Glossary of Terms

A collection of Pus caused by an infection in a closed space.

A short (3 inch) lighted instrument that is used to visualize the anal canal.

The opening at the lower end of the large intestine.

Sampling a body tissue for microscopic examination in order determine the nature of a disease process.

Board Certified
A surgeon who has trained at a accredited hospital and who has passed a qualifying examination given by accrediting agency recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.

Bowen’s Disease
A non-invasive skin cancer that involves the skin in and about the anus.

Brooke Ileostomy
A technique of constructing a surgical connection between the small intestine and the skin that was described by Sir Brian Brooke in England.

The uncontrolled growth of malignant tissue which is characterized by invasion and distant spread (metastasis).

CAT Scan
Computerized Axial Tomography.; An computerized x-ray examination the permits detailed non-invasive examinations of internal organs.

The first part of the large intestine, located just after the junction of the small intestine with the large intestine.

The administration of oral or intravenous anticancer medications.

Surgical removal of the Gallbladder.

Inflammation/infection of the gallbladder.

Gall stones.

An inflammatory condition of the large intestine.

Colon & Rectal Surgery
The medical and surgical treatment of diseases of the small and large intestine, including the rectum and anus.

The large intestine, the final 3-4 feet of the gastrointestinal tract.

The long flexible lighted instrument used for performing Colonoscopy.

An examination of the large intestine utilizing a long lighted fiberoptic or video scope.

A surgically constructed connection between the large intestine (colon) and the skin. Requires an appliance or “bag” to collect intestinal waste.

Present at birth.

Continent Ileostomy
see Koch Pouch.

Crohn’s Disease
An inflammatory immune disease of the intestinal tract that causes thickening of the intestinal wall and inflammation of the intestinal lining (mucous membrane). Crohn’s Disease can cause problems from the mouth to the anus. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, and weight loss. Complications include bleeding, obstruction, perforation and development of fistulas.

A specialized X-Ray examination of the rectum.

A narcotic analgesic (pain reliever) usually administered during Colonoscopy.

Inflammation of the colon that occurs in the region of existing diverticulosis. This results in intense pain associated with fever, constipation or diarrhea. Complications of diverticulitis include intestinal obstruction, perforation, bleeding, and the development of abnormal connections (Fistulas) between the skin, intestine, bladder or vagina.

A condition of the large intestines characterized by the development of weakness in the intestinal wall that permits herniation or outpouching of the intestinal lining. Diverticulosis usually develops as a result of inadequate dietary fiber.

Lack of normal function Enema A cleansing solution used for preparation for examination of the large intestine.

Enterostomal Therapy
The treatment of patients with surgically constructed connections between the intestine or the urinary tract and the skin.

A surgical incision made in the back wall of the vagina and the skin between the vagina and the rectum to facilitate childbirth.

Familial Polyposis
A genetic (inherited) disease of the large intestine manifested by the development of many colon polyps that always degenerate into Cancer.

Fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

A tear or ulcer in the lining of the anal canal that is usually caused by diarrhea, constipation or trauma.

An abnormal connection between the intestine and the skin (enterocutaneous), the vagina (enterovaginal or colovaginal), or the bladder (enterovesical or colovesical).

Anal Fistula. An abnormal connection between the anal canal and the skin surrounding the anus that is caused by infection of the anal glands, Crohn’s Disease or Cancer.

Gall Bladder
The sac-like organ located beneath the liver that stores bile.

General Surgery
The surgical treatment of diseases of the abdomen, abdominal wall (hernias), breast, and endocrine organs.

Gill, Norma
The Founder of the first school of Enterostomal Therapy at The Cleveland Clinic.

Uncontrolled bleeding.

Dilated veins that are located at the anal opening. May be either internal or external.

Referring to the last few inches of the small intestine and the first part of the large intestine. A clinical pattern of Crohn’s Disease.

A surgically constructed connection between the small intestine (ileum) and the skin. Requires an appliance or “bag” to collect intestinal waste.

Referring to a complex series of chemical events that occur in relation to an allergic reaction, the result of which is inflammation.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s Disease.

Relating to the groin.

Intestinal Obstruction
Blockage of the small or large intestine by tumor, inflammation or adhesions. Symptoms usually include crampy abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, abdominal distention and constipation.

A defect in the abdominal wall.

A surgically constructed reservoir made from the small intestine and connected to the anal sphincter muscles in order to restore intestinal continuity and maintain continence in patients undergoing surgery for ulcerative colitis or Familial Polyposis.

Koch Pouch
Also called Continent Ileostomy. A surgically constructed intestinal reservoir with a leak-free valve that is emptied by insertion of a catheter 3-4 times daily.

A lighted camera used to visualize the organs in the abdominal cavity.

Referring to surgical procedures that are performed through a laparoscope.

The technique of visualizing the organs in the abdominal cavity using a camera and light source placed through the abdominal wall via a cylindrical “port.”

High energy light that is used for cutting and/or destroying tissue in surgery.


Paget’s Disease
A non-invasive skin cancer that involves the skin in and about the anus.

A hole in the intestine that permits the flow of intestinal contents into the abdominal cavity.

A flat or grape-like growth of benign or malignant tissue in the intestine.

The surgical removal of the colon and rectum.

Also called Procidentia. The protrusion of the rectum through the anus. Usually caused by relaxation of the normal supporting structures of the rectum.

Pruritis Ani
Itching of the anus and skin surrounding the anus.

Radiation Therapy
X-Ray treatment that is directed against cancers.

The last 15cm (6 inches) of the intestinal tract.

Restorative Proctocolectomy
Surgical Removal of a diseased colon and rectum with the reestablishment of intestinal continuity utilizing an intestinal reservoir. Also called J-Pouch, Parks Pouch, Ileoanal Pull Through and Ileal Pouch Anal Anastomosis.

A rigid or flexible tube with a light source that is used to examine the last 12-25 inches of the large intestine.

A visual examination of the lower 12-25 inches if the large intestine using a lighted scope.

The internal and external muscle that surrounds the anus. The sphincter permits continence or control over intestinal function.

Specially made medication that is inserted into the rectum.

Turnbull, Rupert B.
One of the pioneers of modern Colon and Rectal Surgery. The former Chief of Colon and Rectal Surgery at The Cleveland Clinic.

Ulcerative Colitis
An Inflammatory Bowel Disease that causes inflammation of the lining of the colon and typically causes bloody diarrhea.

A noninvasive, painless technique of visualizing the tissues surrounding the rectum using sound waves that are emitted from a specially shaped anal probe.

A surgically constructed connection between the urinary tract and the skin, usually performed in a patient whose bladder has been removed. Permits the passage of urine from the body.

An intravenous sedative usually administered during Colonoscopy.