Anatomy & Physiology For Dummies
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What makes up the inside of your body, from cells to organs and everything in between, lends itself to an abundance of body part-related medical terms. All the root words and combining forms can morph into all kinds of different words that explain everything from everyday common conditions and procedures to pathology and pharmacology.

Remember that you can take any root word or combining form and create several different medical terms.

Root Word What It Means Example(s)
Abdomin/o Abdomen Abdominoplasty: Surgical repair or reconstruction of the abdomen
Angi/o Vessel Angioplasty: Surgical repair or reconstruction of a vessel
Arteri/o Artery Arterioplasty: Surgical repair or reconstruction of an artery
Arthr/o Joint Arthritis: Inflammation of a joint Arthroplasty: Surgical repair or reconstruction of a joint
Audi/o Hearing Audiometry: Measurement of hearing using an audiometer
Bio Life Biology: The study of life and living organisms
Bronch/i, bronch/o Bronchus/lung Bronchitis: Inflammation of the bronchi Bronchoscopy: Visual examination of the bronchi
Cardi/o Heart Cardiomegaly: Enlargement of the heart Cardiac: Pertaining to the heart Carditis: Inflammation of the heart
Cholecyst/o Gallbladder Cholecystectomy: Removal of the gallbladder Cholecystitis: Inflammation of the gallbladder
Chondr/i, chondr/o Cartilage Chondromalacia: Softening of cartilage
Col/o Colon Colonoscopy: Visual examination of the colon Colonoscope: Instrument used in colonoscopy
Cry/o Cold Cryobiology: Branch of biology dealing with effects of low temperatures
Cysti, cyst/o Bladder, or cyst Cystectomy: Surgical removal of a simple cyst or of the urinary bladder Cystitis: Inflammation of the bladder Cystogram: Radiograph of the bladder Cystopexy: Surgical fixation of the bladder to abdominal wall
Cyt/o Cell Cytology: Study of cells
Duoden/o Duodenum Duodenotomy: Surgical cutting into the duodenum Duodenectomy: Surgical removal of the duodenum Duodenitis: Inflammation of the duodenum
Encephal/o Brain Encephalitis: Inflammation of the brain
Episi/o Vulva Episiotomy: Surgical cutting of the vulva
Erythr/o Red Erythrocytes: Red blood cells Erythema: Reddening of the skin
Esophag/o Esophagus Esophagitis: Inflammation of the esophagus Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD): Visual examination of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum by scope
Galact/o Milk Galactorrhea: Spontaneous flow of milk when nursing
Gastr/o Stomach Gastritis: Inflammation of the stomach Gastrectomy: Surgical removal of the stomach Gastrodynia: Stomach ache
Glyc/o Sugar Glycosuria: Sugar in the urine
Gynec/o Female Gynecologist: Physician who studies and treats diseases of female reproductive organs
Hemat/o, hem/o Blood Hematocyte: Blood cell
Hepat/o, hepatic/o Liver Hepatitis: Inflammation of the liver
Heter/o Other, different Heterosexual: Sexually attracted to the opposite sex
Hist/o, histi/o Tissue Histology: Study and function of tissue
Hom/o, home/o Same, alike Homosexual: Sexually attracted to the same sex
Hydr/o Water, wet Hydromassage: Massage by means of moving water
Hyster/o Uterus Hysterectomy: Surgical removal of the uterus
Ile/o Ileum (intestine) Ileostomy: Artificial opening into the ileum Ileitis: Inflammation of the ileum
Ili/o Ilium (pelvic bone) Ilioinguinal: Pertaining to the ilium and inguinal regions
Jejun/o Jejunum Jejunitis: Inflammation of the jejunum Jejunostomy: Artificial opening into the jejunum
Lacrima Tears Lacrimatory: Causing a flow of tears
Laryng/o Larynx Laryngitis: Inflammation of the larynx Laryngectomy: Surgical removal of the larynx
Leuk/o White Leukocyte: White blood cell
Lith/o Stone or calculus Lithotripsy: Crushing of a stone or calculus
Men/o Menstruation Menorrhea: Menstrual flow Menorrhagia: Excessive or heavy menstrual flow
Myel/o Bone marrow/spinal cord Myelogram: Recording of the spinal cord
My/o Muscle Myositis: Inflammation of a muscle Myalgia: Pain in a muscle or painful muscle
Nat/o Birth Prenatal: Before birth Postnatal: After birth
Necr/o Death Necrosis: Death of a cell Necrophobia: Morbid fear of death or dead bodies
Nephr/o Kidney Nephrectomy: Surgical removal of a kidney
Neur/o, neur/i Nerve Neurologist: Physician who studies and treats conditions of the nervous system
Oophor/o Ovary Oophorectomy: Surgical removal of an ovary Oophoritis: Inflammation of an ovary
Orchid/o, orchi/o Testis Orchialgia: A pain in the testicle Orchiectomy: Surgical removal of a testicle
Peritone/o Peritoneum Peritoneal: Pertaining to the peritoneum Peritonitis: Inflammation of the peritoneum
Pharyng/o Pharynx Pharyngitis: Inflammation of the pharynx (sore throat)
Pleur/o, pleur/a Pleura, rib (side) Pleurisy: Inflammation of the lining of the chest cavity Pleurolysis: Surgical separation of pleural adhesions
Pneum/a/o/ato/ono Lungs Pneumonitis: Inflammation of the lung
Proct/o Rectum, anus Proctologist: Physician who studies and treats diseases of rectum and anus
Pulmon/o Lungs Pulmonary: Pertaining to the lungs
Pyel/o Renal pelvis Pyelography: Radiograph (x-ray) of the pelvis of the kidneyPyelolithotomy: Removal of a stone from the kidney pelvis
Rect/o Rectum Rectosigmoid: Pertaining to the rectum and sigmoid
Salping/o Fallopian tube Salpingectomy: Surgical removal of a fallopian tube
Sarc/o Flesh Sarcoid: Resembling flesh
Splen/o Spleen Splenomegaly: Enlargement of the spleen Splenectomy: Surgical removal of the spleen
Tend/o, ten/o, tendin/o Tendon Tendinitis (or tendonitis): Inflammation of a tendon
Testicul/o Testis Testicular: Pertaining to a testis or testicle Testitis: Inflammation of a testis
Thorac/o Chest Thoracotomy: Incision into the chest cavity Thoracentesis: Surgical puncture into chest cavity
Tonsill/o Tonsils Tonsillectomy: Surgical removal of tonsils Tonsillitis: Inflammation of the tonsils
Ureter/o Ureter Ureterolithotomy: Removal of a calculus (stone) from a ureter by means of incision Ureteropelvic: Pertaining to the ureter and pelvis of the kidney
Urethr/o Urethra Urethritis: Inflammation of the urethra Urethropexy: Surgical fixation of the urethra
Vas/o Vas deferens Vasectomy: Surgical removal of portion of vas deferens for male sterilization
Viscer/o Viscera (organs) Viscerography: Radiography of the viscera

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Erin Odya is an anatomy and physiology teacher at Carmel High School in Carmel, Indiana, one of Indiana's top schools. Maggie Norris is a veteran science and medical writer.

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