Atonic or acontractile (bladder): a bladder that has lost all its ability to contract to empty itself.
Augmentation cystoplasty: a piece of small bowel tissue is reflected and sutured onto an opened bladder to create a larger bladder in terms of volume that can maintain a lower pressure within it.
Autonomic dysreflexia: dangerous response seen in patients with a spinal cord lesion at T6 or above, to stimuli below that level of injury. It can lead to uncontrolled hypertension, a sensation of facial flushing or tingling or headache, and rarely stroke/death.
Biopsy: sampling of a body part usually with a needle, to discover the presence, cause or extent of a disease.
Brachytherapy: or internal radiotherapy. This involves the placement of radioactive seeds in the target organ (e.g., prostate).
Catheter: a flexible tube inserted through a narrow opening to drain a cavity (e.g., bladder).
Clot retention: unable to pass urine due to heavy bleeding and clots blocking the bladder.
Compliance (bladder): elasticity of the bladder. A poorly compliant bladder has stiff walls and does not expand properly with bladder filling, causing high bladder pressures.
Contracture: shrinkage or narrowing due to scarring or fibrosis.
Continuous bladder washout: a closed catheter system that allows fluid to be trickled into the bladder and drained at the same time – this can stop further bleeding in the urine.
Cyst: thin-walled, hollow cavity containing fluid.
Cystoscopy: inspection of the bladder with a tubelike camera.
Cytology: using a microscope to look for a single cell type (e.g., cancer cells), typically in fluid specimens or body tissue.
Diversion (urinary): Urine can be surgically diverted away from the bladder, by implanting the ureters to a piece of small bowel. This then exits to the abdominal skin surface (stoma) into a bag.
Diverticulum: outpouching in an organ such as bladder or urethra.
DSD: Detrusor sphincter dyssynergia, which is poor relaxation of the urinary sphincter during voiding, that can potentially cause kidney damage. Seen in neurogenic patients.
DVT: deep vein thrombosis, or clots in the legs.
Dysuria: the sensation of burning in the urine.
Ectopic ureter: A congenital condition in which the ureter can come down and open in another site other than inside the bladder.
Embolisation: artificially clotting or blocking off.
Encrust: covered with stone-like material.
Erosion: breakdown of a surface of body tissue.
ESWL: extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy; a non-invasive procedure using shockwaves to break a kidney stone into smaller fragments.
Fascia: a layer of strong, stretchy tissue that covers, separates or holds together different organs, muscles, blood vessels or nerves.
Fibrosis: thickening or scarring of tissue.
Fistula: the abnormal connection between two body parts.
Flap: a piece of tissue that is transferred from one site to another while maintaining its own blood supply.
Fluoroscopy: done in conjunction with X-ray imaging.
Gleason score (prostate): a grading system used to assess high aggressive a prostate cancer is. This has prognostic value, and can help to guide management.
Grading: analysis of cancer tissue under the microscope to assess how aggressive it is.
Graft: a piece of healthy, living tissue that is transplanted surgically to repair a different body part.
Haematuria: blood in the urine.
Hyperplasia: enlargement of an organ caused by a higher rate of cell proliferation.
Idiopathic: occurring on its own with no underlying cause.
Immunotherapy: the administration of some naturally produced substances in the body to stimulate the immune system to fight the cancer.
Induction: starting or introductory
Instillation: infusion or pouring of a substance (liquid) slowly.
Intravenous: administered through a vein.
Ischaemia: inadequate blood supply.
JJ stent: or double J stent, is named after the shape of the coil that resembles a J shape, at each end of the stent. It is inserted into the ureter.
Ligament: a tough, flexible band of fibrous tissue that connects two bony surfaces.
Lithotripsy: using shockwaves to break up stones.
Macroscopic: seen with the naked eye.
Maintenance: therapy intended to preserve health benefits and prevent a relapse.
Martius flap: a flap consisting of labial fat used often as a protective layer to cover the urethra after surgery, to prevent fistula formation.
Meatus: opening leading to the interior of the body.
Metastasis: aggressive cancer that has spread to other organs.
Microscopic: cannot be seen with the naked eye, only detected with instruments or microscope.
Migration: unwanted movement of a medical device or substance away from its original site of implantation.
Mixed urinary incontinence: stress and urge urinary incontinence occurring at the same time.
Neobladder: artificial bladder that is fashioned with the patient’s bowel segment. It sits in the same position as the original bladder that has been surgically removed.
Nephrostomy tube: external tube that drains the kidney directly out the skin in the flank area into a bag.
Neurogenic: caused by a neurological condition.
Neuromodulation: the alteration of nerve activity by delivery of a stimulus (e.g., electrical or chemical) to improve abnormal nerve pathway behaviour caused by a disease process.
Nocturia: waking up more than once to pass urine.
Nocturnal polyuria: high urine output at night; defined as night-time urine output of >20% of the daily total in young adults and >33% in older adults.
Outpatients (procedure): day case, where the patient is allowed to go home after the procedure and does not have to stay in the hospital.
PCNL: percutaneous nephrolithotomy; a surgery that involves direct puncture of the kidney from the skin, to remove big stones.
Pelvic floor: a group of muscles and ligaments that support the bladder, uterus (womb) and bowel.
Perineum: area located between the scrotum / vagina and the anus.
Peyronie’s disease: curvature of the penis due to scar formation in an inner layer of the penis.
Polyuria: high urine output.
Priapism: a prolonged (>4 hours) erection that does not go away despite conscious efforts to do so.
Prolapse: herniation; protrudes from its original position.
PSA: Prostate-specific antigen is an enzyme secreted by prostate cells that liquefies semen to allow sperm to swim freely. It is a blood test that is used to screen for prostate cancer.
PTNS: posterior tibial nerve stimulation; non-invasive treatment for the overactive bladder, involving placing a stimulating electrode to the skin on the foot, overlying a nerve that can indirectly affect bladder control.
Pubovaginal fascial sling: a non-mesh or mesh-free sling surgery that uses the patient’s own tissue to treat stress urinary incontinence.
PVR: post-void residual; this is the amount of urine that is left behind after a void. It can be measured with an ultrasound scanner or by draining it with a catheter.
Radical (surgery): removal of a tumour and its metastasis and lymph nodes that drain the tumour. Used to describe cancer surgery.
Reflux: backwards flowing.
Refractory: a persistent condition that does not improve after initial treatment.
Retrograde pyelogram: using contrast to inspect the ureter and kidney in the operating theatre.
Retrograde ejaculation: back flow of ejaculate volume (semen) into the bladder, as a result of surgery that opens up the bladder neck (e.g., TURP, bladder neck incision) or taking medication that relaxes the bladder neck.
Retropubic: passing behind the pubic bone.
Sedation: light anaesthetic or ‘twilight’ anaesthetic during which you will still not feel or be aware of the procedure.
Sepsis: severe infection in the blood system.
Seroma: accumulation of fluid under the skin, usually near an incision site.
Sphincter: a ring of muscle that acts like a tap to control continence (e.g., urethral sphincter controls bladder continence, anal sphincter controls bowel continence).
Staging: doing tests to see if the cancer has spread beyond the original organ.
Steinstrasse: ‘stone street’ in German; stone fragments lining up in the ureter and blocking it, causing pain.
Stent: tiny tube placed in a hollow structure in the body (e.g., JJ stent in the ureter).
Sterile: completely germ free.
Stoma: an opening on the abdomen made of a bowel segment, that usually drains either urine or stool into a collection bag attached over the stoma.
Stress urinary incontinence: urinary leakage due to physical exertion.
Suprapubic: located above the pubic bone, in the lower abdomen.
Surveillance: close observation with regular tests.
Synthetic: produced artificially, not naturally.
Transobturator: passing through the obturator foramen, a large opening in the hip bone.
Trial of void: removing a catheter to see if a patient is able to pass urine and empty the bladder satisfactorily.
TURP: transurethral resection of prostate; a surgery to treat benign prostatic enlargement, during which the prostate is ‘cored’ out from the inside to open up the channel to allow easier urination.
TURP syndrome: or ‘water intoxication’ from over-absorption of irrigating fluid during a TURP surgery, causing a drop in blood sodium levels.
Ureter: the tube that drains the kidney to the bladder.
Urethra: the passageway where one passes urine or the tube that drains the bladder to the outside.
Urethrolysis: surgery done to free up the urethra and relieve obstruction usually as a result of a previous incontinence surgery (e.g., tight sling).
Urethroplasty: open surgical repair or reconstruction of the urethra to correct an injury, defect or stricture.
Urge incontinence: urinary leakage from urgency that cannot be deferred. This is usually due to an overactive bladder.
Urodynamics: bladder function test done under local anaesthesia.
Uroflow study: measurements of urinary flow rate and post-void bladder scan. This test is done in the urologist’s office by asking a patient to void into a special collection machine.
Varicocele: swelling of the veins on top of the testicle. This can cause discomfort and lower fertility.