Gallstones Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Gallstones article.

Abdomen: The belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the...

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Abdominal: Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of ...

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Abdominal pain: Pain in the belly. Abdominal pain can be acute or chronic. It may reflect ...

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Acetaminophen: A nonaspirin pain reliever or analgesic. Acetaminophen may be given alone t...

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Analysis: In psychology, a term for conversation-based therapeutic processes used to gain ...

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Anesthesia: Loss of feeling or awareness, as when an anesthetic is administered before sur...

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Angina: Chest pain due to an inadequate supply of oxygen to the heart muscle. The pain is ...

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Asymptomatic: Without symptoms. For example, an asymptomatic infection is an infection wit...

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Atherosclerosis: A process of progressive thickening and hardening of the walls of medium-...

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Belching: A normal process of releasing through the mouth air that accumulates in the stom...

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Bile: Bile is a yellow-green fluid that is made by the liver, stored in the gallbladder a...

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Biliary: Having to do with the gallbladder, bile ducts, or bile. The biliary system itself...

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Bilirubin: A yellow-orange compound that is produced by the breakdown of hemoglobin from r...

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Birth control: Birth control is the use of any practices, methods, or devices to prevent p...

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Bladder: A hollow organ in the lower abdomen that stores urine. The kidneys filter waste f...

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Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Chest pain: Pain in the chest that can be a result of many things, including angina, heart...

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Chest X-ray: A type of X-ray commonly used to detect abnormalities in the lungs. A chest X...

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Chills: feelings of coldness accompanied by shivering. Chills may develop after exposure t...

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Cholecystectomy: Surgical removal of the gallbladder. This procedure may be done by laparo...

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Cholecystitis: Inflammation of the gallbladder. Cholecystitis is a complication of gallsto...

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Cholescintigraphy: A diagnostic test in which a two-dimensional picture of a radiation sou...

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Cholesterol: The most common type of steroid in the body. Cholesterol has a reputation for...

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Colic: A cause of crampy abdominal pain in early infancy. Colic is a common condition, occ...

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Common bile duct: The duct that carries bile from the gallbladder and liver into the duode...

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Complication: In medicine, an unanticipated problem that arises following, and is a result...

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Contraction: The tightening and shortening of a muscle.

CT scan: Computerized tomography scan. Pictures of structures within the body created by a...

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Cure: 1. To heal, to make well, to restore to good health. 2. A time withou...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Diarrhea: A common condition that involves unusually frequent and liquid bowel movements. ...

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Duct: A walled passageway, such as a lymph duct, that carries fluid from one place to anot...

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Emergency department: The department of a hospital responsible for the provision of medica...

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Endoscope: A lighted optical instrument that is used to get a deep look inside the body. A...

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Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography: Abbreviated ERCP. A procedure done to diag...

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Enzymes: Proteins that act as a catalysts in mediating and speeding a specific chemical re...

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ERCP: Endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography, a diagnostic procedure used to exam...

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ESWL: Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy.

Extracorporeal: Outside the body, in the anatomic sense. As in extracorporeal circulation,...

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Extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy: See: Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy.

Fasting: : going without food or drink. Patients may be advised to fast for a certain peri...

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Fats: Plural of the word "fat". See the definition of fat.

Fetus: An unborn offspring, from the embryo stage (the end of the eighth week after concep...

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Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 degr...

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Gallbladder: A pear-shaped organ located below the liver that stores the bile secreted by ...

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Gallstones: Stones that form when substances in the bile harden. Gallstones can be as smal...

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HDL: High density lipoprotein.

Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart attack: The death of heart muscle due to the loss of blood supply. The loss of bloo...

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Heart disease: Any disorder that affects the heart. Sometimes the term "heart disease" is ...

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Hormone: A chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activit...

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Hypercholesterolemia: High blood cholesterol. This can be sporadic (occurring with no fami...

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Incision: A cut through skin or other tissue performed by a health care professional.

Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a ...

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Intestine: The long, tubelike organ in the abdomen that completes the process of digestion...

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Jaundice: Yellow staining of the skin and sclerae (the whites of the eyes) by abnormally h...

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Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kid...

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Laparoscopic: 1. Pertaining to the procedure of laparoscopy.
2. Pert...

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Laparoscopic cholecystectomy: Removal of the gallbladder (cholecystectomy) by laparoscopy.

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Lipid: Another word for "fat." (Please see the various meanings of Fat.) A lipid is more f...

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Lipid profile: A pattern of lipids in the blood. A lipid profile usually includes the leve...

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Lipoprotein: A molecule that is a combination of lipid and protein. Lipids do not travel i...

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Lipoproteins: Complexes of lipid and protein, the way lipids travel in the blood.

Lithotripsy: A procedure to break a stone into small particles that can be passed in the u...

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Liver: The largest solid organ in the body, situated in the upper part of the abdomen on t...

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Liver disease: Liver disease refers to any disorder of the liver. The liver is a large org...

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Marker: A piece of DNA that lies on a chromosome so close to a gene that the marker and t...

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Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and con...

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Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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Obesity: The state of being well above one's normal weight.

Operating room: A facility that is equipped for performing surgery. Abbreviated OR.

Operation: In medicine, a surgical procedure. Many operations are named after persons. The...

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Oral cholecystogram: Abbreviated OCG. An x-ray procedure for diagnosing gallstones. The p...

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Organ: A relatively independent part of the body that carries out one or more special func...

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Overweight: The term "overweight" is used in two different ways. In one sense it is a way ...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Pancreas: A spongy, tube-shaped organ that is about 6 inches long and is located in the ba...

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Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas. Of the many causes of pancreatitis, the most c...

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Pigment: A substance that gives color to tissue. Pigments are responsible for the colors o...

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Pneumonia: Inflammation of one or both lungs, with dense areas of lung inflammation. Pneum...

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Polygenic: Pertaining to two or more genes. As opposed to monogenic.

Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. Thi...

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Pregnant: The state of carrying a developing fetus within the body.

Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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Radiate: To spread out from a central area. For example, sciatic pain may radiate outward ...

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Radiation: 1. Rays of energy. Gamma rays and X-rays are two of the types of energy ...

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Radioactive: Emitting energy waves due to decaying atomic nuclei. Radioactive substances a...

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Residual: Something left behind. With residual disease, the disease has not been eradicate...

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Rib: One of the 12 paired arches of bone that form the skeletal structure of the chest wal...

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Rib cage: The structure formed by the thoracic vertebrae and ribs, the sternum (breastbone...

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Risk factor: Something that increases a person's chances of developing a disease. For exam...

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Rule out: Term used in medicine, meaning to eliminate or exclude something from considera...

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Saturated fat: A fat that contains only saturated fatty acids, is solid at room temperatur...

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Scan: As a noun, the data or image obtained from the examination of organs or regions of...

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Serum: The clear liquid that can be separated from clotted blood. Serum differs from plas...

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Shock: In medicine, a critical condition that is brought on by a sudden drop in blood flow...

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Shoulder: A structure made up of two main bones: the scapula (shoulder blade) and the hume...

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Sleep: The body's rest cycle.

Small intestine: The part of the digestive tract that extends from the stomach to the larg...

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Statins: A class of drugs that lower cholesterol.

Stomach: The digestive organ that is located in the upper abdomen, under the ribs. The upp...

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Surgeon: A physician who treats disease, injury, or deformity via operative or manual meth...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood comin...

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Symptomatic: 1 With symptoms, as a symptomatic infection. 2 Characteristic o...

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Triglycerides: The major form of fat stored by the body. A triglyceride consists of three ...

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Tylenol: See: Acetaminophen.

Ultrasound: High-frequency sound waves. Ultra-sound waves can be bounced off tissues by us...

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Urine: Liquid waste produced by the kidneys. Urine is a clear, transparent fluid that norm...

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X-ray: High-energy radiation with waves shorter than those of visible light. X-ray is used...

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Medical Dictionary