tomo-,-tom, -toma, -tomic, -tomize, -tome, -tomical, -tomically, -tomist, -tomous, -tomy; -otomy

(Greek: cut, incision; section; more often used as a suffix)

The surgical formation of a new artificial opening into a bodily organ or between two bodily organs.
orthopantomography (s) (noun), orthopantomographies (pl)
A modification of X-rays that are made to be more nearly normal to the line of the jaws, so that a radiograph can be obtained showing all the teeth and adjacent tissue in a straight line.
1. Dissection of the ear.
2. Incision of any of the tissues of the external auditory meatus (opening or passageway) or the ear proper.
A compulsion for bloodletting as was once practiced by “medical” doctors who believed that most illnesses were caused by diseased blood and could only be cured by bleeding their patients; even if it killed them.
1. To puncture a vein for the purpose of withdrawing blood.
2. A needle puncture of a vein for the drawing of blood; also called, venepuncture, venesection, venipuncture, venisection, and venotomy.
3. The act or practice of opening a vein by incision or puncture to remove blood as a therapeutic treatment.

The Ancient Art of Bloodletting

The practice of bloodletting seemed logical when the foundation of all medical treatment was based on the four body humors: blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile. Health was thought to be restored by purging, starving, vomiting or bloodletting.

The art of bloodletting was practiced well before Hippocrates in the fifth century B.C. By the middle ages, both surgeons and barbers were specializing in this bloody practice. Barbers advertised with a red (for blood) and white (for tourniquet) striped pole. The pole itself represented the stick squeezed by the patient to dilate the veins and the bowls into which the blood flowed.

Bloodletting arrived in the U. S. on the Mayflower. The practice reached great heights in the 18th and early 19th centuries. The first U.S. president, George Washington, died from a throat infection in 1799 after being drained of nine pints of blood within 24 hours. The draining of 16-30 ounces (one to four pints) of blood was typical.

Blood was often caught in a shallow bowl. When the patient became faint, the "treatment" was stopped. Bleeding was often encouraged over large areas of the body by multiple incisions. By the end of the 19th century (1875-1900), phlebotomy was declared quackery because medical research proved such practices to be in incorrect.

rachiotome, rachitome
A bone cutting instrument for dividing the vertebral laminae.
theophilanthropism (s) (noun)
The love of or fondness for both God and man: "The philosophy of theophilanthropism was established during the French revolution as a new religion to replace Christianity and to be pure deism, which is based on a God who created the universe and then abandoned it, assuming no control over life, exerting no influence on natural phenomena, and providing no supernatural revelation."
The process for generating a tomogram, a two-dimensional image of a slice or section through a three-dimensional object.

Tomography achieves this remarkable result by simply moving an x-ray source in one direction as the x-ray film is moved in the opposite direction during the exposure to sharpen structures in the focal plane, while structures in other planes appear blurred.

The tomogram is the picture; the tomograph is the apparatus; and tomography is the process.

1. An unusual interest in surgery; that is, abnormal desires to have operations.
2. An irrational desire to use operative procedures by either a doctor or a patient.
tomophobia (s) (noun) (no plural)
An exaggerated fright of surgical operations: When Mandy heard from her doctor that surgery was impertinent, she was in a panic and suffering from tomophobia, so the surgeon calmed her down when he explained the procedure.

Related cutting-word units: cast-; castrat-; -cise, -cide; -ectomy; mutil-; put-; sec-, seg-; temno-; trunc-.