Surgical Topics
  1. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

    A dilation of part of the aorta, within the abdomen.  AAA
  2. Adhesion

    An abnormal joining of tissues.
  3. Anastomosis

    Connection between two hollow structures, such as arteries or nerves.
  4. Aneurysm

    See  Science.
  5. Angioplasty

    The widening of an artery to allow proper blood flow.
  6. Arthroplasty

    Joint surgery, designed to restore joint function.
  7. Avulsion

    Tearing something away.
  8. Backslab

    A plaster of paris cast which has been cut in two, leaving half of it remaining. The backslab serves as a temporary cast, immobilising the area where it is applied, but also allows access for inspection of the wound, and removal of sutures.
  9. Betadine

    Purdue Pharma's brand of povidone-iodine topical antiseptics. There are two formulations:
    1. A solution for cleaning minor wounds and to prepare a patient's skin, prior to surgery. (10% povidone-iodine in water.)
    2. A mixture of povidone-iodine and detergent, used as a surgical scrub agent.
  10. Caesarean Section

    1Requires immediate (within 15 mins) delivery; a threat to mother or baby.
    2Requires urgent (within 30 mins) delivery; compromised mother or baby, but not immediately life-threatening.
    3Requires early delivery; neither mother not baby compromised.
    4Elective delivery at a time suited to the mother and staff.

    Examples of category 1 cases are:

    • Major haemorrhage
    • Profound and persistent foetal bradycardia
    • Prolapsed cord
    • Shoulder dystocia
    • Uterine rupture
  11. Cannula

    A hollow cylinder, for passing instruments or fluids through a body cavity.
  12. Chest drain

    A drain tube which is inserted into the pleural space, to remove air (pneumothorax), fluids (pleural effusion), or pus (empyema). The external end of the tube is attached to a bottle containing water, which acts as a seal to prevent air from leaking back into the pleural space.
  13. Chlorhexidine

    A chemical antiseptic, effective against Gram-positive and most Gram-negative bacteria.
  14. Cholecystectomy

    Removal of the gallbladder.
  15. Circulating

    Supporting the Scrub team.  Duties
  16. Clinical Governance

    Management of: Information; Risk; Audit; Education; Training; Continuing Professional Development; Evidence based care; The Patient and Carer experience; Staffing; Staff management and welfare.
  17. Closed Reduction

    Reducing fractured bone fragments into acceptable anatomical position. After reduction has been achieved by manipulation, the alignment is generally maintained by plaster cast.
  18. Colostomy

    Procedure to make an opening between the colon and the abdominal wall, allowing faeces to bypass the rectum.
  19. Cricothyrotomy

    cricothyroidotomy: An emergency technique to establish a patent airway, by means of an incision made through the skin and cricothyroid membrane.  Procedure
  20. Curettage

    Scraping the inside of a hollow organ.
  21. Curette

    A surgical instrument designed for scraping biological tissue or debris in a biopsy, excision, or cleaning procedure. The tip of the curette has a small scoop, hook, or gouge.
  22. Cystogram

    A procedure which allows the observation of how the bladder fills and empties.   Description
  23. Cystoscopy

    The insertion of a cystoscope into the bladder, via the urethra.  Overview   ||   Wisegeek
  24. Debridement

    The removal of foreign matter or contaminated tissue, from a damaged or infected lesion.
  25. Diathermy

    Electro surgery: Cutting and coagulation by use of very high frequency alternating current. Monopolar technique consists of an active (diathermy tip) electrode, and a return (indifferent) electrode (adhesive plate), which is placed on a well vascularised part of the patient, close to the operation site. Bipolar technique has a current return lead in parallel with the active lead, and the circuit is completed by tissue between the tips of the instrument.
  26. Dilitation

    Making a hollow space in the body bigger.
  27. Drains

    Closed: The most common form of drain used after surgery, consisting of a plastic tube which is placed into the wound. The external end is connected to a collecting device, and secured with a suture. Use of a closed system lowers the risk of infection, and reduces staff contact with body fluids.

    Robinsons: A closed system in which a collecting bag is attached to the external end of the plastic tubing, allowing fluid to drain by gravity.

    Redivac: A closed system in which a vacuum container is attached to the end of the plastic tubing, which draws fluid from the wound.

    Minivac: Small vacuum drains with a capacity of approximately 50 ml. The vacuum is generated by compression.

    Open/Corrugated: An Open drain is inserted directly into the wound bed, and drains into a dressing. As it has an open end, there is the potential for infection, as organisms may track up along the drain. Usually, the drain is sutured in place, and may have a safety pin attached close to the skin.

    Pigtail: A Pigtail drain may be inserted into collections of fluid in the abdominal or pleural cavity. The drain is inserted under radiological guidance, to ensure accurate positioning, and sutured in place. To prevent dislodgement, the drain has a locking mechanism, effected by a drawstring attached to both the end of the drain and the locking mechanism. When the lock is turned, the drawstring shortens, which causes the end of the drain to curl around, hence pigtail.
  28. Endoscope

    Instrument for viewing a hollow cavity.
  29. Evulsion

    A forcible extraction.
  30. External Fixation

    A fixing device outside the soft tissue structure; externally visible.
  31. FESS

    Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery.
  32. Fixator

    A metal rod placed through a bone.
  33. Flap

    Plastic surgery method of transferring tissue from a recipient to a donor site, whilst maintaining an intact blood supply.
  34. Foley catheter

    A flexible rubber indwelling urinary catheter, with two lumens, which is passed through the urethra and into the bladder. The open lumen drains fluid into a bag, and the other lumen has an inflation ballon, to fix it in place (by friction).   Placement
  35. Gastrectomy

    Removal of the stomach.
  36. Gastrostomy

    An opening in the stomach, to provide food and liquids.
  37. Grommet

    A ventilation tube which is passed from the external auditory meatus, and into the middle ear, to drain away fluid. Used in glue ear.
  38. Haemostat

    A clamp to stop bleeding.
  39. Harmonic scalpel

    Surgical tool which uses ultrasound energy to cut or cauterise bleeding vessels.
  40. Hartmann's Procedure

    The removal of part of the sigmoid colon and/or the rectum, with closure of the rectal stump. The procedure can be performed laparoscopically but, more commonly, an open technique is used. It may be necessary to bring the end of the colon to a colostomy, on the left abdomen.  Reference
  41. Hemicolectomy

    Removal of part of the colon.
  42. Instruments

  43. Insufflation

    The filling of a body cavity with low pressure gas, such as carbon dioxide, during endoscopic procedures.
  44. Internal Fixation

    A type of fracture fixation where the bone fragments are fixed in place by a device (stainless steel or titanium.) which is buried beneath the soft tissues, and is not visible externally. Types of internal fixator include bone screws and metal plates, pins, rods, Kirschner wires, and intramedullary devices, such as the Kuntscher nail and interlocking nail.
  45. Lavage

    Washing out a cavity.
  46. Ligate

    To tie/close a vessel.
  47. Ligature

    A suture tied around a vessel to occlude it (tie off). Free tie or freehand ligatures are used to ligate deep structures, using needles. Stick tie or suture ligatures are used to tie off deeper structures; the needle is passed through the structure before wrapping around it.
  48. Lumpectomy

    Removal of a hard mass of tissue.
  49. Microlaryngoscopy

    Endoscopic examination of the larynx (voice box).
  50. Nephroscope

    An endoscope, inserted through the back and into the kidney. Kidney stones are then broken up with high frequency sound, then removed by suction.
  51. Obturator

    Something which closes an opening.
  52. Oesophagoscopy

    Endoscopic examination of the oesophagus (gullet).
  53. Open Reduction Internal Fixation

    ORIF: involves the implanting of fixators to guide the healing process of a bone, as well as the open reduction (setting) of the bone itself. Open reduction refers to open surgery to set bones.
    Rigid fixation prevents micromotion across lines of fracture, to enable healing and prevent infection, which happens when implants, such as plates, are used. ORIF techniques are often used in cases involving serious fracture, such as comminuted or displaced fractures.
  54. Oopherectomy

    Removal of the ovaries.
  55. Panendoscopy

    Endoscopic examination of larynx (voice box), oesophagus (gullet), mouth, nose, or tongue. Biopsies are taken for examination.
  56. Parotidectomy

    Surgical removal of the Parotid (salivary) gland - inferior and anterior to the ear.
  57. Patient Safety

    NHS  How to guide for reducing harm in Perioperative Care.
  58. Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI)

    Aka Coronary Angioplasty, is a non-surgical procedure used to treat stenotic (narrowed) arteries (coronary) of the heart, which result from the build up of cholesterol-laden plaques, due to atherosclerosis.
  59. Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL)

    Endoscopic removal of kidney stones.
  60. Pericardiocentesis

    Aspiration of fluid through the fifth intercostal space.
  61. Pharyngoscopy

    Endoscopic examination of the pharynx (throat).
  62. Pledget

    Small piece of gauze.
  63. Pre-operative marking

    Marking of a surgical site, to prevent the accidental surgery on the wrong sided organ or limb.  Checks
  64. Pyloroplasty

    Surgery to help the stomach empty foods more easily.
    The surgeon cuts into the pyloric sphincter, to make a larger opening at the bottom of the stomach, and help the muscles to relax. The procedure tries to allow gravity to help the stomach digest food more easily.   Article
  65. Queckenstedt test

    Test to see if cerebrospinal fluid is flowing correctly, by applying pressure to the jugular veins during a lumbar puncture.
  66. Surgical site infection

    A reference guide is provided by  N.I.C.E.
  67. Sutures

    System of closing wounds.
  68. Tracheostomy

    The opening in the airway, produced by tracheotomy.
  69. Tracheotomy

    A procedure to create a surgical opening of the trachea (tracheostomy) to facilitate respiration, by inserting a tube which bypasses a blockage in the trachea, caused by, for example, trauma, swelling, tumour, throat muscle paralysis, obstruction. Also for long term assisted ventilation of comatose patients.  The steps
  70. Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)

    The surgical removal of a section of prostate gland, to reduce pressure on the bladder, caused by the enlarged prostate gland obstructing the flow of urine to the bladder.
  71. Trapeziectomy

    The complete removal of the trapezium bone, one of the eight carpal (wrist) bones, at the base of the thumb.   Patient information   ||   Youtube
  72. Trochar

    A triangular edged medical instrument, with a sharply pointed end. Usually fitted inside a cannula to introduce into blood vessels or body cavities. Trocars are used to introduce ports into the abdomen, such as during laparoscopic surgery.
  73. Varicose veins

    Swollen, painful veins, usually in the legs, which have filled with blood.  The procedure