Common Suffixes (Medical & Health Care Terminology

Suffixes of Condition, Diagnosis or Symptom Suffix -ac -al -algia -ar -ary -ate -cele -dynia -ectopy -emesis -emia -esis -form -genesis -genic -gram -graph -graphy -iasis -ic -ical -ile Meaning pertaining to pertaining to pain pertaining to pertaining to make, subject to protrusion (hernia) pain displacement vomit blood condition state or condition resembling beginning, origin causing, producing diagram, recording instrument that records use of recording instrument condition, state pertaining to pertaining to capable, able to Example cardiac natal neuralgia muscular dietary impregnate cystocele myodynia splenectopy hyperemesis leukemia paresis muciform pathogenesis pathogenic cardiogram cardiograph cardiography psoriasis hemorrhagic biological contractile Pronunciation* karcdT-ak nQct^l noo-ralcjT-^ m\sckyu-l^r dUc_-tQr-T im-pregcnQt sisctb-sTl mUcb-dincT-^ splT-nekctb-pT hU-p_r-emc_-sis loo-kTcmT-^ p^-rTcsis myucsi-fbrm path-b-jenc_-sis path-b-jencik karcdT-b-gram karcdT-b-graf kar-dT-ogcr^-fT sb-rUc^-sis hem-[-rajcik bUcb-lojci-k^l kon-trakctUl Brief Explanation pertaining to the heart pertaining to birth pain of a nerve pertaining to muscles pertaining to diet to make pregnant bladder hernia pain of the muscles displacement of the spleen excessive vomiting abnormal increase of white cells in the blood Partial paralysis like or resembling mucus origin of disease causing disease graphic tracing made by the cardiograph instrument for recording graphically movements of the heart the use of the cardiograph kind of chronic, itchy skin disease related to bleeding pertaining to biology able to contract

William Tsang 2007


Suffix -ism -itis -ity -lepsy -logy -malacia -oid -oma -ory -osis -ous -parous -partum -pathy -penia -phagia, phagy -phasia -phobia -phoresis -phyll -pnea -ptosis -ptysis -rrhage -rrhea -rrhexis

Meaning process, state of being inflammation state, condition seizure study of softening resembling growth, tumor pertaining to state or condition pertaining to bearing, giving birth birth, delivery disease, suffering deficiency, lack of swallow, eat of speech abnormal fear or dread carry through, transmit leaf breath, breathing downward displacement act of spitting bursting forth flow or discharge rupture

Example alcoholism bronchitis acidity narcolepsy physiology osteomalacia toxoid hepatoma respiratory narcosis delirious multiparous postpartum neuropathy leukopenia aerophagia aphasia photophobia diaphoresis chlorophyll apnea nephroptosis hemoptysis hemorrhage rhinorrhea cardiorrhexis

Pronunciation* alckb-hol-izm brong-kUctis a-sidci-tT narckb-lep-sT fiz-T-olcb-jT osctT-b-m^-lQcshT-^ tokcsoyd hep-^-tbcm^ rescpi-r^-tbr-T nar-kbcsis dT-lircT-\s m\l-tipc^-r\s pbst-parct\m noo-ropc^-thT loo-kb-pTcnT-^ Qr-b-fQcjT-^ ^-fQczT-^ fb-tb-fbcbT-^ Uc^-fb-rTcsis klbrcb-fil apcnT-^ nef-rop-tbcsis hT-mopcti-sis hemc[-rij rU-nb-rTc^ kar-dT-b-rekcsis

Brief Explanation persistent alcohol abuse, dependence, or addiction inflammation of the bronchial tubes. state of being acid abnormal tendency to fall asleep study of the function of a living organism a disease characterized by the softening of bones resembling toxin (poison) kind of malignant growth in the liver pertaining to respiration drug-induced state of reduced consciousness pertaining to mental disturbances of woman who has given birth at least two times after childbirth disorder affecting the nerve system less than normal white blood cells abnormal swallowing of air disorder of impaired speech abilities, etc. fear of light excretion of fluid through the skin, perspiration any of a group of light-absorbing green pigments absence of breathing downward displacement of the kidney spitting of blood from lungs or bronchial tubes excessive bleeding nasal discharge rupture, or bursting apart, of the heart wall

William Tsang 2007


Suffix -scope -scopy -sis -stasis -tic -trophy -uria

Meaning instrument for examining act of examining condition, process pooling, stagnation related to food, nutrition condition of urine

Example microscope endoscopy acidosis hemostasis acoustic atrophy hematuria

Pronunciation* mUckrb-skbp en-dosck[-pT as-i-dbcsis hTcmb-stQ-sis ^-koosctik atcrb-fT hT-m^t-yurcT-^ Suffixes of Size

Brief Explanation instrument for examining minute objects examination of the interior of a canal, etc. abnormally high acidity of body fluids arrest of bleeding related to sound wasting of tissues, organs, or entire body due to undernourishment, etc. condition in which the urine contains blood

Suffix -cle -cule -megaly -ola -ole -ule -ulum -ulus

Meaning small small exceptional enlargement small small small small small

Example follicle molecule cardiomegaly arteriola arteriole nodule ovulum homunculus

Pronunciation* folci-kl molc_-kyul kar-dT-b-megc^-lT ar-tTr-T-bcl^ ar-tTrcT-bl nodcyul ovcyu-l\m hb-m\ngkcyu-l\s

Brief Explanation mass of cells usually containing a cavity smallest possible quantity of a substance that retains its chemical properties enlargement of the heart small artery small artery small node (swelling) small egg-like structure small man figure

William Tsang 2007


Suffixes of Treatment, Repair or Surgery Suffix -centesis -desis -ectasis -ectomy -ize -ostomy -otomy -pexy -plasty -rrhapy Meaning puncture to withdraw process/act of binding extension, dilation surgical removal of use, subject to surgical opening, incision cutting, incision into surgical fix Example pleurocentesis arthrodesis bronchiectasis appendectomy vaporize gastrostomy cystotomy sigmoidopexy Pronunciation* ploorcb-sen-tTcsis ar-throdc_-sis brong-kT-ekct^-sis ap-pen-dekctb-mT vQcper-Uz gas-trosctb-mT sis-totcb-mT sig-moycdb-pek-sT rUcnb-plas-tT sis-tbrc^-fT Brief Explanation puncture to withdraw content from pleural cavity (chest) stiffening of a joint by operative means dilation (enlargement) of bronchi cutting out of the appendix to convert a solid or liquid into a vapor opening into the stomach incision into the bladder Fixation of large intestine repair of a defect of the nose suture of a wound or defect in the bladder

surgical repair, molding rhinoplasty or forming closure by suturing cystorrhaphy

Suffixes of Medical Specialists Suffix -ian -iatrics -iatry -ics -ist Meaning specialist medical specialty medical specialty medical specialty specialist Example physician geriatrics podiatry dietetics cardiologist Pronunciation* fi-zishc\n jer-T-atcriks pb-dUc^-trT dU-_-tetciks kar-dT-olcb-jist Brief Explanation practitioner of medicine, doctor study and treatment of the aged study and treatment of the foot study of diet and nutrition, to prevent and cure disease specialist in diseases of the heart

* Pronunciation quoted from: Dirckx, John H., editor, Stedman's Concise Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions, Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 4th Edition, 2001

In case of the slightest doubt, consult a medical and health care dictionary!

William Tsang 2007


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