AchalasiaA condition where the circular muscle that guards the opening between the esophagus and the stomach is overly developed and is unable to relax during swallowing. Over time the esophagus becomes dilated.
AdenocarcinomaThe most common type of malignant tumor of the gastrointestinal tract arising from glandular cells.
Adjustable Gastric Band The generic term used to describe any of the gastric bands, like the Lap Band®,
which can be tightened or loosened as needed to restrict the passage of food
through the stomach.
Adrenal Gland Small, paired, hormone-secreting organ located in the back of the abdomen on top of each kidney.
Adrenalectomy The surgical removal of an adrenal gland.
Anesthesia The administration of specific drugs to block the painful effects of surgery. Local
anesthesia can be used to numb a small area, while general anesthesia is
use to induce a sleep-like state during surgery.
Appendicitis Inflammation of the appendix; symptoms include but are not limited to abdonimal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and fever.
Appendectomy The surgical removal of the appendix.
Appendix A small, finger-like structure attached to the colon in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen.
Ascending Colon That portion of the colon, also called the large intestine, that is located on the right side of the abdomen.
Bariatric Surgery The treatment of excess body weight using one of several surgical procedures
designed to physically alter the digestive system in an attempt to promote weight
Barrett's Esophagus A condition in which the cells that line the esophagus change to resemble stomach lining; this is associated with an increased risk for developing esophageal cancer.
Bile The yellow-to-greenish-colored liquid that is secreted by the liver and breaks down fatty foods in into tiny particles that can be absorbed into the blood stream during digestion.
Body Mass Index (BMI) A standard measurement combining both weight and height to determine the degree of overweight or obesity. The formula for calculating BMI is (weight in kilograms) divided by (height in meters squared). Find your BMI here.
Cecal Volvulus A surgical condition in which the first part of the colon, called the cecum, becomes twisted and obstructed.
Cecum The first part of the large intestine, located in the right lower part of the abdomen.
Cholecystectomy The surgical removal of the gallbladder.
Cholecystitis Inflammation of the gallbladder.
Chronic Cough A cough that persists for several days or recurs frequently.
Chronic Laryngitis A lingering hoarseness that may also include other voice changes and usually has no other symptoms.
Cirrhosis Scarring within the liver which can interfere with the function of the liver, as well as the flow of blood from the intestine through the liver.
Colon That portion of the intestinal tract responsible for absorbing most of the water from the waste material left after the digestive process. The colon is also responsible for transporting the waste to the rectum for evacuation in the form of feces.
Corticosteroid Hormones produced by the adrenal gland, which reduce inflammation and support a variety of metabolic processes.
Cystic Duct The passage between the gallbladder and the main bile duct.
Descending Colon The portion of the large intestine located along the left side of the abdominal cavity.
Diaphragm The broad flat muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity. The diaphragm contracts and relaxes as part of the process of breathing.
Dietitian An expert who is trained in the dietary needs and nutrition of the human body and the effects of nutrition on health and disease.
Diverticulitis A condition caused by chronic higher than normal pressure within the colon in an attempt to move very small, very firm stools through for elimination. Often caused by not enough roughage in the diet.
Duodenum The first part of the small intestine, approximately one foot long, which begins at the bottom of the stomach and ends at the second part of the small intestine, the jejunum. The duodenum is the point where chemical digestion begins since this is where bile and pancreas enzymes are added to food.
Endoscope A lighted, optical instrument used to examine internal organs.
Endoscopy (EGD) A diagnostic test in which a flexible lighted tube is passed through the mouth, down the esophagus and into the stomach and duodenum, providing a visual examination for possible problems inside these parts of the digestive tract.
Esophageal Achalasia A condition where the circular muscle that guards the opening between the esophagus and the stomach is overly developed and is unable to relax during swallowing. Over time the esophagus becomes dilated.
Esophageal Motility A procedure that tests the strength of the esophageal muscles and the lower esophageal sphincter during the swallowing process.
Esophageal pH Study A procedure that examines the amount of stomach acids that is present in the esophagus over a designated period of time.
Esophagus The muscular tube that transports food from the back of the throat to the stomach.
EsophyX® The operating platform used to perform the incisionless TIF Procedure.
Familial Polyposis The inherited presence of multiple polyps in the colon; while a benign diagnosis, this condition is associated with a higher risk of colon cancer.
Fundoplication A surgical procedure for the treatment of chronic acid reflux; the top of the stomach is wrapped around the lower esophageal sphincter fortifying the valve and keeping stomach contents out of the esophagus.
Fundus The upper most portion of the stomach.
Gallbladder A small pouch off the bile duct located under the liver, which functions as a temporary storage area for bile before it passes into the intestinal tract.
Gallstones Abnormal crystallized bile formations within the gallbladder that are generally treated by surgical removal of the gallbladder.
Gastric Pouch The functional part of the stomach after any gastric surgery.
Gastric Sleeve A surgery that converts the stomach into a long narrow tube with removal of the remaining portion of the stomach.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) The condition characterized by the abnormal movement of stomach contents, usually acid, up into the esophagus causing heartburn, chest pain, regurgitation of food, and other related symptoms.
Gastrinoma A typically benign tumor that produces a hormone, gastrin, which increases acid by the stomach.
Gastritis Inflammation of the stomach lining.
General Anesthestic A combination of drugs that renders the body into a state of unconsciousness and is used during many major operations.
GI Tract The gastrointestinal tract that starts with the mouth, includes the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines as well as associated digestive organs like the pancreas and liver.
GI X-Ray A method of taking a picture of the internal organs of the GI tract using x-ray technology and a contrast material to fill the inside of the organ to highlight the organs.
Heartburn The burning sensation in the chest and throat as a result of stomach contents refluxing out of the stomach into the esophagus.
Heller Myotomy A surgical procedure used to treat esophageal achalasia by cutting the overdeveloped muscles of the lower esophagus to improve swallowing.
Hepatic Flexure The bend in the colon that connects the ascending colon to the transverse colon.
Hepatic Metastases Cancerous lesions that spread through the blood stream to the liver.
Hernia An abnormal opening in the wall of the abdomen which allows internal organs to bulge out.
Hiatal Hernia A condition where the natural opening in the diaphragm, called the esophageal hiatus, becomes stretched allowing the stomach and other abdominal organs to push up through this opening into the chest.
Hiatus The natural opening in the diaphragm that the esophagus passes through into the stomach.
HIPAA Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act; regulatory legislation passed in 1996 designed to protect patient privacy and establish standards for insurance coverage.
Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP) A condition of the spleen that destroys too many blood cells, particularly platelets.
Ileum The final portion of the small intestine that empties into the colon.
Incarcerated Hernia A loop of intestine that has pushed through a hernia and causes intestinal blockage.
Incisional Hernia A hernia at the site of a previous surgery where the muscular abdominal wall is either weak or torn.
Incisionless Operative Platform A flexible device with multiple channels inserted through the mouth and used to house the tools needed to perform the ROSE procedure.
Inguinal Hernia A hernia in the groin area that is often caused by heavy lifting or strain.
Ischemic Colitis A sudden inflammation of part of the colon as a result of a loss or reduction of blood flow.
Jaundice A yellowing of the skin and/or whites of the eyes as a result of the liver failing to remove certain toxins in the blood.
Jejunum The second part of the small intestine starting at the end of the duodenum and ending at the ileum, comprising approximately half of the overall length of the small intestine.
Laparoscope A long thin telescope attached to a high intensity light source and a miniature video camera, which is inserted into the body during Laparoscopic surgery to view the working area.
Laparoscopic Surgery A minimally invasive surgical technique that involves using cameras and instruments inserted into the body through small incisions rather than a large open incision common to traditional surgery.
Large Intestine The portion of the intestinal tract responsible for absorbing most of the water from the waste material left after the digestive process. Also called the colon, this part of the intestinal tract is also responsible for transporting the waste to the rectum for evacuation in the form of feces.
Liver The largest solid organ in the abdomen, which is responsible for many vital functions, including making and secreting bile into the alimentary tract, detoxifying blood from the intestine before absorbed nutrients are sent into the rest of blood stream, and storage of glucose as glycogen for immediate use by the body.
Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) A circular valve between the end of the esophagus and the stomach, which keeps stomach contents from refluxing into the esophagus.
Lymph Nodes Small, bean-shaped glands located throughout the body and serve as part of the immune system.
Morbid Obesity A condition typically characterized as 100 pounds or more overweight or a BMI of 40 kg/m2. Find your BMI here.
Natural Orifice Surgery The newest advance in surgical technology that allows certain procedures to be done without an incision by utilizing natural openings in the body to access internal organs; for example, accessing the stomach through the mouth.
Nissen Fundoplication A procedure used to treat chronic acid reflux by wrapping the top portion of the stomach around the lower esophageal sphincter and securing it with sutures.
Obesity The medical condition characterized by excess body fat, usually a BMI over 30Kg/m2, but less than 40Kg/m2. Find your BMI here.
Open Surgery The first stage of surgical technology that required an incision large enough for the surgeon to see the anatomy being operated on, as well as accommodate the tools needed for the procedure.
Pancreas An organ located behind the stomach, which produces the digestive enzymes amylase and lipase, and also contains specialized groups of cells (Islets of Langerhan) which produce insulin.
Peristalsis The process by which the intestinal tract milks food and fluid along from one area to the next.
Platelets An irregularly shaped element in the blood that facilitates blood clotting.
Polyps Mushroom-shaped projections of overgrown tissue that are benign but can lead to malignant growths.
Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) Medicines that work by stopping the production of acid by the stomach and can be extremely effective at reducing or even eliminating heartburn, but they must be taken on a regular basis; the overall effectiveness of PPIs often decreases over time requiring the dosage or the frequency of the medication to be increased.
Radio Frequency Ablation A procedure used to treat liver tumors which employs heat directly to the cancerous tissue to destroy the tumor.
Rectum The last portion of the colon that stores solid waste until it is eliminated.
Reflux The backflow of stomach contents up into the esophagus.
Regurgitation A backward flow of stomach contents into the esophagus.
Revision Obesity Surgery Endoscopic (ROSE) An incisionless procedure to revise a failed gastric bypass by reducing the size of the stomach pouch and stoma to a smaller, more effective size.
Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass The most common type of gastric bypass surgery, in which the surgeon cuts and staples the stomach into a small pouch and then attaches the small intestine directly to this pouch, bypassing a good portion of the stomach and duodenum.
Saline A salt solution that is the same concentration as the salt water contained in the tissues of the body.
Sigmoid Colon The 'S'-shaped portion of the colon that connects the descending colon to the rectum.
Sigmoid Volvulus A twisting of the sigmoid colon that creates an obstruction.
Small Intestine A section of the GI tract, about eighteen feet long where digested occurs, including the absorption into the blood stream of molecules of simple sugars, fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
Spleen A solid organ approximately the size of a fist, located in the upper left portion of the abdomen, which acts as a blood filter by destroying old, worn out blood cells.
Splenectomy The surgical removal of the spleen.
Splenic Flexure The bend of the colon that connects the transverse colon and the descending colon.
Splenomegaly Significant enlargement of the spleen making the organ more susceptible to traumatic rupture.
Stoma The opening between one part of the intestinal tract and another organ or to the outside.
Stomach The large pouch between the esophagus and the duodenum that can hold a litre or more of food and fluid at a time; it produces a highly concentrated solution of hydrochloric acid to break down the structure of even the toughest foods we ingest and grinds food until it is transformed into a thick paste.
Toupet Fundoplication A surgical procedure used to treat gastric reflux that wraps the top of the stomach partially around the lower esophageal sphincter.
Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF) An incisionless surgical procedure used to treat gastric reflux by creating a gastric fundoplication using techniques performed entirely through the mouth.
Transverse Colon The portion of the colon that runs from right to left, connecting the ascending and descending colons.
Tubovillus Adenomas A growth of the lining of the GI tract, usually the colon, that is potentially precancerous and therefore needs to be completely removed.
Umbilical Hernia A bulge in the abdominal cavity that is caused by an organ being pushed through the weak scar tissue of the belly button.
Villae Tiny finger-like projections that line the inside of the small intestine; these increase the surface area of the organ which allows for more nutrient absorption.