Ear, Nose And Throat Glossary
Ear, Nose And Throat Glossary
Jason Hamilton (Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon) gives expert video advice on: What is the "pharynx"?; What is the "larynx"?; What is an "allergen"? and more...
What is the "esophagus"?
The esophagus is the connection between your throat and your stomach. It's a muscular tube that helps transport food and liquids from the mouth, through the throat, and down into the stomach.
What is the "pharynx"?
The pharynx is the back of the throat. It's a muscular tube that catches the food bolus after it's chewed in the mouth, and prepares to be moved into the esophagus.
What is the "larynx"?
The other term for the larynx is the voice box. The larynx is comprised of three cartilages: the hyoid bone, the thyroid cartilage and the cricoid cartilage. It houses the vocal cords, that's where your sound comes from. The vocal cords are in the center of the voice box and they vibrate when air is forced past them. Using various muscles, you can change the length of the vocal cords, like you would with the string on a violin, and you can change the pitch and inflection of that tone. Depending on the breathiness or forcefulness with which air is forced through the cords, the noise can be louder or softer. So your vocal cords are basically just like your own violin.
What is "ICU"?
An ICU, or Intensive Care Unit is where the patients typically are on ventilators or require one-on-one nursing care. This is compared to on the floor, which is just the basic floor, where there will be one nurse for four patients and you don't require one-on-one care.
What is the "mandible"?
The mandible is the lower jawbone.
What do "benign" and "malignant" mean?
There is a differance in meaning of benign versus malignant tumors. Benign tumors are tumors that do not have the ability to spread to any other part of the body. A malignant tumor has the capacity to spread to different parts of the body and invade different tissues. A benign tumor can grow large and cause problems locally, which means it can cause distortion of the surrounding structures, but it has no ability to spread to other areas. A malignant tumor has the ability to invade, destroy and spread to other parts of the body. A malignant tumor is cancerous so cancer and malignancy are hand in hand.
What are the "parathyroid" and the "thyroid"?
The parathyroid is a small gland located in the neck that controls your calcium. The thyroid is a small gland as well that's in the neck that houses your thyroid hormone. The thyroid hormone is basically an energy hormone for your body. So if your thyroid hormone is too high, you're really wired and you have a lot of energy. If your thyroid hormone is low, you have low energy, you gain weight, you may be depressed. So your thyroid gland helps kind of balance the amount of thyroid hormone throughout your body.
What is "arrhythmia"?
Arrhythmia is abnormal heartbeat. Typically, the heart has a fixed pattern of beats per minute throughout your life. When it becomes either too rapid or irregular in its pace, that's known as an arrhythmia.
What is "TMJ"?
TMJ Stands for Temporo-Mandibular Joint Syndrome. And TMJ is the joint that attaches your jaw bone to your skull. Muscles that help you to chew food help control the movement of that joint.So TMJ means that there's usually some inflammation in that joint that's causing either clicking or pain.
What is an "otoscope"?
An otoscope is an instrument used to examine the ear canal and the tympanic membrane, which is also known as the eardrum.
What is an "allergen"?
An allergen is anything that causes a release of histamine, or causes allergies. So, it could be pollen or dander from cockroaches or the protein from cat hair. Those would be allergens. Anything that causes an irritation.
What is a "culture"?
Culture means that you take some tissue on a swab, either it could be mucus or any kind of secretion, and you send it to a lab and they grow the bacteria that is involved in that specimen. So, what they'll do is isolate all the bacteria in those fluids or mucus or tissue, and they'll grow them and then once they do that they'll also put some antibiotic disks on that growth and see which ones the antibiotics, or see which antibiotics the bacteria are sensitive to, and then they'll give you a call and let you know.
What is "rhinoplasty"?
Rhinoplasty is reshaping of the nose. It can be done for functional reasons, meaning someone had a trauma and their just trying to get back to their normal appearance. Or it can be done for cosmetic reasons cause someone doesn't like the shape of their nose and they just want to improve their appearance.
What does "endoscopically" mean?
“Endoscopically” means that a fiber optic camera is used to either evaluate or assist in an operation by providing access to somewhere that you typically would need to do an open surgery for. The endoscope is used to make a diagnosis or to sample tissue or remove abnormal tissue from either, it could be the sinuses, the throat, the esophagus, the trachea, or even the ear.
What does "non-ablative" mean?
Non-ablative means that you don't cause any damage to the tissue. You simply kind of augment the way the tissue looks. So, a non-ablative laser, for example, would cause no scarring, but may improve the presence of wrinkles or remove a layer of dead skin, but doesn't cause any scarring.