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Lewis Liew Urology

THE UROLOGICAL ORGANS

The Kidneys

The kidneys are an essential part of the body's urinary system. Each kidney is composed of about one million microscopic "filtering packets" called glomeruli. The glomeruli remove uremic waste products from the blood. Each glomerulus connects to a long tube, called the tubule. Urine made by the glomerulus moves down the tubule. Together, the glomerulus and the tubule form a unit called a nephron. Each nephron connects to progressively larger tubular branches, until it reaches a large collection area called the calyx. The calices form the funnel-shaped portion of the upper ureter (renal pelvis). Urine moves from the renal pelvis to the ureters, the large tubes that connect the kidney to the bladder.

The kidneys produce three important hormones: erythropoietin (EPO), which triggers the production of red blood cells in bones; renin, which regulates blood pressure; and vitamin D, which helps regulate the body's metabolism of calcium necessary for healthy bones.

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The Bladder

The bladder is a hollow muscular organ shaped like a balloon. It sits in your pelvis and is held in place by ligaments attached to other organs and the pelvic bones. The bladder stores urine until you are ready to go to the bathroom to empty it. It swells into a round shape when it is full and gets smaller when empty. If the urinary system is healthy, the bladder can hold up to 16 ounces (2 cups) of urine comfortably for 2 to 5 hours.

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The Prostate

The prostate is a gland of the male reproductive system that produces fluid for semen, which helps to transport sperm during the male orgasm. The prostate is made up of about 30% muscular tissue; the rest is glandular tissue.

Normally, the prostate is small—about the same size and shape as a walnut. It is located in front of the rectum and just below the bladder. The prostate wraps around the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine out from the bladder through the tip of the penis.

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The Testes

Male sex gland, found as a pair located in a pouch, the scrotum, external to the body. The testes are made up of seminiferous tubules in which sperm are formed and mature, after which they drain into ducts and are stored in the epididymis prior to being discharged.

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The Penis

The penis is one of the external structures of the male reproductive system. The penis has three parts: the root, which attaches to the wall of the abdomen; the body, or shaft; and the glans penis, which is the cone-shaped end (head). The opening of the urethra, the tube that transports semen and urine, is at the tip of the glans penis.

The body of the penis is cylindrical in shape and consists of three internal chambers. These chambers are made up of special, sponge-like erectile tissue. This tissue contains thousands of large caverns that fill with blood when the man is sexually aroused. As the penis fills with blood, it becomes rigid and erect, which allows for penetration during sexual intercourse. The skin of the penis is loose and elastic to accommodate changes in penis size during an erection.

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