Glossary of Terms

The following is a glossary of common terms used in urogynaecology and urology. At the bottom of the page you will find some links to websites where you can get further definitions of these and other medical terms.

adverse event undesirable, unfavourable or harmful result
autologous sourced from the patient’s own body
BAUS British Association of Urological Surgeons
Burch colposuspension an operation to lift the bladder neck into the correct position to prevent urine leaking.  First developed by a surgeon called Burch.
calculi stones
catheterisation insertion of a slender tube through the urethra into the bladder to allow urine drainage.
CISC Clean Intermittent Self-Catheterisation
CMG cystometrogram   a line graph that records urinary bladder pressure at various volumes
cystocele  ‘dropped bladder’, herniation or bulging of the bladder  into the vagina
cystoscopy viewing the bladder with an instrument called a cystoscope to check for abnormalities
de novo new, beginning
detrusor muscle bladder muscle
distal urethra part of urethra furthest away from bladder neck
dyspareunia pain occurring during sexual intercourse
dysuria pain or difficulty urinating
erosion the wearing away of tissue
excision cutting out, removal
explantation removal of something implanted in the body
FDA Food and Drug Administration: agency in US responsible for ensuring that foods, drugs, vaccines and medical devices are safe and effective
fibroblasts large flat cells in connective tissue that produce collagen and elastic fibres
fibrosis a thickening and scarring of connective tissue usually following injury, infection, or surgery
haematuria  presence of red blood cells in the urine
implant something inserted in the tissues or organs of the body during a surgical procedure
intravesical inside the bladder
irritable bladder involuntary contractions of muscles in the bladder, which can cause lack of urinary control.
ISD Intrinsic Sphincter Deficiency:  weakening of the urethra sphincter muscles which causes the sphincter not to function normally regardless of the position of the bladder neck or urethra.  A cause of stress urinary incontinence.
laparoscopy key hole surgery involving small incisions which allow special camera and instruments to be introduced.  less invasive and requiring a shorter recovery period than open surgery.
lysis destruction
medical device a tool or machine designed to perform a task or job
mixed incontinence having both stress and urge incontinence
MHRA Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
morbidities presence or frequency of disease
MRI Magnetic Resonance Imaging – used to view inside body.  Produces detailed images of organs and structures inside body.
NICE National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
OAB overactive bladder:  involuntary bladder muscle contractions during the bladder filling phase which the patient cannot suppress
perforation making a hole or piercing something
PFMT pelvic floor muscle training – or pelvic floor exercises, kegel exercises.  Used to improve pelvic muscle tone and prevent leakage in those with stress urinary incontinence.
polypropylene a type of plastic, made from petroleum products.   Brand names include: ‘prolene’
POP pelvic organ prolapse (see below)
prolapse slippage or falling away of organ from proper or usual place in the body
proximal urethra part of urethra nearest the bladder neck
PVR Post Void Residual: the amount of urine left in your bladder after emptying it normally – can be measured using scanner (ultrasound) or catheter drainage
pyuria excessive white blood cells in the urine – usually an indication of kidney or urinary tract infection.
RCT Randomised Control Trial
rectocele  a herniation or bulging of the rectum into the vagina
resection surgical removal of something
sling supportive strap, loop or hammock made either of tissue obtained from the patient or a synthetic material
sphincter ring of muscle fibres located around urethra which control passage of urine
stricture narrowing of a channel eg urethra
sub-urethral under the urethra
SUI Stress Urinary Incontinence:  caused by urethral hypermobility and/or intrinsic sphincter deficiency – involuntary loss of urine during periods of increased abdominal pressure eg when laughing, sneezing, coughing or lifting heavy objects
synthetic made by chemical processes and not occurring naturally
tape division dividing the tape by cutting across it
transection cutting across something, dividing
trocars sharply pointed steel rod (like huge needle) inserted into the body which leads the way for the mesh implant and is then removed once implant in place
TVT Tension-Free Vaginal Tape: a medical device consisting of a long slim mesh strip made of woven polypropylene fibres intended to support the urethra during moments of increased abdominal pressure.  Intended to be a permanent implant.
UI Urge Incontinence:  the involuntary loss of urine associated with a sudden and strong urge to urinate
ureter one of a pair of narrow tubes carrying urine from the kidneys to the bladder
urethra the narrow tube or pipe that carries urine from the bladder out of the body
urethral diverticulum a pouch in the lining of the mucous membrane of the urethra
urethral hypermobility condition where the pelvic floor muscles can no longer provide the necessary support to the urethra and bladder neck and so the bladder neck drops when any downward pressure is applied, causing involuntary leakage.  A cause of stress incontinence.
urethral stricture narrowing of the urethra
urge/urgency strong desire to empty bladder
UI Urinary Incontinence – uncontrolled loss of urine
urodynamics tests to determine the function of the urinary bladder, urethral sphincter, and pelvic floor muscles
urology study of the urinary tract in both genders, (in the male it includes the genital tract or reproductive system)
UTI Urinary Tract Infection.  Often caused by bacteria such as e coli. a urinary tract infection may cause frequent urination, pain, burning when urinating, and blood in the urine.
voiding dysfunction difficulties in emptying the bladder eg incomplete emptying, slow flow etc



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