Medical Terminology Related to the Urinary System

By Beverley Henderson, Jennifer Lee Dorsey

The urinary system is complex, primarily because it works a bit differently for men and women. The plumbing, so to speak, is a bit different between the sexes. That said, some symptoms, syndromes, and procedures are applicable to both men and women, some more so than others. And, believe it or not, a lot of these have some funny names.

Talking about pee tends to make people blush anyway, but add these crazy names into the mix and you’ll laugh out loud — even though the procedures and diseases themselves are not necessarily hilarious. Some of them are named after real, live people, and some are just downright strange. Fair warning: Don’t try to hold it in before you read these.

Procedures associated with the urinary system

  • Denis Browne: Surgical procedure to correct hypospadias

  • Millen-Read: For correction of stress incontinence using a suprapubic approach

  • Stanischeff: Surgery to correct renal ptosis (nephropexy)

Signs of urinary system problems

  • Flush-tank: Passage of a large amount of urine and coincidental temporary disappearance of a lumbar swelling; a sign of hydronephrosis

  • Lloyd: Pain in loin on deep percussion over the kidney, indicating renal calculi or nephritis

  • Rommelaere: Diminished phosphates, sodium chloride, and nitrogen in the urine, indicating cancerous cachexia

Urinary system syndromes

  • Fanconi: Disorder of kidney tubules; substances normally absorbed into the bloodstream by the kidneys are released into the urine instead

  • Megacystis-megaureter: Presence of massive, primary, nonobstructing reflux with a large, smooth, thin-walled bladder due to continued recycling of refluxed urine

  • Nonnenbruch (extrarenal kidney): Resulting in oliguria