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  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: July 2011



Abdomen Quick Reference: The area of the body between the chest and the pelvis.

Advanced Reference: The abdomen is separated from the chest by the diaphragm. The contents of the abdomen include stomach, small intestine, colon, rectum, liver spleen, pancreas, appendix, gall bladder.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm Quick Reference: (an-your-ism) A ballooning or dilatation of the aorta within the abdominal cavity.

Advanced Reference: The aneurysm weakens the wall of the vessel and can result in rupture with potentially fatal consequences. As the diameter increases, the chances of rupture also increase. Men, usually over 60 years of age, are five times more likely than women to suffer this type of aneurysm. Also referred to as triple-A.

Abdominal hysterectomy Quick Reference: Surgical removal of the uterus through a lower abdominal incision.

Advanced Reference: The procedure involves a number of approaches depending on the severity and/or spread, i.e. total, sub-total, pan and radical (Wertheim's procedure).

Abdominoperineal Quick Reference: Pertaining to the abdomen and perineum regions of anatomy.

Advanced Reference: Includes the pelvic area, the female vulva and anus and the male anus and scrotum. The procedure synchronous combined abdominoperineal resection of the rectum involves excision of the lower colon, rectum and anus and is usually carried out by two surgeons working simultaneously.

Abduction Quick Reference: The opposite of adduction. Away from the mid-line.

Advanced Reference: The movement of a limb away from the midline. Abduction of the legs is therefore to spread them outwards.

Aberrant Quick Reference: A deviation or wandering from the normal or usual route.

Advanced Reference: Can be applied to the heart when the electrical system does not follow the expected conduction pathway.

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