Top 15 most commonly used suffixes in the medical terminology

Medical terms always end with a suffix. The suffix usually indicates a specialty, test, procedure, function, condition/disorder, or status. For example, “itis” means inflammation, and “ectomy” means removal. Alternatively, the suffix may simply make the word a noun or adjective. In this article, I have mentioned the commonly used suffixes in the medical terminology.

Commonly used suffixes in the medical terminology

  1. Aemia (emia) = blood
  • Anemia (An-Without blood)

Definition: Low blood cells in the body which eventually leads to less oxygen-carrying capacity of the RBCs.

  • Polycythemia (Poly-many, Cyt-Cells, Emia-blood)

Definition: Pathological increase in the number of RBCs in the blood.

  • Leukemia (Lukae- white blood cells, aemia-blood)

Definition: When the blood cells are observed under the microscope it is basically seen that there is an increase in the number of White Blood Cells.

  • Myoglobinaemia ( Myoglobin-Protein found in muscle cells, aemia-blood)

Definition: When the muscles are crushed Myoglobinuria is the presence of an excess amount of myoglobin in the urine. It is mostly caused by muscle breakdown, releasing a high amount of myoglobin in the blood. Myoglobinuria can lead to acute kidney injury.

  1. Asis (Action; process or result of)
  • Stasis (Static- not moving)
  • Cholestasis (chole-bile, stasis- not moving)

Definition: When the bile from the gallbladder is not able to leave and eventually leads to an accumulation of bile juice. Mainly it occurs due to stone in the Gallbladder which blocks the ducts.

  • Amoebiasis (amoeba, asis- not moving and staying at a particular place)

Definition: A condition in which there is an amoebic infection in the body part.

  • Atelectasis (Collapse of small airways in the lungs)
  • Bronchiectasis

Definition: It means widening of bronchioles due to some health problems.

  1. Ectomy (=Removal of)
  • Appendicectomy (Appendicitis removal procedure)
  • Colectomy (removal of colon)
  • Polypectomy (removal of polyps)
  • Nephrectomy (Surgical removal of kidney)
  1. Emesis (=Vomit)
  • Emetic (Some medications are given to the patient to induce vomiting and it is known as an emetic.)
  • Antiemetics (Medications used to stop vomiting)
  • Hematemesis (Blood in Vomit)
  1. Itis (=inflammation of)
  • Conjunctivitis (inflammation of the conjunctiva)
  • Epididymitis (Inflammation of Epididymitis which stores sperm cells)
  • Tonsilitis (Inflammation of Tonsils)
  • Gastritis (Inflammation of the Stomach)
  1. Ism (=action or state of)
  • Embolism (Condition is a condition in which there is a breakdown of embolus)
  • Priapism (Abnormal erection of the penis for more than 5 hours and is not related to any kind of sexual excitement)
  1. Megaly (=abnormal enlargement)
  • Cardiomegaly (Enlargement of the heart)
  • Splenomegaly (Enlargement of Spleen)
  • Hepatomegaly (Enlargement of Liver)
  • Acromegaly (Increase of human growth hormone)
  1. Ology (=Study of science of)
  • Pathology (Study of disease)
  • Cardiology
  • Hepatology
  • Neurology
  • Cytology
  1. Oma (=lump, mass, tumor)
  • Hematoma (Lump of blood, which is usually observed after any kind of injury)
  • Adenoma (Tumor in glandular tissues)
  • Hepatoma (Benign Lump in the liver)
  • Lipoma (Benign Lump in fatty tissues)
  • Sarcoma (Malignant lump)
  • Carcinoma (Malignant lumps)
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma (Rhabdo-skeletal, myo-muscle and sarcoma-malignant tumor)
  • Adenocarcinoma (Malignant tumor of glandular tissues)
  1. Ostomy (=artificial opening)
  • Tracheostomy (Artificial opening in the trachea)
  • Cystostomy (Opening in the bladder)
  • Colostomy (Opening into the colon)
  • Ileostomy (Ileum is brought out on the surface of the body)
  1. Otomy (=incision into)
  • Laparotomy (Incision into the abdomen)
  • Craniotomy (Incision in the cranial cavity of the brain)
  1. Paresis (Motor weakness)
  • Hemiparesis (Weakness in the half part of the body)
  • Paraparesis (Weakness in the bottom part of the body)
  • Monoparesis (Weakness in the right arm, or right leg or any one part of the body)
  1. Phagia (=eating)
  • Dysphagia (Difficult eating)
  • Aphagia (Unable to eat)
  1. Phasia (=speech)
  • Dysphasia (Difficult speech)
  • Expressive dysphasia
  • Aphasia (looses the power of speech at once because the person cannot think of the word they want to speak)
  1. Plegia (=inability to move the part of the body)
  • Hemiplegia (Paralysis of half limb)
  • Monoplegia (Paralysis of one limb)


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