-ectomy, -ectome, -ectomize

(Greek: a suffix; cut, excise, surgical removal of)

1. An incision into a duct or bodily organ to remove stones.
2. The surgical removal of a calculus.
1. The surgical removal of a lobe of an organ (as a lung) or gland (as the thyroid); specifically, the excision of a lobe of the lung.
2. Surgical removal of all or part of a lung. Indicated in some cases of lung cancer, lung abscess, and localized pulmonary tuberculosis.
3. Excision of a lobe, as of the thyroid, liver, brain, or lung.
lumpectomy (s), lumpectomies (pl) (nouns)
1. A surgical operation for breast cancer in which the surgery is limited to the removal of the visible and palpable tumor only: "A lumpectomy is not a mastectomy during which the breast is removed."

"Lumpectomies are rapidly gaining acceptance because in many cases it can save lives without the disfigurement of mastectomy."

2. The surgical removal of a small tumor (a lump) which may or may not be benign or malignant: "Lumpectomy has come to refer especially to the removal of a lump from the breast."

"Except for the lump's removal, lumpectomies leave the breast intact."

3. Etymology: The word lumpectomy is a hybrid term. "Lump" is of Middle English origin while -ectomy comes from two Greek roots ek, "out" + tome, "a cutting" = "a cutting of"; so, a lumpectomy is literally "a cutting out of a lump".
Excision or surgery on a lymphatic vessel or channel.
An operation to remove the whole breast.
mandibulectomy (noun), mandibulectomies (pl)
The excision or cutting out of the lower jaw by means of a medical operation.

Mandibulectomies can be either marginal, in which only the bone, teeth, and adjacent soft tissues are resected and the mandible's continuity is maintained; or segmental, where a complete segment of the mandible is removed.

mastectomy (s), mastectomies (pl) (nouns)
The surgical removal of the entire breast, usually to treat serious breast disease; such as, breast cancer: "In mastectomy, doctors remove the entire breast, a major chest muscle, and lymph glands in the armpit in an effort to make sure that the cancer has been eliminated."

There are four general types of mastectomy

  1. Subcutaneous mastectomy when the entire breast is removed but the nipple and areola (the pigmented circle around the nipple) remain in place.
  2. Total (or simple) mastectomy or the removal of the whole breast, but not the lymph nodes under the arm (axillary nodes).
  3. Modified radical mastectomy or the removal of the whole breast and most of the lymph nodes under the arm (axillary dissection).
  4. Radical mastectomy which is the removal of the chest wall muscles (pectorals) in addition to the breast and axillary lymph nodes. For many years, this operation was considered the standard for women with breast cancer, but it is rarely used today.
  5. While the patient is anesthetized (unconscious and pain-free), an incision is made into the breast. The breast tissue is removed from the overlying skin and the underlying muscle.

    When an axillary dissection is done, it is typically via the same incision.

    One or two small plastic drains are usually left in place to prevent fluid from collecting in the space where the breast tissue used to be.

    It is possible to reconstruct the breast (with artificial implants or native tissue) at the same operation (immediate reconstruction) or at a later date, after other necessary treatments are given (delayed reconstruction).

The surgical removal of mastoid air cells during which the surgery may extend into the middle ear.

Mastoid air cells are open, air-containing spaces in the skull, behind the ear.

The surgery used to be a common way to treat an infection in the mastoid air cells, which usually came from an ear infection that spread to the nearby bone in the skull.

Mastoidectomy is now seldom needed because the infections are commonly treated with antibiotics; however, this surgery may be used to treat other problems; such as, cholesteatoma, complications of the otitis media, or used as a surgical approach for cochlear implant insertion.


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

-Ectomy Word-Sources of Definitions