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The Urologic Diseases Dictionary R - Z


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renal (REE-nuhl):

of or relating to the kidneys. A renal disease is a disease of the kidneys. Renal failure means the kidneys have stopped working properly.

renal pelvis (REE-nuhl) (PEL-viss):

the area where urine formed by the kidneys is collected and excreted before it travels to the ureters and bladder.

reflux (REE-fluhks):

see vesicoureteral reflux.

retention (ree-TEN-shuhn):

see urinary retention.



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sling procedure (sling) (proh-SEE-jur):

a surgical procedure to treat female stress urinary incontinence in which a strip of material is wrapped around the urethra for support.

sphincter (SFINGK-tur):

a round muscle that opens and closes to let fluid or other matter pass into or out of an organ. Sphincter muscles keep the bladder closed until it is time to urinate.


a small tube placed inside a passage, such as the urethra or a blood vessel, to keep that passage open.

stoma (STOH-muh):

a surgically created opening in the abdomen that allows passage of urine or stool. Urinary stomas must be covered at all times by a pouch that collects urine.

Drawing of a stoma.

stone (stohn):

see kidney stone.


the solid waste that passes through the rectum as a bowel movement. Stool is undigested food, bacteria, mucus, and dead cells. Also called feces.

stress test:

a simple test in which the patient coughs to see if the internal stress of that action causes urine to leak from the bladder.

stress urinary incontinence (stress) (YOOR-ih-NAIR-ee) (in-KON-tih-nenss):

leakage of urine caused by actions-such as coughing, laughing, sneezing, running, or lifting-that place pressure on the bladder from inside the body. Stress urinary incontinence can result from either a cystocele or weak sphincter muscles.

stricture (STRIK-choor):

narrowing of a bodily passage, such as a ureter or the urethra.

struvite stone (STROO-vyt) (stohn):

a type of kidney stone caused by infection.


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testicles (TESS-tih-kuhls):

the two male glands below the penis that make sperm.

timed voiding or toileting:

the practice of urinating or taking someone to the bathroom at set times to increase the bladder’s capacity to hold more urine for longer periods of time.

transient incontinence (TRAN-see-uhnt) (in-KON-tih-nenss):

incontinence that lasts a short time. Transient incontinence is usually caused by a temporary condition, such as a urinary tract infection.

transurethral (TRANZ-yoo-REE-thruhl):

through the urethra. Several transurethral procedures are treatments for benign prostatic hyperplasia:
  • PVP (photoselective vaporization of the prostate): destruction of excess prostate tissue interfering with the exit of urine from the body by using a controlled laser beam inside the prostate.

  • TUIP (transurethral incision of the prostate): widening of the urethra by making a few small cuts in the bladder neck—where the urethra joins the bladder—and in the prostate gland itself.

  • TUMT (transurethral microwave thermotherapy): procedure that destroys excess prostate tissue interfering with the exit of urine from the body by using a probe in the urethra to deliver microwaves.

    Cross-section diagram of the prostate, bladder, and urethra. A transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT) catheter is in the urethra. The catheter extends all the way into the bladder. A small inflated ball near the internal end of the catheter keeps the catheter in place. Curved lines representing microwaves emanate from the catheter and travel through the prostate. Labels point to the TUMT catheter, microwaves, and prostate.

  • TUNA (transurethral needle ablation): technique that destroys excess prostate tissue with electromagnetically generated heat by using a needlelike device in the urethra.

  • TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate): removal of the excess prostate tissue using an instrument with an electrical loop.

    Drawing of a doctor performing a transurethral resection of the prostate. Arrows beside tubes show the direction of water flowing into the cystoscope and back out.


see transurethral.


see transurethral.


see transurethral.

TURP (TEE-YOO-AR-PEE or turp):

see transurethral.


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see urinary incontinence.

ultrasound (UHL-truh-sound):

a technique that bounces safe, painless sound waves off organs to create an image of their structure.


see ureteropelvic junction.

urea (yoo-REE-uh):

a waste product found in the blood that results from the normal breakdown of protein in the liver. Urea is normally removed from the blood by the kidneys and then excreted in the urine.

ureterocele (yoo-REE-tur-oh-seel):

a birth defect in which a ureter swells where it empties into the bladder, often blocking the flow of urine from the kidney.

Front-view drawing of a bladder and ureter showing a ureterocele. The ureter is swollen. The bladder is shown in cross section to reveal that the ureter extends into the interior of the bladder. An inset shows a side-view cross section of the ureter. Labels point to the bladder wall, ureter, and ureterocele.

ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) (yoo-REE-tur-oh-PEL-vik) (JUHNK-shuhn):

the point where a ureter joins the kidney.

ureteropelvic junction obstruction (yoo-REE-tur-oh-PEL-vik) (JUHNK-shuhn) (ob-STRUHK-shuhn):

blockage of urine at the ureteropelvic junction, causing the kidney to swell.

Drawing of a ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) obstruction. Blockage occurs at the point where the kidney joins the ureter. As a result, the kidney swells. The point of blockage is labeled UPJ obstruction.
 Ureteropelvic junction obstruction

ureteroscope (yoo-REE-tur-oh-skohp):

a tool for examining the bladder and ureters and for removing kidney stones through the urethra. The procedure is called a ureteroscopy.

ureterostomy (yoo-REE-tur-OSS-tuh-mee):

a form of urostomy in which the ureters are directly connected to the stoma.

ureters (YOOR-uh-turz):

tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder.

urethra (yoo-REE-thruh):

the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.

urethral obstruction (yoo-REE-thrul) (ob-STRUHK-shuhn):

a blockage in the urethra. A kidney stone is the most common cause.

urethritis (YOO-ruh-THRY-tiss):

inflammation of the urethra.

urge urinary incontinence (urj) (YOOR-ih-NAIR-ee) (in-KON-tih-nenss):

urinary leakage when the bladder contracts unexpectedly.

uric acid stone (YOOR-ik) (ASS-id) (stohn):

a kidney stone that may result from a diet high in animal protein. When the body breaks down this protein, uric acid levels rise and can form stones.

urinalysis (YOOR-ih-NAL-ih-siss):

a test of a urine sample that can reveal many problems of the urinary tract and other body systems. The sample may be observed for color, cloudiness, concentration; signs of drug use; chemical composition, including glucose; the presence of protein, blood cells, or bacteria; or other signs of disease.

urinary calculi (YOOR-ih-NAIR-ee) (KAL-kyoo-ly):

see kidney stones.

urinary diversion (YOOR-ih-NAIR-ee) (duh-VUR-zhuhn):

a way to release urine from the body when the bladder does not function properly. Urinary diversions include urostomy, continent cutaneous reservoir, and bladder substitute, or neobladder.

urinary frequency (YOOR-ih-NAIR-ee) (FREE-kwen-see):

urination eight or more times a day.

urinary incontinence (UI) (YOOR-ih-NAIR-ee) (in-KON-tih-nenss):

loss of bladder control; the accidental loss of urine.

urinary retention (YOOR-ih-NAIR-ee) (ree-TEN-shuhn):

the inability to empty the bladder completely.

urinary tract (YOOR-ih-NAIR-ee) (trakt):

the system that takes wastes from the blood and carries them out of the body in the form of urine. The urinary tract includes the kidneys, renal pelvises, ureters, bladder, and urethra.

urinary tract infection (UTI) (YOOR-ih-NAIR-ee) (trakt) (in-FEK-shuhn):

An illness caused by harmful bacteria growing in the urinary tract.

urinary urgency (YOOR-ih-NAIR-ee) (UR-jen-see):

inability to delay urination.

urinate (YOOR-ih-nayt):

to release urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.

urine (YOOR-in):

liquid waste product filtered from the blood by the kidneys, stored in the bladder, and expelled from the body through the urethra by the act of voiding or urinating. See urinate and void.

urodynamic tests (YOOR-oh-dy-NAM-ik) (tests):

tests that measure the bladder’s ability to hold and release urine.

uroflow test (YOOR-oh-floh) (test):

measurement of the rate at which urine flows out of the body. A lower than normal rate can indicate blockage.

urogynecologist (YOOR-oh-GY-nuh-KOL-uh-jist):

a doctor who is trained in urology and gynecology and specializes in female urinary problems.

urolithiasis (YOOR-oh-lih-THY-uh-siss):

the condition of having stones in the urinary tract.

urologist (yoo-ROL-uh-jist):

a doctor who specializes in urinary problems.

urostomy (yoor-OSS-toh-mee):

an opening through the skin into the urinary tract to allow urine to drain when voiding through the urethra is not possible.

Drawing of a male figure with the urinary tract and intestines visible in the abdomen. The ureters are connected directly to a conduit, or tube, made from the colon. The conduit directs urine directly to a hole in the skin called a stoma. Labels point to the stoma, ileal conduit, and ureters.

uterus (YOO-tuhr-uhss):

female organ, located in the pelvis, where a baby develops before birth. Also called a womb.


see urinary tract infection.


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vagina (vuh-JY-nuh):

the tube in a woman's body that runs beside the urethra and connects the womb, or uterus, to the outside of the body. Sometimes called the birth canal.

vasopressin (VAY-soh-PRESS-in):

see antidiuretic hormone.


see voiding cystourethrogram.

vesicoureteral reflux (VESS-ih-koh-yoo-REE-tur-uhl) (REE-fluhks):

an abnormal condition in which urine backs up into the ureters and occasionally into the kidneys, raising the risk of infection.


to urinate; to empty the bladder.

voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) (VOYD-ing) (SISS-toh-yoo-REETH-roh-gram):

an x-ray image of the bladder and urethra taken during voiding. The bladder and urethra are filled with a special fluid to make the urethra clearly visible.

vulva (VUHL-vuh):

the outer part of the female genitals.


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womb (woom):

see uterus.

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Page last updated September 9, 2010


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