Medical, Surgical, & Viewing Terms and Abbreviations

Medical Specialties Related to the Respiratory System

pulmonologist: physician who specializes in pulmonology

pulmonology: medical specialty that deals with diseases involving the respiratory tract

respiratory therapist: a medical specialist who cares for patients who have breathing disorders

thoracic surgeon: a surgeon who has specialized in either thoracic surgery or cardiothoracic surgery

Imaging Techniques / Diagnostic Procedures for the Organ System

acid-fast bacilli smear: a microscope slide containing a sputum sample, stained to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria

arterial blood gas analysis: a blood test that measures the pH and the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide within an artery

bronchoscope: device used to view inside of the bronchi

bronchoscopy: procedure used to view inside of the bronchi

capnometer: instrument used to measure

laryngoscope: device used to view inside of the larynx

laryngoscopy: procedure used to view inside of the larynx

oximeter: instrument used to measure oxygen

pulmonary function tests: noninvasive tests that measure lung volume, capacity, rates of flow, and gas exchange within the lungs

spirometer: instrument used to measure lung capacity

spirometry: procedure to determine lung capacity

thoracoscope: device used to view inside of the thoracic cavity

thoracoscopy: procedure used to view inside of the thoracic cavity

Medical and Surgical Techniques/Procedures Used for the Organ System

adenoidectomy: surgical excision of the adenoid/pharyngeal tonsil

aspirate: to suction out a substance, such as from the airways

bronchoconstrictor: substance that constricts the bronchi and bronchioles

bronchodilator: substance that dilates the bronchi and bronchioles

bronchoplasty: surgical repair of a bronchus

laryngectomy: surgical excision of all or part of the larynx

laryngoplasty: surgical repair of the larynx

laryngostomy: artificial opening into the larynx

laryngotracheotomy: incision into the larynx and trachea

lobectomy: surgical removal of a lobe of a lung

nebulizer: device used to administer medication in the form of a mist inhaled into the lungs

pneumonectomy: surgical removal of a lung

rhinoplasty: surgical repair of the nose

septoplasty: surgical repair of the (nasal) septum

septotomy: incision into the (nasal) septum

thoracocentesis: aspiration of fluid from the thoracic cavity

thoracotomy: incision into the chest cavity

tracheoplasty: surgical repair of the trachea

tracheostomy: artificial opening into the trachea

tracheotomy: incision into the trachea

ventilator: machine that provides mechanical ventilation by moving air into and out of the lungs of a patient who is unable to breathe unassisted

Abbreviations Commonly Used with the Respiratory System

ABGs: arterial blood gases

AFB: acid-fast bacilli

ARDS: acute respiratory distress syndrome

BiPAP: bilevel positive airway pressure

C&S: culture and sensitivity

CAP: community-acquired pneumonia

CF: cystic fibrosis

CO2: carbon dioxide

COPD: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

CPAP: continuous positive airway pressure

CPT: chest physiotherapy

CT: computed tomography, computerized tomography

CXR: chest x-ray

DPI: dry powder inhaler

flu: influenza

IPPB: intermittent positive-pressure breathing

IPF: idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

LLL: left lower lobe

LTB: laryngotracheobronchitis

LUL: left upper lobe

MDI: metered-dose inhaler

NIPPV: noninvasive positive-pressure ventilator

O2: oxygen

OSA: obstructive sleep apnea

PE: pulmonary embolism

PEP: positive expiratory pressure

PFM: peak flow meter

PFTs: pulmonary function tests

RLL: right lower lobe

RML: right middle lobe

RUL: right upper lobe

SOB: shortness of breath

SVN: small-volume nebulizer

TB: tuberculosis

URI: upper respiratory infection

VAP: ventilator-associated pneumonia

Medical Terms Practice

For each card, click the speaker icon to hear the correct pronunciation of the listed term. Practice saying the term to yourself, then attempt to define the term from memory. Click “Turn” to flip the card and see the definition. Use the right and left arrows to toggle through the cards in each set.


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Medical Terminology: An Interactive Approach Copyright © 2022 by LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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