Stereotactic Radiosurgery

Stereotactic radiosurgery is the use of a precise beam of radiation to destroy tissue in the brain.


The stethoscope is an instrument used for auscultation, or listening to sounds produced by the body. It is used primarily to listen to the lungs, heart, and intestinal tract.

Stitches and Staples

Stitches and staples are two methods by which a wound may be closed. Stitches use specialized needles and thread to "sew" a wound closed.

Stress Test

A stress test is primarily used to identify coronary artery disease. It requires patients to exercise on a treadmill or exercise bicycle while their heart rate, blood pressure, electrocardiogram (ECG), and symptoms are monitored.


Sulfonamides are a group of anti-infective drugs that prevent the growth of bacteria in the body by interfering with their metabolism. Bacteria are one-celled disease-causing microorganisms that commonly multiply by cell division.

Surgical Instruments

Surgical instruments are tools or devices that perform such functions as cutting, dissecting, grasping, holding, retracting, or suturing. Most surgical instruments are made from stainless steel.

Surgical Oncology

Surgical oncology is a specialized area of oncology that engages surgeons in the cure and management of cancer.

Surgical Team

The surgical team is a unit providing the continuum of care beginning with preoperative care, and extending through perioperative (during the surgery) procedures, and postoperative recovery. Each specialist on the team, whether surgeon, anesthesiologist or nurse, has advanced training for his or her role before, during, and after surgery.


Sympathectomy is a surgical procedure that destroys nerves in the sympathetic nervous system. The procedure is performed to increase blood flow and decrease long-term pain in certain diseases that cause narrowed blood vessels.

Syringe and Needle

Syringes and needles are sterile devices used to inject solutions into or withdraw secretions from the body. A syringe is a calibrated glass or plastic cylinder with a plunger at one and an opening that attaches to a needle.

Talking to the Doctor

Talking to the doctor is a fundamental requirement for an accurate exchange of information between patient and health care provider. It includes communicating private or potentially sensitive information, and requires a climate of trust.


Tarsorrhaphy is a rare procedure in which the eyelids are partially sewn together to narrow the opening.


Telesurgery, also called remote surgery, is performed by a surgeon at a site removed from the patient. Surgical tasks are directly performed by a robotic system controlled by the surgeon at the remote site.

Tendon Repair

Tendon repair refers to the surgical repair of damaged or torn tendons, which are cord-like structures made of strong fibrous connective tissue that connect muscles to bones. The shoulder, elbow, knee, and ankle joints are the most commonly affected by tendon injuries.


Tenotomy is the cutting of a tendon. This and related procedures are also called tendon release, tendon lengthening, and heel-cord release (for tenotomy of the Achilles tendon).


Tetracyclines are medicines that kill bacteria, which are one-celled disease-causing microorganisms that commonly multiply by cell division. Tetracyclines are also used to treat infections caused by such subcategories of bacteria as rickettsiae and spirochetes.


A thermometer is used in health care to measure and monitor body temperature. In an office, hospital or other health care facility, it allows a caregiver to record a baseline temperature when a patient is admitted.

Thoracic Surgery

Thoracic surgery is any surgery performed in the chest (thorax).


Thoracotomy is the process of making of an incision (cut) into the chest wall.

Thrombolytic Therapy

Thrombolytic therapy is the use of drugs that dissolve blood clots.


Thyroidectomy is a surgical procedure in which all or part of the thyroid gland is removed. The thyroid gland is located in the forward (anterior) part of the neck just under the skin and in front of the Adam's apple.


Tonsillectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the tonsils. The tonsils are part of the lymphatic system, which is responsible for fighting infection.

Tooth Extraction

Tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone.

Tooth Replantation

Tooth replantation is the reinsertion and splinting of a tooth that has been avulsed (knocked or torn out) of its socket.


Trabeculectomy is a surgical procedure that removes part of the trabeculum in the eye to relieve pressure caused by glaucoma.


A tracheotomy is a surgical procedure that opens up the windpipe (trachea). It is performed in emergency situations, in the operating room, or at bedside of critically ill patients.


Traction is force applied by weights or other devices to treat bone or muscle disorders or injuries.


Transfusion is the process of transferring whole blood or blood components from a donor to a recipient.

Transplant Surgery

Transplant surgery is the surgical removal of an organ(s), tissue, or blood products from a donor and surgically placing or infusing them into a recipient.

Transurethral Bladder Resection

Transurethral bladder resection is a surgical procedure used to view the inside of the bladder, remove tissue samples, and/or remove tumors. Instruments are passed through a cystoscope (a slender tube with a lens and a light) that has been inserted through the urethra into the bladder.

Transurethral Resection of the Prostate

Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is a surgical procedure by which portions of the prostate gland are removed through the urethra.

Tubal Ligation

Tubal ligation is a permanent voluntary form of birth control (contraception) in which a woman's fallopian tubes are surgically cut or blocked off to prevent pregnancy.

Tube-Shunt Surgery

Tube-shunt surgery, or Seton tube shunt glaucoma surgery, is a surgical method to treat glaucoma. Glaucoma is a potentially blinding disease affecting 2–3% of the United States population.

Tube Enterostomy

Tube enterostomy, or tube feeding, is a form of enteral or intestinal site feeding that employs a stoma or semi-permanent surgically placed tube to the small intestines.

Tumor Marker Tests

Tumor markers are a group of proteins, hormones, enzymes, receptors, and other cellular products that are overexpressed (produced in higher than normal amounts) by malignant cells. Tumor markers are usually normal cellular constituents that are present at normal or very low levels in the blood of healthy persons.

Tumor Removal

A tumor is an abnormal growth caused by the uncontrolled division of cells. Benign tumors do not have the potential to spread to other parts of the body (a process called metastasis) and are curable by surgical removal.


Tympanoplasty, also called eardrum repair, refers to surgery performed to reconstruct a perforated tympanic membrane (eardrum) or the small bones of the middle ear. Eardrum perforation may result from chronic infection or, less commonly, from trauma to the eardrum.

Type and Screen

Blood typing is a laboratory test that identifies blood group antigens (substances that stimulate an immune response) belonging to the ABO blood group system. The test classifies blood into four groups designated A, B, AB, and O.

Umbilical Hernia Repair

An umbilical hernia repair is a surgical procedure performed to fix a weakness in the abdominal wall or to close an opening near the umbilicus (navel) that has allowed abdominal contents to protrude. The abdominal contents may or may not be contained within a membrane or sac.

Upper GI Exam

An upper GI examination is a fluoroscopic examination (a type of x ray imaging) of the upper gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus, stomach, and upper small intestine (duodenum).

Ureteral Stenting

A ureteral stent is a thin, flexible tube threaded into the ureter to help urine drain from the kidney to the bladder or to an external collection system.


Ureterosigmoidoscopy is a surgical procedure that treats urinary incontinence by joining the ureters to the lower colon, thereby allowing urine to evacuate through the rectum.

Ureterostomy, Cutaneous

A cutaneous ureterostomy, also called ureterocutaneostomy, is a surgical procedure that detaches one or both ureters from the bladder, and brings them to the surface of the abdomen with the formation of an opening (stoma) to allow passage of urine.


A urinalysis is a group of manual and/or automated qualitative and semi-quantitative tests performed on a urine sample. A routine urinalysis usually includes the following tests: color, transparency, specific gravity, pH, protein, glucose, ketones, blood, bilirubin, nitrite, urobilinogen, and leukocyte esterase.

Urinary Anti-Infectives

Urinary anti-infectives are medicines used to treat or prevent infections of the urinary tract, which is the passage through which urine flows from the kidneys out of the body.

Urologic Surgery

Urologic surgery is the integration of surgical activities for the pelvis—the colon, urogenital, and gynecological organs—primarily for the treatment of obstructions, dysfunction, malignancies, and inflammatory diseases.

Uterine Stimulants

Uterine stimulants (uterotonics) are medications given to cause a woman's uterus to contract, or to increase the frequency and intensity of the contractions. These drugs are used to induce (start) or augment (speed) labor; facilitate uterine contractions following a miscarriage; induce abortion; or reduce hemorrhage following childbirth or abortion.

Vagal Nerve Stimulation

Vagal nerve stimulation is a treatment for epilepsy in which an electrode is implanted in the neck to deliver electrical impulses to the vagus nerve.


Vagotomy is the surgical cutting of the vagus nerve to reduce acid secretion in the stomach.

Vascular Surgery

Vascular surgery is the treatment of surgery on diagnosed patients with diseases of the arterial, venous, and lymphatic systems (excluding the intracranial and coronary arteries).


A vasectomy is a surgical procedure performed on adult males in which the vasa deferentia (tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the seminal vesicles) are cut, tied, cauterized (burned or seared), or otherwise interrupted. The semen no longer contains sperm after the tubes are cut, so conception cannot occur.


A vasovasostomy is a surgical procedure in which the effects of a vasectomy (male sterilization) are reversed. During a vasectomy, the vasa deferentia, which are ducts that carry sperm from the testicles to the seminal vesicles, are cut, tied, cauterized (burned or seared), or otherwise interrupted.

Vein Ligation and Stripping

Vein ligation and stripping is a surgical approach to the treatment of varicose veins. It is also sometimes called phlebectomy.

Venous Thrombosis Prevention

Venous thrombosis prevention is a means to prevent blood clots from forming in veins within the body.

Ventricular Assist Device

A ventricular assist device (VAD) is a battery-operated mechanical system consisting of a blood pump and a control unit used for temporary support of blood circulation. The VAD decreases the workload of the heart while maintaining adequate blood flow and blood pressure.

Ventricular Shunt

A ventricular shunt is a tube that is surgically placed in one of the fluid-filled chambers inside the brain (ventricles). The fluid around the brain and the spinal column is called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

Vertical Banded Gastroplasty

Vertical banded gastroplasty, or VBG, is an elective surgical procedure in which the stomach is partitioned with staples and fitted with a plastic band to limit the amount of food that the stomach can hold at one time. Gastroplasty is a term that comes from two Greek words, gaster or "stomach," and plassein, "to form or shape." "Stomach stapling," also known as VBG, is part of a relatively new surgical subspecialty called bariatric surgery.

Vital Signs

Vital signs, or signs of life, include the following objective measures for a person: temperature, respiratory rate, heart beat (pulse), and blood pressure. When these values are not zero, they indicate that a person is alive.

Webbed Finger or Toe Repair

Webbed finger or toe repair refers to corrective or reconstructive surgery performed to repair webbed fingers or toes, also called syndactyly. The long and ring fingers or the second and third toes are most often affected.

Weight Management

Weight management refers to a set of practices and behaviors that are necessary to keep one's weight at a healthful level. It is preferred to the term "dieting," because it involves more than regulation of food intake or treatment of overweight people.

White Blood Cell Count and Differential

A white blood cell (WBC) count determines the concentration of white blood cells in the patient's blood. A differential determines the percentage of each of the five types of mature white blood cells.

Wound Care

A wound is a disruption in the continuity of cells—anything that causes cells that would normally be connected to become separated. Wound healing is the restoration of that continuity.

Wound Culture

A wound culture is a diagnostic laboratory test in which microorganisms—such as bacteria or fungi from an infected wound, are grown in the laboratory on nutrient-enriched substance called media—then identified. Wound cultures always include aerobic (with oxygen) culture, but direct smear evaluation by Gram stain and anaerobic (without oxygen) culture are not performed on every wound.

Wrist Replacement

Wrist replacement surgery is performed to replace a wrist injured or damaged beyond repair. An artificial wrist joint replacement is implanted.