Medical Terminology For Dummies
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Medical terminology can seem confusing, but is a little easier to follow if you can match suffixes to situations. Let’s start with the place closest to you: your own body.

In your body

  • Acrophobia: Fear of heights

  • Anemia: Low hemoglobin in blood

  • Apnea: Condition of not breathing

  • Cardiomegaly: Enlargement of the heart

  • Claustrophobia: Fear of enclosed or small area

  • Colostomy: Artificial opening into the colon

  • Diarrhea: Frequent flow of watery or loose stools

  • Dysphagia: Painful or difficult eating (or swallowing)

  • Dyspnea: Difficult or painful breathing

  • Erythrocytes: Red blood cells

  • Gastrodynia: Stomach pain or discomfort

  • Hemiplegia: Paralysis of one side of body

  • Hemorrhage: Excessive flow of blood

  • Hepatomegaly: Enlargement of the liver

  • Hepatosplenomegaly: Enlargement of the liver and spleen

  • Hyperemesis: Excessive vomiting

  • Ileostomy: Artificial opening into the ileum

  • Leukemia: Blood condition of white blood cells

  • Leukocytes: White blood cells

  • Menorrhea: Heavy menstrual period

  • Myalgia: Muscle pain

  • Nephrosis: Kidney condition

  • Orthopnea: Inability to breathe properly except in an upright position

  • Osteopenia: Deficiency in bone mass

  • Photophobia: Visual intolerance of light

  • Quadriplegia: Paralysis of all four quadrants of the body

  • Splenomegaly: Enlargement of the spleen

  • Tracheostomy: Artificial opening into the trachea; follows a tracheotomy

In the doctor’s office and hospital

  • Abdominoplasty: Plastic surgery on the abdomen

  • Amniocentesis: Procedure to withdraw fluid from amniotic sac during pregnancy

  • Appendectomy: Surgical removal of appendix

  • Bronchoscope: Instrument used to perform a bronchoscopy

  • Cardiogram: Hard copy record of cardiography

  • Cardiograph: Machine used to perform a cardiography

  • Cardiography: Process of recording activity of the heart

  • Herniorrhaphy: Surgical fixation or repair of a hernia

  • Hysterectomy: Surgical removal of uterus

  • Laparoscope: Instrument used to perform a laparoscopy

  • Laparotomy: Cutting into the abdomen

  • Mammography: Process of examination of breast tissue

  • Myorrhaphy: Suture or fixation of a muscle

  • Myorrhexis: Suturing of a ruptured muscle

  • Nasoplasty: Repair of deviated nasal septum

  • Osteotomy: Cutting into bone

  • Psychologist: Person who studies psychology

  • Rhinoplasty: Nose job

  • Tracheotomy: Cutting into the trachea

  • Urethropexy: Surgical fixation of the urethra

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Beverley Henderson, CMT-R, HRT, has more than 40 years of experience in medical terminology and transcription as both an educator and manager. Jennifer L. Dorsey, PhD, has coauthored, revised, and ghostwritten books in the medical, business, and personal growth categories for more than 20 years.

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