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Laparoscopy: Glossary

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - 17:41

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

Here are definitions of medical terms related to laparoscopy:

Anesthesiologist: a doctor who administers anesthetics and monitors the patient's condition until surgery is completed

Anesthesia: absence of sensation, especially artificially induced blockage of pain during surgery

Anesthetic: a drug that blocks the sensation of pain during surgery

Appendix: a finger-shaped tube of tissue (vermiform appendix) between the large and small intestine; can become inflamed or infected

Band-Aid surgery: surgery done through very small incisions that sometimes are covered with adhesive bandage strips; a common name for minimally invasive surgery

Belly button surgery: a common name for laparoscopy, minimally invasive surgery on the abdomen

Biopsy: removal of a small amount of tissue for examination under a microscope to find out whether part of the body is diseased

Diagnostic laparoscopy: laparoscopy done to diagnose a condition or disease

Ectopic pregnancy: an abnormal pregnancy in which the fertilized egg starts growing outside the uterus

Endoscope: a thin instrument, inserted through orifices of the body or through very small incisions, that allows the doctor to see inside the body, diagnose conditions, and perform surgery

Endoscopic surgery: surgery performed with an endoscope through orifices of the body or through very small incisions

Endometriosis: a condition in which tissue from the inside of the uterus starts growing in other places in the abdominal cavity, causing pain and other symptoms

Fallopian tubes: the ducts that carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus

Fibroids: benign or non-cancerous tumors in the uterus that sometimes cause pain, heavy menstrual periods, or other symptoms

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) : a condition in which acid from the stomach flows backward into the esophagus, causing heartburn and other symptoms

Hysterectomy: surgical removal of the uterus

Infertility: inability to become pregnant

Inguinal hernia: a condition in which part of the intestine bulges through a weakened segment of the abdominal wall

Laparoscope: a thin fiber optic telescope equipped with a video camera, light, and other devices that allows the surgeon to see into the abdominal cavity through very small incisions

Laparoscopy: a surgical procedure in which a laparoscope and other instruments are inserted into the abdomen through small incisions to diagnose and treat diseases and conditions

Meniscus: a disc-shaped pad of tough tissue, or cartilage, in the knee

Minimally invasive surgery: surgery done through very small incisions with miniature instruments

Nurse anesthetist: a specially trained registered nurse who administers anesthetics

Otorhinolaryngology: a medical specialty dealing with the ear, nose, and throat

Ovaries: organs located on each side of the uterus that produce eggs and sex hormones

Ovarian cyst: fluid-filled growths in the ovary

Paranasal sinuses: hollow spaces in the bones of the face and skull near the nose that sometimes become infected, causing sinusitis

Pelvic adhesions: bands of tough, scar-like tissue that form inside the body and interfere with normal functioning of an organ

Pelvic pain: pain in the lower abdominal area below the navel or belly button

Spinal disks: tough pads of cartilage that separate and cushion the vertebrae, or bones, in the spinal column

Spinal fusion: surgery to join two spinal bones and make the back more stable

Spleen: an organ that removes old red blood cells and disease-causing microbes from the blood

Splenectomy: removal of the spleen

Stage: the extent to which a disease has advanced

Therapeutic laparoscopy: laparoscopy done to treat a disease or condition

Tubal ligation: female sterilization operation that seals the fallopian tubes and prevents the egg from being fertilized so the woman cannot become pregnant through sexual intercourse

Ultrasound scan: a diagnostic test that uses sound waves to detect abnormalities inside the body

Vasectomy: male sterilization operation that seals the vas deferens and prevents sperm from being transmitted through ejaculation

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