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Medical
Glossary


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

U.
Ulcer

an open sore that occurs on the skin or on a mucous membrane because of the destruction of surface tissue

Ulcerative colitis

a chronic condition in which ulcers occur on the mucous membrane lining of the colon (the end of the large intestine) and the rectum

Ultrasound scanning

an imaging procedure used to examine internal organs in which high-frequency sound waves are passed into the body, reflected back, and used to build an image; also sometimes called sonography

Ultraviolet light

a form of invisible light in sunlight that is responsible for the tanning and burning of skin and can cause cataracts and skin cancer

Umbilical cord

the tubal structure (consisting of two arteries and one vein) that connects the foetus to the placenta, supplying the foetus with oxygen and nutrients and removing some waste products

Umbilical hernia

a condition present at birth in which a part of the baby's intestines bulge through a weak area of the abdominal wall, creating a swelling around the navel

Unconsciousness

a temporary or prolonged loss of awareness of self and of surroundings

Underactive thyroid

Underactive thyroid is the familiar term for hypothyroidism. It means that the thyroid gland produces insufficient levels of thyroid hormone to maintain the body's metabolism at its normal rate.

Undescended testicle

a testicle that has not moved down from the abdomen, where it develops, into the scrotum

Unsaturated fat

a fat or oil found mainly in vegetables; thought to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease

Uraemia

abnormally high levels of waste products such as urea in the blood

Urea

a waste product of the metabolism of proteins that is formed by the liver and secreted by the kidneys

Ureters

two tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder

Urethra

the tube by which urine is released from the bladder

Urethritis

inflammation of the urethra

Urethrocele

a bulging of the urethra into the vagina

Urethrocystitis

inflammation of the urethra and the bladder

Urinalysis

a group of physical and chemical tests done on a sample of urine to check for various disorders, including those of the kidneys and urinary tract

Urinary diversion

an operation to allow urine passage when the bladder or urethra has become blocked or been removed

Urinary incontinence

the involuntary release of urine because of the inability to control bladder muscles; may occur as a natural part of the ageing process or be caused by an injury or disorder

Urinary tract

the structures in the body that are responsible for the production and release of urine, including the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra

Urticaria

an allergic reaction in which itchy white lumps surrounded by areas of inflammation appear on the skin; commonly called "hives"

Uterine prolapse

a condition in which the uterus moves downward into the vagina due to a weakness of the ligaments and muscles that hold the uterus in place

Uterus

the hollow female reproductive organ in which a fertilised egg is implanted and a foetus develops

Uvea

a structure consisting of the coloured area of the eye and the middle layer of the eye that contains blood vessels

Uveitis

inflammation of the uvea

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