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The Urologic Diseases Dictionary L - P


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lithotripsy (LITH-oh-TRIP-see):

a method of breaking up kidney stones using shock waves or other means.

lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) (LOH-wur) (YOOR-ih-NAIR-ee) (trakt) (SIMP-tuhmz):

urinary symptoms—such as urinary frequency and urgency, difficulty starting a stream, and incomplete voiding—that suggest urinary problems, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia, urinary tract infection, or kidney stones.

LUTS (lootss):

see lower urinary tract symptoms.


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megaureter (MEG-uh-YOOR-uh-tur):

see hydroureter.

micturition (MIK-choo-RISH-uhn):

the act of urinating.

midstream urine collection (MID-streem) (YOOR-in) (kuh-LEK-shuhn):

a method used to obtain a clean catch urine specimen. The patient starts a stream of urine into the toilet, and then catches the urine in a sample cup as the stream continues.

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

a combination of different types of incontinence, usually stress urinary incontinence and urge urinary incontinence.


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needle ablation (NEE-duhl) (ab-LAY-shuhn):

see TUNA under transurethral.

neobladder (NEE-oh-BLAD-ur):

see bladder substitute.

nephrectomy (neh-FREK-toh-mee):

surgical removal of a kidney.

nephritis (neh-FRY-tiss):

inflammation of the kidneys.

nephrogenic diabetes insipidus (NEF-roh-JEN-ik) (DY-uh-BEE-teez) (in-SIH-puh-duhss):

constant thirst and frequent urination because the kidney tubules cannot respond to antidiuretic hormone. The result is an increase in urine formation and excessive urine flow.

nephrolithiasis (NEF-roh-lih-THY-uh-sis):

the condition of having kidney stones.

nephron (NEF-ron):

a tiny part of the kidneys. Each kidney is made up of about 1 million nephrons, which are the working units of the kidneys, removing wastes and extra fluids from the blood.

Drawing of a kidney. Labels show where blood with wastes enters the kidney, clean blood leaves the kidney, and wastes (urine) are sent to the bladder. An inset shows a microscopic view of a nephron. Labels point to the glomerulus and the tubule.

nephrotic syndrome (nef-ROT-ik) (SIN-drohm):

a collection of symptoms that indicate kidney damage. Symptoms include high levels of protein in the urine, lack of protein in the blood, and high blood cholesterol.

nephropathy (neh-FROP-uh-thee):

disease of the kidneys.

neurogenic bladder (NOO-roh-JEN-ik) (BLAD-ur):

loss of bladder control caused by damage to the nerves controlling the bladder.

nocturia (nokt-YOO-ree-uh):

frequent urination at night.

nuclear scan: (NOO-klee-ur) (skan):

a test of the structure, blood flow, and function of the kidneys. The doctor injects a mildly radioactive solution into a patient's arm vein and uses x rays to monitor its progress through the kidneys.


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see overactive bladder.

overactive bladder (OAB) (OH-vur-AK-tiv) (BLAD-ur):

a condition in which the patient experiences at least two of the following conditions:
  • urinary urgency

  • urge urinary incontinence

  • urinary frequency—defined for this condition as urination eight or more times a day or more than twice at night

overflow urinary incontinence (OH-vur-floh) (YOOR-ih-NAIR-ee) (in-KON-tih-nenss):

unexpected leakage of small amounts of urine because of a full bladder.

oxalate (OK-suh-layt):

a chemical that combines with calcium in urine to form calcium oxalate stones, the most common type of kidney stone.


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painful bladder syndrome (PBS) (PAYN-fuhl) (BLAD-ur) (SIN-drohm):

see interstitial cystitis.

pancreas (PAN-kree-uhss):

an organ that makes insulin and enzymes for digestion. The pancreas is located behind the lower part of the stomach and is about the size of a hand.


see painful bladder syndrome and interstitial cystitis.

pelvic floor muscles (PEL-vik) (flor) (MUHSS-uhlz):

muscles that support the bladder, bowel, and uterus.

pelvic muscle exercises (PME) (PEL-vik) (MUHSS-uhl) (EK-sur-SYZ-iz):

see Kegel exercises.

pelvic organ prolapse (POP) (PEL-vik) (OR-guhn) (PROH-laps):

sinking of the bladder, bowel, and uterus out of their normal positions.

pelvis (PEL-viss):

the bowl-shaped bone that supports the spine and holds up the digestive, urinary, and reproductive organs. The legs connect to the body at the pelvis.

Front-view drawing of the female urinary tract. Labels point to the pelvic floor muscles, sphincter muscles, bladder muscle, urethra, and urine.

penis (PEE-niss):

the male organ used for urination and sex.

percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PUR-kyoo-TAY-nee-uhss) (NEF-roh-lih-THOT-uh-mee):

a method for removing kidney stones via surgery through a small incision in the back.

pessary (PESS-uh-ree):

a specially designed object worn in the vagina to hold the bladder, rectum, or uterus in its correct position and prevent leakage of urine. Pessaries come in many shapes and sizes.

Peyronie's disease (pay-roh-NEEZ) (dih-ZEEZ):

a plaque, or hardened area, that forms on the penis, preventing that area from stretching. During erection, the penis bends in the direction of the plaque, or the plaque may lead to indentation and shortening of the penis.

pituitary gland (pih-TOO-ih-TAIR-ee) (gland):

a pea-sized gland at the base of the brain that regulates the body’s balance of hormones.


see pelvic muscle exercises.

polyuria (POL-ee-YOO-ree-uh):

overproduction of urine by the kidneys, resulting in excessive urination.


see pelvic organ prolapse.

posterior urethral valves (PUV) (poss-TIHR-ee-ur) (yoo-REE-thruhl) (valvz):

a birth defect in boys in which an abnormal fold of tissue in the urethra keeps urine from flowing freely out of the bladder.

postvoid residual (PVR) (POHST-voyd) (ree-ZID-yoo-uhl):

urine that remains in the bladder after urination.

priapism (PRY-uh-pizm):

a persistent, often painful erection of the penis not caused by sexual desire.

prostate (PROSS-tayt):

in men, a walnut-shaped gland that surrounds the urethra at the neck of the bladder. The prostate supplies fluid that goes into semen.

prostatectomy (PROSS-tuh-TEK-tuh-mee):

removal of the entire prostate gland.

prostate-specific antigen (PSA) (PROSS-tayt) (spuh-SIF-ik) (AN-tih-jen):

a protein made only by the prostate gland. High levels of PSA in the blood may be a sign of prostate cancer.

prostatitis (PROSS-tuh-TY-tiss):

inflammation of the prostate gland. Chronic prostatitis means the prostate gets inflamed repeatedly. The most common form of prostatitis is not associated with any known infecting organism.

protein (PROH-teen):

1. one of the three main nutrients in food. Foods that provide protein include meat, poultry, fish, cheese, milk, dairy products, eggs, and dried beans.
2. proteins are also used in the body for cell structure, fighting infection, and other functions. After the body’s cells use protein, it is broken down into waste products containing nitrogen that must be removed by the kidneys. The blood absorbs amino acids and uses them to build and mend cells.

proteinuria (proh-teen-YOO-ree-uh):

a condition in which the urine contains large amounts of protein, a sign that the kidneys are not functioning properly.


see prostate-specific antigen.

pus (puhss):

thick yellow or white fluid containing white blood cells and other tissues.


see posterior urethral valves.


see transurethral.


see postvoid residual.

pyelogram (PY-el-oh-GRAM):

an x ray using injected dye that shows the urinary tract, including the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.

pyelonephritis (PY-uh-loh-neh-FRY-tiss):

an infection of the kidneys, usually caused by a germ that has traveled up through the urethra, bladder, and ureters from outside the body.

pyuria (py-YOO-ree-uh):

pus in the urine, often a sign of a urinary tract infection or other condition.

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Page last updated September 9, 2010


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