Medical, Surgical, & Viewing Terms and Abbreviations

Medical Careers & Professional Terminology

nephrology: study of the kidneys

nephrologist: physician specializing in kidney disorders and treatment

urology: study of the urinary system

urologist: physician specializing in urinary system disorders and treatment

Imaging Techniques / Diagnostic Procedures for the Organ System

blood urea nitrogen: a laboratory test that measures the amount of urea nitrogen in the blood; indicates kidney function

cystogram: an x-ray image obtained after contrast media injected into the bladder

cystography: the process of obtaining a cystogram

cystoscope: a thin tube with a camera or lens, used to visualize the bladder

cystoscopy: visual examination of the bladder using a cystoscope

intravenous urogram: an x-ray image obtained after injecting contrast media to visually evaluate the entire urinary tract

nephrography: the process of obtaining a radiographic image of the kidney

nephroscopy: visual examination of the kidney

nephrosonography: obtaining a visual recording of the kidney via ultrasound waves

nephrotomogram: an image obtained via intravenous contrast media and x-ray tomography

renogram: an x-ray image obtained after injecting contrast media to evaluate blood flow in the kidney

specific gravity: a measurement of the density of a fluid (such as urine) compared to water

ureteroscopy: visual examination of the ureter

urethroscopy: visual examination of the urethra

urinalysis: analyzing the composition of urine via laboratory tests

urodynamics: any procedure that measures how well the bladder and urethra store and release urine

voiding cystourethrogram: a procedure that uses x-rays and a contrasting agent to evaluate the size, shape, and capacity of the bladder and urethra

Medical/Surgical Techniques & Procedures

cystectomy: surgical removal of the bladder

cystolithotomy: surgical incision to remove a bladder stone

cystorrhaphy: surgical suturing of the bladder

cystostomy: surgical creation of an opening in the bladder to void urine outside the body

cystotomy: surgical incision of the bladder

extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy: administering a series of shock waves to break apart a kidney stone

fulguration: using a laser to destroy living tissue, such as bladder lesions

hemodialysis: purifying the blood of a patient whose kidneys no longer function properly; can utilize a dialysis machine or the patient’s peritoneum

meatotomy: surgical incision of the urinary meatus

nephrectomy: surgical removal of a kidney

nephrolithotripsy: surgical crushing and removal of a kidney stone

nephropexy: surgical suspension of a kidney

nephrostomy: surgical creation of an opening in the kidney to void urine outside the body

pyelolithotomy: surgical incision to remove stone from the renal pelvis

pyeloplasty: surgical repair of the renal pelvis

renal transplant: transplanting a donor kidney into a recipient when their own kidneys no longer function

ureterectomy: surgical removal of a ureter

urethroplasty: surgical repair of a ureter

urinal: a device for collecting urine

urinary catheterization: placing a catheter inside the urethra for collecting urine

vesicourethral suspension: surgical suspension of the bladder and urethra; often performed to treat stress incontinence

void: to empty urine from the body


ARF: acute renal failure

BUN: blood urea nitrogen

cath: catheter, catheterization

CKD: chronic kidney disease

ESRD: end-stage renal disease

ESWL: extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy

HD: hemodialysis

KUB: kidney, ureter, and bladder radiographic image

OAB: overactive bladder

SG: specific gravity

UA: urinalysis

UTI: urinary tract infection

VCUG: voiding cystourethrogram

Medical Terms Practice

For each card, click the speaker icon to hear the correct pronunciation of the listed term. Practice saying the term to yourself, then attempt to define the term from memory. Click “Turn” to flip the card and see the definition. Use the right and left arrows to toggle through the cards in each set.


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Medical Terminology: An Interactive Approach Copyright © 2022 by LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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