abdomin-, abdomino-, abdomen-

(Latin: belly, venter [the use of "stomach" is considered incorrect for this root word]; from Latin abdo-, to put away)

abdominal delivery
1. Delivery of a child through an incision in the abdomen; also known as, cesarean section.
2. An obstetric procedure which involves the delivery of the fetus through an abdominal incision.

Cesarian sections account for about one fifth of all births in the U.S.

abdominal examination (s) (noun), abdominal examinations (pl)
1. A hands-on evaluation of the abdominal cavity to identify abnormalities, if there are any, based on a change in size, shape, consistency, or sound on percussion of the organs found inside.
2. The physical evaluation of a patient's abdomen with visual inspection, auscultation, percussion, and palpation.

The visual examination of the normally oval shape of the abdominal surface while the patient is lying on his or her back may reveal abnormal surface features indicating the effects of a disease, surgery, or injury.

Below the surface tumors, fluid accumulation, or hypertrophy of the liver or spleen may be seen as an abnormal surface feature.

Auscultation or listening to sounds within the body (usually with a stethoscope) may reveal vascular sounds that provide information about arterial disorders; such as, aortic aneurysms (any swelling) of the aorta and bowel sounds that indicate intestinal function.

In a pregnant patient, auscultation can detect fetal heartbeat and blood circulation in the placenta.

Percussion (tapping a part of the body for diagnostic purposes) helps to determination the condition of internal organs while palpation (feeling the size, shape, or firmness of body parts) is used to detect areas of tenderness or rigidity, muscle tone and skin condition, and the shapes and sizes of organs or masses under the surface of the skin.

abdominal fascia, visceral abdominal fascia, parietal abdominal fascia, extraperitoneal fascia
A term for the fascia (sheet or band of connective tissue covering or binding together parts of the body; such as, muscles or organs) that forms part of the general layer which lines the walls of the abdominal cavity and investing (process of covering) the abdominal organs.

It is subdivided into visceral abdominal fascia (internal organs of the abdomen), parietal abdominal fascia (connective tissue lining the wall of the abdominal cavity), and extraperitoneal fascia (thin layer of connective tissue and adipose or fat tissue).

abdominal fistula
1. A tract leading from one of the abdominal viscera to the external surface.
2. An abnormal passage or tract leading from an abdominal organ to the external surface of the abdomen.

In a colostomy, a passage from the bowel to an opening on the surface of the abdomen is surgically created.

A colostomy is a medical operation in which part of the colon is removed and a hole is made in the stomach through which solid waste can leave the body.

abdominal gestation, ectopic pregnancy
1. Development of a fetus outside the uterus in the abdominal cavity.
2. The implantation of a fertilized ovum outside the uterus but within the peritoneal cavity or the space within the abdomen that contains the intestines, the stomach, and the liver and which is held together by thin membranes.
3. An ectopic pregnancy, in which the fertilized egg implants in a location outside the uterus where it attempts to develop.

The word ectopic means "in an abnormal place or position" where the most common site is the fallopian tube, the tube that normally carries eggs from the ovary to the uterus.

In this case, ectopic pregnancy can also occur in the ovary, the abdomen, and the cervical canal (the opening from the uterus to the vaginal canal).

The phrases tubal pregnancy, ovarian pregnancy, cervical pregnancy, and abdominal pregnancy all refer to the specific areas of an ectopic pregnancy.

abdominal girth
1. The circumference of the abdomen, usually measured at the umbilicus (belly button).
2. The measurement of the distance around the abdomen at a specific point, usually at the level of the belly button (navel).

Measuring abdominal girth is used to diagnose and monitor:

  • Obesity or the build up of fluid in the abdomen, often caused by liver failure or heart failure.
  • Buildup of intestinal gas, usually caused by the blockage or an obstruction in the intestines.
abdominal hernia
1. A hernia protruding through a defect or weakened portion of the abdominal wall.

An umbilical hernia is an example of a type of abdominal hernia or an abnormal protrusion of internal abdominal contents into a defect in the umbilical area which is common in the newborn child.

2. Any of various hernias (as an inguinal hernia, umbilical hernia, or spigelian hernia) in which an anatomical part; such as, a section of the intestine that protrudes through an opening, tear, or weakness in the abdominal wall musculature (a system or an arrangement of muscles in a body or a body part).
abdominal hysterectomy, abdomino-hysterectomy
The surgical removal of the uterus through an incision made in the abdominal wall, as opposed to a vaginal hysterectomy.

A vaginal hysterectomy refers to the removal of the uterus through a surgical incision within the vagina, as opposed to an abdominal hysterectomy. With a vaginal hysterectomy, the scar from the procedure is not outwardly visible.

abdominal inguinal ring
The internal opening of the inguinal (groin) canal, bounded inferiorly by the inguinal (groin) ligament, medially by the inferior epigastric vessels, and above and laterally by the lower free border of the transversus abdominis muscle (broad, flat muscle of the abdomen).
abdominal muscle, abs
One of a large group of muscles in the front of the abdomen that assists in maintaining regular breathing movements, supports the muscles of the spine while lifting, and which keeps abdominal organs in place.

Abdominal muscles are the target of many exercises; such as, sit-ups. Abdominal muscles are informally known as the abs.

abdominal muscles
1. A large group of muscles in the front of the abdomen that assists in the regular breathing movement and supports the muscles of the spine while lifting and keeping abdominal organs; such as, the intestines in place.
2. The group of four muscles which make up the abdominal wall, consisting of:

  • The external oblique (the most superficial of the four, a muscle from the fifth to twelfth ribs) whose fibers are directed downward and medially from the lower ribs to the linea alba (a fibrous band) and pelvis.
  • The internal oblique (a slanting, small, thin, deep muscle of the abdomen), whose fibers are directed upward and medially from the iliac crest (hip bone) and lumbodorsal fascia (loose tissue) to the lower ribs.
  • The rectus abdominis, a vertically oriented muscle from the crest of the pubis (pelvis) to the cartilages of the fifth, sixth, and seventh ribs and xiphoid process.
  • The transversus abdominis, whose fibers are oriented transversely (sideways or at an angle across something).

These muscles participate in a variety of functions, including flexion, side bending and rotation of the trunk, stabilization of the trunk in the upright posture, the expiratory phase of respiration, coughing, and Valsalva's maneuver.

The term Valsalva's maneuver is a maneuver in which the patient holds his or her breath or gives a voluntary cough or sneeze to produce pain.

These activities, holding the breath, coughing, or sneezing; increase the pressure of the cerebrospinal fluid which enlarges the pressure against the already pressured nerve, causing pain and numbness. The location of this intensified pain also contributes to the medical diagnosis.

abdominal nephrectomy
1. The surgical removal of a kidney through an abdominal incision.
2. Removal of the kidney by an incision through the anterior or front of the abdominal wall; performed by either a transperitoneal (across the smooth serous tissue membrane which lines the cavity of the abdomen) or extraperitoneal (outside the tissue membrane) technique.
abdominal pain
1. Sensation of discomfort, distress, or agony in the abdominal region; generally associated with functional disorders, tissue injuries, or diseases.
2. Pain in the abdominal cavity.

Abdominal pain can be acute or chronic. It may reflect a major problem with one of the organs in the abdomen: such as, appendicitis or a perforated intestine, or it may result from a fairly minor problem; such as, excess buildup of intestinal gas.

abdominal paracentesis
1. The surgical puncture of the abdominal cavity for the removal of fluid for diagnosis or treatment.
2. A puncture of the wall of a fluid-filled cavity with a hollow needle to draw off the contents for medical diagnosis.
abdominal pressure
Pressure surrounding the bladder from rectal, gastric, or intraperitoneal pressure or the area that contains the abdominal organs.