General Glossary

Bistourysearch for term

A long, narrow knife with a straight or curved blade for opening cavities. (F. bistouri, dagger) A bistoury cache is a spring loaded, double bladed instrument used in Urology.

Bougiesearch for term

A cylindrical instrument used for dilating tubular organs, such as the urethra or esophagus. (F. Bougie, an Algerian seaport from which candles were imported).

Catlinsearch for term

A long, double-edged knife, often used in amputations.

Cephalotribesearch for term

Forcepslike instrument with a screw handle, used to crush the head in fetal abortion. (G. kephale, the head + G. tribo, to bruise).

Clyster (clysis)search for term

An enema used for rectal administration of medications. (G. klyster, to wash out).

Counterirritantsearch for term

A substance or device that irritates one area of the body presumably to relieve pain in another part.

Cranioclastsearch for term

A strong forceps used for crushing and extracting the fetal head after perforation. (G. kranion, skull + G. klao, to break in pieces).

Crochetsearch for term

A hooked instrument used for removing an aborted fetus. (F. croche, hook).

Cupping (wet and dry)search for term

The act of applying a heated cup to bring blood to the skin to act as a counterirritant (dry), or to bleed (wet).

Dental Keysearch for term

A key shaped instrument used to remove teeth.

Diathermysearch for term

Local elevation of temperature of tissues by high frequency current, ultrasonic waves, or microwave radiation for therapy. (G. dia, through, + therme, heat).

Ecraseursearch for term

Instrument used to crush tissue. (F. ecraser, to crush).

Electrostatic Generatorsearch for term

A therapeutic device that creates static electricity.

Elevator (dental or neurosurgical)search for term

An instrument used to lift a tooth or piece of bone. (L. e-levo, to lift up)

Etuisearch for term

A small pocket case for instruments. (F. estuier, to preserve).

Fleamsearch for term

A sharp lancet for bloodletting. (G. phleb, vein + tomon, to cut).

Forceps (bullet, dental, lithotomy, obstetric)search for term

An instrument to grasp a structure, for compression or traction. (L. formus, hot + ceps, to take).

Gorgetsearch for term

A director or guide with a wide groove used in lithotomy. (ME. gorge, throat)

Hey’s Sawsearch for term

Neurosurgical instrument for removal of a section of the skull. (Dr. William Hey)

Ivorinesearch for term

A trademark substance resembling ivory.

Lancet (gum, spring, thumb)search for term

A surgical knife with a short, wide, two-edged blade. (F. lancette)

Lenticularsearch for term

Neurosurgical instrument used to elevate fragments of skull. (L. lenticula, a lentil)

Lithoclast (lithotrite)search for term

An instrument used to crush a urinary stone. (G. lithos, stone + G. klastos, broken or L. Tritus, to rub).

Ophthalmoscopesearch for term

A device for studying the interior of the eye through the pupil. (G. ophthalmos relationship to the eye + G. skopeo, to examine).

Otoscopesearch for term

An instrument for examining the eardrum. (G. ous, ear + G. skopea, to view).

Ozone Generatorsearch for term

A form of oxygen (O3) that is produced by a static charge and was thought to have health benefits. (G. ozein, to smell)

Papboatsearch for term

A boat-shaped dish used to hold pap (a soft food for infants). (L. pappa, food)

Percussorsearch for term

A small hammer used to tap part of the body in order to determine density. (L. percussio, to beat).

Perforatorsearch for term

An obstetric instrument for making a bony opening through the cranium in abortion. (L. perforare, to bore through).

Pessarysearch for term

An appliance introduced into the vagina to support the uterus. (L. pessarium, from G. pessos, an oval stone used in certain games).

Phrenologysearch for term

The appearance of the skull reflects enlargements of parts of the brain, and thus character – according to FJ Gall. (L. phren, mind)

Physiognomysearch for term

The study of personality by appearance. (G. physi, nature + gnomon, interpreter).

Pleximetersearch for term

An oblong plate placed on the body and struck with a percussor. (G. plesso, to strike, + metron, measure)

Probangsearch for term

A flexible rod with a soft tip to advance or retrieve an esophageal foreign body. (from provang, by inventor Walter Rumsey)

Scalpelsearch for term

A knife used in surgical dissection. (L. scalprum, a knife)

Scarificatorsearch for term

An instrument for making multiple superficial incisions in the skin for wet cupping. (L. scarifico, to sctatch).

Shagreensearch for term

A dyed, untanned leather or sharkskin used for etuis or lancet cases.

Soundsearch for term

An elongated, cylindrical instrument, used for exploring, dilating, or detecting a foreign body in a cavity or canal (usually urethra, or esophagus).

Speculumsearch for term

An instrument for opening a canal or cavity for inspection. (L. a mirror, from specio, to look at)

Stypticsearch for term

A device or instrument to stop bleeding (L. stypticus, to contract)

Tenaculumsearch for term

A hooked instrument used to hold a vessel that is to be tied off. (L. teneo, to hold)

Tortoise Shellsearch for term

Horny (or artificial) plate from a turtle that was used in 19th century instruments.

Trephinesearch for term

A “T” shaped instrument used for removing a disk of bone, usually from the skull, also a verb. (L. tres fines, three ends)

Trocarsearch for term

A sharp instrument with a three cornered tip that fits into a cannula, used to remove fluid from a cavity. (F. trocart, from trois, three, + carre, side of a sword blade).

Vectissearch for term

A single bladed curved instrument used to aid in delivery. (L. a lever or bar)

Venesectionsearch for term

Therapeutic bleeding. (L. vena, vein + sectio, a cuttng).

…otomysearch for term

(G. tomos, cutting) – craniotomy (G. kranion, skull), lithotomy (G. lithos, stone).

…tomesearch for term

(G. tomos, cutting) – rachitome (G. rachis, spine), tonsillotome (L. tonsilla), urethretome (G. ourethra).