Suffixes are word parts that are located at the end of words. Suffixes can alter the meaning of medical terms. It is important to spell and pronounce suffixes correctly.

Many suffixes in medical terms are common English-language suffixes. Suffixes are not always explicitly stated in the definition of a word. It is common that suffixes will not be explicitly stated when defining a medical term in the workplace. However, when transcribing or reading medical reports, the suffix is always clearly written. In order to properly spell and pronounce medical terms, it is helpful to learn the suffixes.

We will be seeing these suffixes mentioned again in this book, but they are presented here as a reference.

-a noun ending, no meaning leukoderma
-ac pertaining to cardiac
-ad toward dorsad
-algia pain myalgia
-amnios amnion, amniotic fluid oligohydramnios
-apheresis removal plasmapheresis
-ar pertaining to appendicular
-ary pertaining to coronary
– asthenia weakness myasthenia gravis
-carcinoma cancerous tumor adenocarcinoma
-cele hernia, protrusion, swelling hydrocele
-centesis surgical puncture to aspirate fluid amniocentesis
-crine to secrete exocrine
-cyesis pregnancy pseudocyesis
-cyte cell leukocyte
-desis surgical fixation, fusion arthrodesis
-drome run, running syndrome
-e noun ending, no meaning neonate
-eal pertaining to esophageal
-ectasis stretching out, dilation, expansion bronchiectasis
-ectomy excision, surgical removal, cut out gastrectomy
-emesis vomiting hematemesis
-emia in the blood anemia
-esis condition diuresis
-gen substance or agent that produces or causes teratogen
-genic producing, originating, causing carcinogenic
-gram the record, radiographic image electrocardiogram
-graph instrument used to record; the record electrocardiograph
-graphy process of recording, radiographic imaging electrocardiography
-ia condition of, diseased state, abnormal state tachycardia
-iasis condition choledocholithiasis
-iatrist specialist psychiatrist
-iatry specialty, treatment psychiatry
-ic pertaining to cardiac
-ictal seizure, attack postictal
-ior pertaining to anterior
-ism state of hyperthyroidism
-itis inflammation colitis
-logist specialist who studies and treats oncologist
-logy study of cardiology
-lysis separating, loosening, dissolution thrombolysis
-malacia softening chondromalacia
-megaly enlarged, enlargement gastromegaly
-meter instrument used to measure thermometer
-metry measuring, process of measuring spirometry
-oid resembling lipoid
-oma tumor, swelling melanoma
-opia vision diplopia
-opsy viewing, process of viewing biopsy
-osis abnormal condition, increased number (blood) erythrocytosis
-ous pertaining to intravenous
-paresis slight paralysis hemiparesis
-pathy disease polyneuropathy
-penia abnormal reduction in number erythrocytopenia
-pepsia digestion dyspepsia
-pexy surgical fixation, suspension colpopexy
-phagia swallowing, eating dysphagia
-phobia aversion, abnormal fear photophobia
-physis growth symphysis
-plasia formation, development, growth hyperplasia
-plasm growth, substance, formation cytoplasm
-plasty surgical repair rhinoplasty
-plegia paralysis ophthalmoplegia
-pnea breathing dyspnea
-poiesis formation leukopoiesis
-ptosis prolapse, drooping nephroptosis
-rrhage excessive bleeding hemorrhage
-rrhagia condition of excessive bleeding rhinorrhagia
-rrhaphy repairing, suturing cholecystorrhaphy
-rrhea discharge, flow rhinorrhea
-rrhexis rupture amniorrhexis
-salpinx fallopian tube, uterine tube pyosalpinx
-sarcoma malignant tumor rhabdomyosarcoma
-schisis split, fissure cranioschisis
-sclerosis hardening arteriosclerosis
-scope instrument used for visual examination hysteroscope
-scopic pertaining to visual examination pelviscopic
-scopy process of visually examining gastroscopy
-spasm sudden, involuntary contraction of muscle vasospasm
-stasis stop, control, standing hemostasis
-stenosis constriction, narrowing ureterostenosis
-stomy creation of artificial opening nephrostomy
-thorax chest cavity, chest hemothorax
-tocia labor, birth dystocia
-tome instrument used to cut dermatome
-tomy incision, cut into laparotomy
-tripsy surgical crushing cholecystolithotripsy
-trophy nourishment, development hypertrophy
-um no meaning endocardium
-uria urine, urination nocturia
-us no meaning microcephalus


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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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