You did what?? Surgical Terms you need to know!

I wish when I started my very first placement I found a post with these all in one places as some you can guess or you may know someone who will have had some sort of surgery on them so may have been able to figure out what was what!




  • tomy - something was cut by the surgeon e.g. laparotomy 
  • ectomy - something was cut out by the surgeon e.g. appendectomy
  • ostomy - an opening was made my the surgeon e.g. colostomy
  • plasty - the surgeon changed the shape of something in your body e.g. rhinoplasty
  • pexy - an organ was moved to the right place in the body
  • rraphy - the surgeon has sewn something up
  • desis - the surgeon made two things stick together

I definitely think it is so useful, I've found them the most helpful during handover as once you know the crufix (the little bit at the end, I literally only learnt that word when I was learning my drugs), you have a pretty good idea of the procedure that the patient has experienced.

What is the most common crufix you have come across on surgical wards?


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