Did you figure out the title? It is not the imaginary word “Rupnok”; nor the initials of my children (I have three and not six), rather, each letter or two stands for a different word, as is the case with texting abbreviations, in this example: “Are (R) you (U) peein’ (PN) okay (OK)?” This is in fact my license plate and I would estimate that 90% of folks do not figure it out, which makes me smile as I appreciate the subtlety of my tags. I can’t think of a more concise summary of what I do for a living (voiding dysfunction)—my profession in 6 letters—not bad at all!

In urology, we are quite fond of acronyms—abbreviations formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word, like NASA.

One of the most common issues that I deal with as a urologist is LUTS (lower urinary tract symptoms). The major areas of LUTS are OAB (overactive bladder), UAB (underactive bladder), SUI (stress urinary incontinence), POP (pelvic organ prolapse), BPH (benign prostate hyperplasia) and BOO (bladder outlet obstruction).

Overactive Bladder (OAB) A condition in which “irritative” LUTS are present: the compelling urgency to urinate, urinary frequency, nighttime urinating, and at times, urgency incontinence. It is often due to involuntary contractions of the urinary bladder, in which the bladder contracts without its owner’s permission.

Underactive Bladder (UAB) A condition in which the bladder muscle does not contract with the necessary force, resulting in ineffective urinating with incomplete emptying or the presence of urinary retention.

Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) A condition that can be present in both men and women in which there is urinary leakage associated with a sudden increase in abdominal pressure, such as may occur with sneezing, coughing, laughing, exercising, changing one’s position, etc.

Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) A condition in females in which there is weakness or laxity of the pelvic support tissues that often follows childbirth, resulting in descent of the pelvic organs into the vaginal space or even outside the vagina. This can involve the bladder, cervix/uterus, small intestine, rectum, and at times, the vagina itself.

Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH) A condition of benign growth of the prostate gland that often accompanies the aging process, has a strong genetic influence and requires the presence of adequate levels of the male hormone testosterone.

Bladder Outlet Obstruction (BOO) A condition in which there is obstruction of the outlet of the urinary bladder. This may be on the basis of BPH but can also be caused by scar tissue in the urethra or the presence of a dropped bladder in a female, resulting in a kink in the urethra. In any of these situations there is obstruction to the flow of urine, typically resulting in obstructive LUTS including a weak urinary stream that is hesitant and intermittent with prolonged emptying time and incomplete emptying.

Bottom Line: RUPNOK?… or do you have LUTS with OAB, UAB, SUI, POP, BPH, or BOO? If so, it may be time to see a GU MD (genital-urinary medical doctor) for a H&P (history and physical) and consider PFMT (pelvic floor muscle training).


Wishing you the best of health,

2014-04-23 20:16:29

Andrew Siegel, M.D.

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