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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Glossary of terms for liver transplant patients

Liver transplant information
Explanation of medical terms used in liver transplantation
Allergy When the body becomes hypersensitive
to something you eat, breathe or touch.
Anaesthetic The loss of sensation or feeling. A general
anaesthetic is given to ensure that you are
asleep and pain free during operations.
Antibody A substance produced by the body which
destroysforeign substances (e.g. bacteria)
Ascites A build up of fluid in the abdomen.
Bacteria Germs that can cause disease.
Bile A fluid that is produced by the liver and
stored in the gall bladder. Bile coats the
fatty foods we eat, making them easier
to digest.
Biopsy The removal and examination of a small
piece of body tissue which is taken in
order to make a diagnosis
(e.g. liver biopsy)
Cholangitis Inflammation of the bile ducts.
Cirrhosis Scarring of the Liver, which affects the way
it works.
CT Scan A special type of X-ray which uses a computer
to show a cross section of the body.
Donor A person who donates a part of their body to
help other people.
Echocardiogram Uses sound waves to show how well your
heart is working.
Electrocardiogram Records the electrical activity in your heart
Encephalopathy Tiredness, irritability, lack of concentration,
and personality changes, associated with
liver failure.
Endoscopy Examination of the inside of the gut using
a telescope.
Haematemesis Vomiting of fresh or old blood.
Hepatic Refers to the liver.
Hepatomegaly Enlargement of the liver.
Immunosuppression The use of medicines to stop your body rejecting
your new liver.
Intravenous catheter A small tube which goes into a vein to give fluids,
bloodor medicines.
Jaundice A build up of bile that causes the skin and eyes
to go yellow.
Liver function test Blood test to see how well the liver is working
Melaena Black stools caused by the partially digested
Oedema Build up of fluid causing swelling.
Pruritis Itching caused by an increase in bile salts in
the blood.
Splenomegaly Enlargement of the spleen.
Variceal bleed Bleeding from varicose veins in the food pipe
or stomach.

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