-al; -ial, -eal

(Latin: suffix; pertaining to, like, of the kind of, relating to, characterized by, belonging to; action of, process of)

abdominal delivery (s) (noun), abdominal deliveries (pl)
Delivery of a child through a surgical incision in the abdomen and uterus: Abdominal deliveries, also known as "cesarean 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: Because Voni was experiencing pains in her stomach, Dr. Black performed an abdominal examination to see what was causing Voni's symptoms of discomfort.
2. The physical evaluation of a patient's midsection with visual inspection, auscultation, percussion, and palpation: An abdominal examination includes the visual examination of the normally oval shape of the abdominal surface while the patient is lying on his or her back which 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 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, the tapping of a part of the body for diagnostic purposes, helps to determination the condition of internal organs while palpation, or 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 (s) (noun), abdominal fasciae (pl)
A sheet or band of connective tissue covering or binding together parts of the body, such as muscles or organs, that form part of the general layer which lines the walls of the abdominal cavity and covers the abdominal organs: The abdominal fascia 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 (s) (noun), fistulas; fistulae (pl)
1. A tract leading from a hollow viscera organ to the external surface: The abdominal fistula that had to be performed on Simon was necessary as a result of an injury he had had.
2. An abnormal passage or tract leading from an abdominal organ to the external surface of the abdomen: In a colostomy, an abdominal fistula extending 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 (s) (noun), abdominal gestations (pl)
Development of a fetus outside the uterus in the abdominal cavity: An abdominal gestation is a great hazard to the health of the mother because of excessive internal bleeding.
abdominal girth (s) (noun), abdominal girths (pl)
1. The circumference of the abdomen, usually measured at the umbilicus, or also called belly button: The calculation of the abdominal girth is used to assess the growth of a baby, which is found to be an important indicator of normal baby proportions.
2. The measurement of the distance around the abdomen at a specific point, usually at the level of the belly button or navel: Measuring abdominal girth is used to diagnose and to 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 (s) (noun), abdominal hernias; abdominal herniae (pl)
A rupture in smooth muscle tissue protruding through a defect or weakened portion of the abdominal wall: An umbilical hernia is one type of abdominal hernia, or an abnormal protrusion of internal abdominal contents into a defect in the umbilical area which is common in a newborn child.

There are various hernias, as an "inguinal hernia", "umbilical hernia", or "spigelian hernia", in which an anatomical part, such as a section of the intestine, protrudes through an opening, tear, or weakness in the abdominal wall musculature which is a system or an arrangement of muscles in a body or a body part.

abdominal hysterectomy (s) (noun), abdominal hysterectomies (pl)
The surgical removal of the uterus through an incision made in the abdominal wall: When an abdominal hysterectomy is performed, a transverse incision is accomplished by penetration near the pelvis area, which is comparable to the incision for a caesarean section.

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

abdominal inguinal ring (s) (noun), abdominal inguinal rings (pl)
The internal and upper 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 which is the broad, flat muscle of the abdomen: When Tim went to his doctor for a check-up, the abdominal inguinal ring was also examined.
abdominal muscle (s) (noun), abdominal muscles (pl)
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, informally known as the "abs", are the target of many exercises, such as sit-ups.

abdominal muscles (pl) (noun)
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 consists 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 of 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 (s) (noun), abdominal nephrectomies (pl)
The surgical removal of a kidney through an abdominal incision: An abdominal nephrectomy is made by cutting through the anterior or front of the abdominal wall which is performed either by a transperitoneal (across the smooth serous tissue membrane which lines the cavity of the abdomen) or by an extraperitoneal (outside the tissue membrane) technique.
abdominal pain (s) (noun), abdominal pains (pl)
1. Sensation of discomfort, distress, or agony in the intestinal region: Abdominal pain is generally associated with functional disorders, tissue injuries, or diseases.
2. Agony in the visceral 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 an excess buildup of intestinal gas.

abdominal paracentesis (s) (noun), abdominal paracenteses (pl)
1. The surgical puncture of the abdominal cavity for the removal of fluid for diagnosis or treatment: Joan had to go to the hospital to have an abdominal paracentesis performed because she had excess liquid in the visceral area.
2. A puncture of the wall of a fluid-filled cavity with a hollow needle to draw off the contents for medical diagnosis: A trocar is used during an abdominal paracentesis to obtain some ascitic fluid for examination from a patient while he or she is in a sitting position.
abdominal pressure (s) (noun), abdominal pressures (pl)
Pressure surrounding the bladder from rectal, gastric, or intraperitoneal force, or from the area that contains the abdominal organs: Jackie was suffering from abdominal pressure and so she went to her doctor for an examination.