Glossary : A guide to Hernias

(A to Z – H2)

Descriptions of medical jargon used within this guide.

A

Abdominal wall

A structure which consists of layers of tissue, fat and muscle that protect the abdomen.

Anaemia

A medical condition in a person has too few red blood cells or not enough iron in their blood. There are several types of anaemia which include sickle cell disease, Vitamin B12 deficiency and iron deficiency.

B

Bladder

This is an organ in the human body which stores urine excreted by the kidneys, before being expelled out of the body.

Bowel

Also known as the intestines: this runs from the stomach to the anus and is divided into the small and large intestines. The size of the bowel will vary between individuals according to age and height.

C

Colon

A part of the digestive system which removes waste products from the body. It is a long section of tube which consists of the large intestine, rectum and anus.

Congenital

A medical condition which is present from birth.

D

Duodenum

The first part of the small intestine.

E

None at present.

F

None at present.

G

None at present.

H

Heartburn

Another name for acid indigestion: this is characterised by a burning sensation in the chest, usually behind the breastbone.

I

Incarcerated

A name given to a type of hernia which cannot be pushed back or flattened out. The opposite of a reducible hernia.

Intestine

Another name for the bowel: this is divided into two sections – the small and large intestines.

Intra-abdominal

This refers to inside the abdomen.

J

None at present.

K

None at present.

L

Liver

A large red-brown organ in the body which performs a range of vital functions, for example the breakdown of insulin.

M

None at present.

N

None at present.

O

Oesophagus

Also known as the gullet: this is a long tube which runs from the mouth to the stomach through which food travels.

P

Pancreas

A leaf-shaped gland present in the body which produces hormones such as insulin and other digestive hormones. It also produces pancreatic juices which aid with the digestion of food.

Q

None at present.

R

Reducible hernia

A hernia which can be pushed back into place or retracts when the patient lies down.

S

Scrotum

A pouch-like structure which hangs outside of the male body. This contains the spermatic cord, blood vessels and testicles.

Stomach

A sac-like organ which lies between the oesophagus and intestines, which is responsible for digestion.

T

Testicles (testes)

Oval shaped organs in the male body which produce sperm and the male hormone testosterone.

U

Umbilical ring

The name given to a ring of tissue which surrounds the belly button.

Uterus

The major reproductive organ in the female body: this is where the foetus develops into a baby.

Vagina

An opening within the female body which runs from the uterus to the outside of the body.

X

None at present.

Y

None at present.

Z

None at present.

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