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A glossary of terms can also be found on the BAUS website -


Balanitis (or balanprosthitis) - an infection of the prepuce and /or tip of the penis

BAUS - British Association of Urological Surgeons

Benign prostatic enlargement (BPE) - a non-cancerous increase in the size of the prostate gland in the aging male. Through its enlargement it reduces the diameter of the urethra as it passes through the prostate. It may be associated with LUTS.


Calculus (pl- calculi) - stone e.g. kidney calculus is a kidney stone.

Catheter - a tube placed in the bladder to drain it of urine or blood. A catheter is usually introduced via the urethra. It may be inserted urgently to relieve a urinary obstruction (for the relief of urinary retention) or non urgently to drain the bladder after a bladder operation

CHUFT - Colchester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Chlamydia - the most common bacterial sexually transmitted disease in young adults and often completely asymptomatic

Circumcision - an operation to remove the foreskin


Dipstick haematuria - blood in the urine, invisible to the eye but detectable on chemical testing

Digital Rectal Examination - a per rectum examination of the prostate with a gloved finger

Dysuria - unpleasant stinging sensation when passing water


Epididymis - soft tubes found just behind the testes where sperm are stored before ejaculation

Erectile dysfunction (ED) - inability to sustain an erection satisfactory for sexual intercourse. Formerly termed ‘impotence’


Frank haematuria - blood in the urine visible to the eye

Frenuloplasty -operation to modify the retraction of the foreskin in order to make it more comfortable to do so


Genitourinary tract - system of organs concerned with the production of urine and sexual reproduction. See section on ‘Urology


Haematuria - blood in the urine


ICENI Centre - 'state of the art' surgical training facility; a joint venture between Colchester Hospital NHS University Foundation Trust and Anglia Ruskin University

Impotence - see Erectile Dysfunction

Incontinence -the involuntary loss of urine


Lower urinary tract symptoms - see LUTS

LUTS or Lower urinary tract symptoms - such as difficulty passing urine, urinary frequency, urinary urgency and nocturia


Microscopic haematuria – blood in the urine, invisible to the eye but detectable on microscopy


Nephrologist - a physician who specialises in the medical diseases of the kidney

Nocturia - the complaint of passing water too often at night


Pelvi-calyceal system (of the kidney) - hollow part of the kidney where the urine collects and where kidney stones form

Phimosis - scarring at the tip of the prepuce causing difficulty passing water or prepuce retraction

Post micturition dribbling - dribbling urine from the end of the penis after finishing passing water

Prepuce - foreskin. The redundant skin on the tip of the penis of an uncircumcised male

Prepucioplasty - operation to reconfigure the foreskin in order to make it less tight and more comfortable to retract

Prostate gland - a gland at the base of the bladder that produces secretions causing sperm to swim during ejaculation.

Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) - a chemical produced by the prostate measured using a blood test. Increased levels of PSA may prompt the need for transrectal ultrasound guided biopsies of the prostate (TRUS biopsies) to look for evidence of prostate cancer.

Prostatitis - inflammatory condition of the prostate

Pyelonephritis - a severe urinary tract infection involving the kidney


Renal – pertaining to the kidneys

Renal colic - severely painful condition caused by a stone (calculus) in the ureter

RSM - Royal Society of Medicine


Transrectal Ultrasound-guided (TRUS) biopsies of the prostate - a procedure to remove tissue from the prostate gland for microscopic examination in looking for evidence of prostate cancer. It is usually performed under local anaesthetic using a slender probe placed into the back passage.


Ureter - slender muscular tube that connects the hollow centre of the kidney to the bladder. There is a ureter on either side of the body.

Urethra - the water pipe that connects the bladder to the outside world. In the male the urethra travels through the prostate.

Urinary Frequency - complaint of passing urine too frequently

Urinary retention (acute) - the painful inability to pass urine that requires a catheter

Urinary Urgency - complaint of having to rush to the toilet to pass urine for fear of passing water involuntarily

Urology - the study and treatment of the medical and surgical conditions of the urinary tract. Urology also includes the study of the male reproductive organs including the testicles, epididymis, vas deferens, seminal vesicles, prostate and penis.

Urologist – a surgeon who specialises in the surgical conditions of the urinary tract


Vas deferens (vas) – small muscular tube that propels sperm from the epididymis to the urethra during ejaculation

Vasectomy – male sterilisation performed by tying the vas on either side, rendering the male infertile. The tubes transmitting sperm from the testicles are identified, cut and tied off under local anaesthetic. This is a highly effective form of contraception and should be considered irreversible. Your General Practitioner can usually arrange for this to be done in the community.

Vasectomy reversal (vaso–vasostomy) - a microscopic technique to rejoin the two ends of the vas on either side. This technique is performed to allow semen to appear in the ejaculate again.