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  • Dr. Gina Simone

NO! That’s Not The Surgery You Had!

Updated: May 19, 2020

In medicine, there are so many diagnoses, procedures, and medications that sound the same. In fact, I run into many people that will swear they had a procedure done, but are actually confusing the name with something completely different.

Medical terms come from both the Latin and Greek languages, and unless you have studied either language, it can be quite challenging to understand the meanings. But before I confuse you with explanations of “root words” and “origin words,” let’s just talk about some common procedures that may confuse people.

All too often, a lot of women confuse their “hystera” procedures. Mostly because they know a uterus is involved, but that’s about it. This may help:

Hysterectomy – A surgery to remove the uterus from the woman.

Often confused with:

Hysteroscopy - When a small camera is used to look inside of the uterus for fibroids or other issues of the uterus. The uterus stays in the body.

Hysterotomy - A small incision or opening on the uterus that is used for C-sections and some gynecological surgeries. The incision is closed at the end of the procedure and the uterus stays in the body.

Hysteria - What you may be feeling right now with reading all of the “hystera” stuff. And even if that’s true, the uterus still stays in the body.

Now, some procedures sound the same and have nothing to do with the same body part. For instance:

Colonoscopy – A procedure where a camera is placed inside of the colon to screen for cancer or other diseases of the intestine.

Often confused with:

Colposcopy – When a large microscope, called a colposcope, is used to look at the cervix for abnormal or cancerous cells.

Cholecystectomy (Koh-luh-sis-TEK-tuh-me) – A difficult to pronounce surgery to remove to the gallbladder because of disease.

Colectomy – A surgery to remove part or all of the large intestine.

QUICK NOTE: Just because it sounds the same, doesn’t mean it is the same. Learn the difference.

There are many examples like the ones above, more than you even want to know. Just remember to get both names of your procedures: the official name and the layman term. This way you will know what happened to you, and the correct name.


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