine flow from the kidney to the bladder, alleviating symptoms and preserving kidney function.

PUJ

PUJ stands for Pelviureteric Junction, which is the narrowest part of the ureter where it connects to the renal pelvis. A PUJ obstruction occurs when there is a blockage or narrowing at this junction, leading to impaired urine flow from the kidney to the bladder. Treatment typically involves surgical intervention such as pyeloplasty to alleviate the obstruction.

PSA

PSA stands for Prostate-Specific Antigen, which is a protein produced by the prostate gland. PSA levels can be measured through a blood test and are commonly used as a screening tool for prostate cancer. Elevated PSA levels may indicate the presence of prostate cancer or other prostate conditions, though further diagnostic tests are required for definitive diagnosis.

Prostatitis

Prostatitis refers to the inflammation of the prostate gland, which can cause discomfort and various urinary symptoms. It can be classified into different types, including acute bacterial prostatitis, chronic bacterial prostatitis, chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS), and asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis. Treatment may involve antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications, pain management, and lifestyle modifications.

Prostatectomy

Prostatectomy is a surgical procedure involving the removal of all or part of the prostate gland. It is most commonly performed to treat prostate cancer. Prostatectomy can be performed through different techniques, such as open surgery, laparoscopic surgery, or robotic-assisted surgery. The extent of the procedure depends on the individual case and the surgeon’s recommendation.

Prostate

The prostate is a small gland found in males, located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It plays a role in reproductive function by producing seminal fluid. The prostate can be prone to conditions such as prostatitis, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and prostate cancer, which require medical attention and treatment.

Priapism

Priapism is a condition characterized by a persistent and painful erection that lasts for an abnormally long time, typically lasting longer than four hours. It can be caused by various factors, including certain medications, blood disorders, trauma, or underlying medical conditions. Priapism is considered a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment to prevent complications and permanent damage to the penis.

Prepuce

The prepuce, also known as the foreskin, is a fold of skin that covers the glans (head) of the penis in males. It is typically present at birth and can be surgically removed in a procedure called circumcision. The prepuce serves various functions, including protection, lubrication, and sensory sensitivity.

Port

In a medical context, a port refers to a small medical device implanted beneath the skin, usually in the chest or upper arm, that provides access for administering medications, fluids, or drawing blood. Ports are commonly used in patients requiring long-term intravenous treatments, chemotherapy, or frequent blood draws, improving convenience and reducing the need for repeated needle sticks.

PET scan

A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is a medical imaging technique that uses a small amount of radioactive tracer to visualize metabolic activity in the body. It is commonly used in cancer diagnosis and staging, as well as for assessing brain disorders and cardiovascular diseases. PET scans provide detailed information about organ function and can help guide treatment decisions.

Pessary

A pessary is a medical device inserted into the vagina to support and correct certain gynecological conditions. It is commonly used to treat pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence. Pessaries come in various shapes and sizes and are made of medical-grade materials. They are fitted by a healthcare professional and require regular cleaning and maintenance.

Percutaneous

Percutaneous refers to a medical procedure or intervention performed through the skin, typically using a needle, catheter, or other specialized instruments. Percutaneous procedures are minimally invasive and often involve accessing internal structures or organs without the need for traditional open surgery. Examples include percutaneous biopsy, percutaneous drainage, and percutaneous transluminal angioplasty.

Pelvis

The pelvis is a bony structure located at the base of the spine, formed by the sacrum, coccyx, and two hip bones. It supports the weight of the upper body and protects the abdominal and reproductive organs. The pelvic floor muscles, which stretch across the bottom of the pelvis, are essential for bladder and bowel control, as well as sexual function.

Renal

Pyeloplasty is a surgical procedure performed to correct a blockage or narrowing of the renal pelvis, a condition known as ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) obstruction. During pyeloplasty, the blocked or narrowed segment of the ureter is surgically repaired or reconstructed to restore proper urine flow from the kidney to the bladder, alleviating symptoms and preserving kidney function.

Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy, also known as radiation therapy, is a treatment modality that uses high-energy radiation to target and destroy cancer cells or shrink tumors. It can be delivered externally (external beam radiation) or internally (brachytherapy). Radiotherapy works by damaging the DNA of cancer cells, preventing them from dividing and growing. It is often used in combination with surgery or chemotherapy for comprehensive cancer treatment.

Radiofrequency ablation

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat certain types of tumors, typically in the liver, kidney, lung, or bone. It involves the use of radiofrequency energy to generate heat and destroy the tumor cells. RFA is guided by imaging techniques and offers a targeted and localized approach to tumor treatment, often with fewer complications and shorter recovery times compared to traditional surgery.

Radical

In a medical context, “radical” refers to a treatment approach or procedure that aims to remove or eliminate a disease or condition completely. For example, radical surgery involves the complete removal of affected tissue or organ, while radical radiotherapy aims to deliver a high dose of radiation to eradicate cancer cells. The term “radical” signifies an aggressive and definitive treatment approach.

Systemic

In a medical context, “systemic” refers to something that affects or involves the entire body rather than being localized to a specific area or organ. Systemic conditions or treatments are those that impact multiple organs, tissues, or body systems. Examples include systemic diseases like diabetes or systemic therapies like chemotherapy, which circulate throughout the body to target cancer cells.

Suppository

A suppository is a solid or semi-solid medication that is inserted into the rectum, vagina, or urethra for localized or systemic effects. It dissolves or melts at body temperature, delivering medication directly to the surrounding tissues or being absorbed into the bloodstream. Suppositories are commonly used for various purposes, including treating constipation, delivering hormonal medications, or providing local relief for hemorrhoids.

Stress incontinence

Stress incontinence is a type of urinary incontinence characterized by the involuntary leakage of urine during physical activities that exert pressure on the bladder, such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercising. It occurs when the muscles and tissues that support the bladder and urethra weaken, leading to urinary leakage. Treatment options include pelvic floor exercises, lifestyle modifications, and in some cases, surgical interventions.

Stent

A stent is a small tube-like medical device inserted into a blocked or narrowed blood vessel or duct to restore normal flow. It provides structural support and helps maintain the open passage. Stents can be made of metal or synthetic materials and are commonly used in procedures such as coronary angioplasty, biliary stenting, or ureteral stenting.

Stage

In a medical context, “stage” refers to the extent or progression of a disease, typically cancer. Staging involves evaluating the size of the tumor, its invasiveness, and whether it has spread to nearby lymph nodes or distant organs. The stage of a disease helps determine treatment options, prognosis, and guide appropriate management strategies.

Sphincter (urinary)

The urinary sphincter is a ring-like muscle located at the base of the bladder that controls the flow of urine from the bladder to the urethra. It contracts to keep the urethra closed and prevent urine leakage, and relaxes to allow urine to pass through. Dysfunction of the urinary sphincter can lead to urinary incontinence.

Spermatic cord

The spermatic cord is a structure that connects the testicle to the rest of the male reproductive system. It contains blood vessels, nerves, lymphatic vessels, and the vas deferens. The spermatic cord is responsible for supplying blood to the testicles and transporting sperm from the testicles to the urethra during ejaculation.

Seminal Vesicles

The seminal vesicles are a pair of glands located near the prostate gland in males. They produce and store a significant portion of the seminal fluid, which is released during ejaculation. The fluid from the seminal vesicles provides nourishment and transportation for sperm, contributing to semen volume and overall fertility.

Scrotum

The scrotum is a pouch of skin located behind the penis in males. It contains the testicles, which are responsible for producing sperm and testosterone. The scrotum helps regulate the temperature of the testicles by contracting or relaxing the muscles to maintain an optimal environment for sperm production.

Salvage therapy

Salvage therapy is a medical term used to describe additional treatment administered when initial therapy fails or disease relapses. It is often employed in situations where the standard treatment options have been exhausted or are no longer effective. Salvage therapy aims to salvage or rescue the patient’s condition by providing alternative treatment approaches to achieve a favorable outcome.

TURP

Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is a surgical procedure used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It involves removing excess prostate tissue that is causing urinary symptoms. TURP is performed using a resectoscope inserted through the urethra, allowing the surgeon to trim and remove obstructive prostate tissue. It can improve urinary flow and relieve BPH symptoms.

Tumour

A tumor is an abnormal mass or growth of cells that can occur in various parts of the body. Tumors can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Malignant tumors have the potential to invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body. Tumors can cause a range of symptoms depending on their location and type.

Tumescence

Tumescence refers to the state of being swollen or engorged with blood. In a medical context, it often refers to the erectile tissue in the penis becoming filled with blood during sexual arousal, resulting in an erection. Tumescence is a natural physiological response and an essential component of sexual function in males.

Torsion

Torsion is a medical term that refers to the twisting or rotation of a bodily organ, typically involving blood vessels supplying the organ. Torsion can lead to obstruction of blood flow, compromising the organ’s function and causing severe pain. Testicular torsion, for example, is a urological emergency that requires immediate surgical intervention to restore blood flow and prevent testicular damage.

Testosterone

Testosterone is a hormone primarily produced in the testes in males and in smaller amounts in the ovaries and adrenal glands in females. It is essential for the development of male sexual characteristics, such as facial hair and deep voice, as well as for maintaining muscle mass, bone density, and libido. Testosterone levels can be influenced by various factors, including age, lifestyle, and medical conditions.

Testis

The testis, also known as the testicle, is a male reproductive organ responsible for the production of sperm and testosterone. It is located within the scrotum and consists of seminiferous tubules, where sperm cells are produced, and interstitial cells that produce testosterone. The testis is essential for fertility and the development of secondary sexual characteristics in males.

Urology

Urology is a medical specialty focused on the diagnosis, treatment, and management of diseases and disorders of the urinary tract system in both males and females. It encompasses conditions affecting the kidneys, bladder, ureters, urethra, and male reproductive organs. Urologists utilize various diagnostic and surgical techniques to address conditions such as urinary incontinence, kidney stones, prostate disorders, and urinary tract infections.

Urodynamics

Urodynamics is a diagnostic procedure used to evaluate the function and efficiency of the urinary system. It involves measuring and recording various parameters, such as bladder pressure, urine flow rate, and muscle activity, to assess bladder and urethral function. Urodynamics can help diagnose conditions such as urinary incontinence, bladder dysfunction, and neurogenic bladder.

Urinary system

The urinary system, also known as the renal system, consists of organs involved in the production, storage, and elimination of urine. It includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. The kidneys filter waste products and excess fluids from the blood, while the bladder stores urine until it is expelled through the urethra during urination. The urinary system plays a vital role in maintaining fluid balance, electrolyte levels, and waste elimination in the body.

Urgency

In medical terms, urgency refers to a sudden and compelling need to urinate. It is often accompanied by a strong, uncomfortable sensation in the bladder. Urgency can be a symptom of various conditions, including urinary tract infections, overactive bladder, bladder dysfunction, or neurological disorders. It can significantly impact a person’s daily life and may require medical evaluation and management.

Urge incontinence

Urge incontinence is a type of urinary incontinence characterized by the sudden and uncontrollable urge to urinate, often followed by involuntary urine leakage. It is commonly associated with overactive bladder, a condition in which the bladder muscles contract involuntarily, causing a strong urge to urinate. Urgency incontinence can disrupt daily activities and may be managed through lifestyle changes, medication, or other interventions.

Urethra

The urethra is a tube-like structure that carries urine from the bladder to the external opening of the body, allowing for the elimination of urine. In males, it also serves as a conduit for semen during ejaculation. The length and structure of the urethra differ between males and females. It is susceptible to infections and conditions affecting urinary flow.

Ureteroscopy

Ureteroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure used to diagnose and treat conditions of the ureter and kidney. It involves inserting a thin, flexible tube called a ureteroscope into the ureter to visualize and access the urinary tract. Ureteroscopy is commonly used for removing kidney stones, treating ureteral strictures, and evaluating abnormalities in the ureter and kidney.

Ureter

The ureter is a narrow, muscular tube that connects each kidney to the bladder. Its primary function is to transport urine from the kidneys to the bladder for storage and eventual elimination. The ureter is lined with smooth muscles that facilitate the peristaltic movement of urine. Obstructions or abnormalities in the ureter can lead to urinary problems and require medical intervention.

Undescended testis

Undescended testis, also known as cryptorchidism, is a condition in which one or both testicles fail to descend into the scrotum. It is a common congenital abnormality, particularly in premature infants. Undescended testis can affect fertility and increase the risk of testicular cancer. Treatment options include hormone therapy or surgical intervention to correct the positioning of the testicles.

Voiding flow rate

Voiding flow rate refers to the speed at which urine flows out during urination. It is measured in milliliters per second (ml/s) and is an important indicator of bladder and urinary tract function. A low flow rate may suggest obstruction or weak bladder muscles, while a high flow rate may indicate normal bladder function. It is typically assessed using a uroflowmetry test.

Voiding

Voiding, in the context of urology, refers to the act of emptying the bladder by releasing urine through the urethra. It is a natural process controlled by the coordinated contraction and relaxation of the bladder muscles. Adequate voiding is essential for maintaining urinary health, and abnormalities in voiding patterns can indicate underlying urinary tract problems.

Vasodilator

A vasodilator is a substance that relaxes and widens the blood vessels, resulting in increased blood flow. It works by relaxing the smooth muscles in the walls of the blood vessels, allowing for greater circulation and decreased resistance to blood flow. Vasodilators are used to treat conditions such as hypertension, angina, and certain heart conditions.

Vasectomy

Vasectomy is a surgical procedure that involves cutting and sealing the vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the urethra. It is a form of male contraception that permanently prevents the release of sperm during ejaculation. Vasectomy is a safe and effective method of family planning and is considered a permanent form of birth control.

Vas deferens

The vas deferens is a long, muscular tube that carries sperm from the testicles to the urethra. It is an essential component of the male reproductive system. During ejaculation, the vas deferens contracts, propelling sperm forward for ejaculation. It is the site targeted in vasectomy procedures to achieve permanent contraception by cutting and sealing the vas deferens.

Vacuum pump

A vacuum pump is a device used to create a vacuum or negative pressure within a specific area. In the context of urology, a vacuum pump may refer to a medical device used to assist in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. It works by creating a vacuum around the penis, drawing blood into the erectile tissues to achieve and maintain an erection.