Updated: 7/6/2021

Bladder / Urethra Anatomy

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Introduction
  • The urinary organs consist of
    • ureters (pelvic portion)
      • carries urine from the kidney into the bladder
    • urinary bladder
      • the site of temporary urine storage
    • urethra
      • the conduction site of urine from the urinary bladder to the external world
Ureters
  • Muscular tubes that carries urine from the kidney into the bladder
    • they are retroperitoneal structures that pass beneath the
      • uterine artery (in females)
        • clinical correlate
          • uterine or ovarian vessel ligation in gynecologic procedures may damage the ureter
      • vas deferens (in males)
  • Blood supply consists of branches from 
    • renal arteries (most proximal)
    • testicular arteries (in men) and ovarian arteries (in women)
    • the descending aorta 
    • internal iliac arteries
    • superior vesical arteries
    • uterine arteries (in women) 
    • vaginal arteries (in women) and inferior vesical arteries (in men) (most distal)
Urinary Bladder
 

 
  • A temporary reservoir of urine
  • Innervation
    • parasympathetic fibers
      • conveyed from the sacral spinal cord via the pelvic splanchnic nerves and inferior hypogastric plexus
      • provide motor innervation to the detrusor muscle
      • inhibits contraction of the internal urethral sphincter in men
    • sympathetic fibers
      • conveyed from the lower thoracic and upper lumbar spinal cord via the hypogastric plexus and nerves
      • promotes contraction of the internal urethral sphincter
Urethra
 
  
 
  • A muscular tube that allows urine to travel from the urinary bladder to the external world
    • the urethra also provides an exit path for semen
    • the female urethra is much shorter (~4 cm) than the male urethra (~18-22 cm)
      • this is a reason as to why women are more prone to developing urinary tract infections than men
  • Urethral injury
    • posterior urethra
      • the weakest point is in the bulbomembranous junction
      • prone to injury in pelvic fractures (e.g., from a motor vehicle accident)
        • can result in urine or blood being found in the retropubic space
    • anterior urethra
      • injury to the anterior urethra can result from
        • straddle injuries
        • instrumentation
        • pelvic fracture (in conjunction)
        • direct blow
      • injury can result in urine or blood being found in the
        • deep fascia of Buck
        • superficial perineal space
          • when the deep fascia of Buck is torn

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