Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: -ectomy, -ostomy

Breast Cancer
A mastectomy (removal of a breast) may be done as a treatment against breast cancer. Credit: MedicalRF.com/Getty Image

The suffix (-ectomy) means to remove or excise, as typically done in a surgical procedure. Related suffixes include (-otomy) and (-ostomy). The suffix (-otomy) refers to cutting or making an incision, while (-ostomy) refers to a surgical creation of an opening in an organ for the removal of waste.

Words Ending With: (-ectomy)

Appendectomy (append-ectomy) - surgical removal of the appendix, typically due to appendicitis. The appendix is a small, tubular organ that extends from the large intestine.

Atherectomy (Ather-ectomy) - surgical procedure performed with a catheter and cutting device to excise plaque from within blood vessels.

Cardiectomy (cardi-ectomy) - surgical removal of the heart or the excision of the portion of the stomach known as the cardiac section. The cardiac section is a part of the esophagus that is connected to the stomach.

Cholecystectomy (chole-cyst-ectomy) - surgical procedure performed to remove the gallbladder. This is a common treatment for gall stones.

Cystectomy (cyst-ectomy) - surgical removal of a portion of the urinary bladder commonly performed to treat bladder cancer. It also refers to the removal of a cyst.

Dactylectomy (dactyl-ectomy) - amputation of a finger.

Embolectomy (embol-ectomy) - surgical removal of an embolus, or blood clot, from a blood vessel.

Gonadectomy (gonad-ectomy) - surgical removal of male or female gonads (ovaries or testes).

Iridectomy (irid-ectomy) - surgical removal of part of the iris of the eye. This procedure is performed to treat glaucoma.

Isthmectomy (isthm-ectomy) - removal of the portion of the thyroid known as the isthmus. This narrow strip of tissue connects the two lobes of the thyroid.

Lobectomy (lob-ectomy) - surgical removal of a lobe of a particular gland or organ, such as the brain, liver, thyroid, or lungs.

Mastectomy (mast-ectomy) - medical procedure to remove the breast, typically done as a treatment against breast cancer.

Neurectomy (neur-ectomy) - surgical procedure performed to remove all or part of a nerve.

Pneumonectomy (pneumon-ectomy) - surgical removal of all or part of a lung. The removal of one lobe of a lung is called a lobectomy. A pneumonectomy is performed to treat lung disease, lung cancer, and trauma.

Splenectomy (splen-ectomy ) - surgical removal of the spleen.

Tonsillectomy (tonsill-ectomy ) - surgical removal of the tonsils, typically due to tonsillitis.

Topectomy (top-ectomy) - surgery performed to remove part of the cerebral cortex of the brain for the treatment of certain psychiatric disorders and some types of epilepsy.

Vasectomy (vas-ectomy) - surgical removal of all or a portion of the vas deferens for male sterilization. The vas deferens is the duct that carries sperm from the testicles to the urethra.

Words Ending With: (-ostomy)

Angiostomy (angio-stomy) - surgical opening created in a blood vessel commonly for the placement of a catheter.

Cholecystostomy (chole-cyst-ostomy) - surgical creation of a stoma (opening) in the gallbladder for the placement of a drainage tube.

Colostomy (col-ostomy) - medical procedure to connect a portion of the colon to a surgically created opening in the abdomen. This allows the removal of waste from the body.

Gastrostomy (gastr-ostomy) - surgical opening in the stomach created for the purpose of tube feeding.

Ileostomy (ile-ostomy) - creation of an opening from the abdominal wall to the ileum of the small intestine. This opening allows for the release of stool from the intestines.

Nephrostomy (nephr-ostomy) - surgical incision made in the kidneys for the insertion of tubes to drain urine.

Pericardiostomy (peri-cardi-ostomy) - surgically created opening in the pericardium, or protective sac that surrounds the heart. This procedure is performed to drain excess fluid around the heart.

Salpingostomy (salping-ostomy) - surgical creation of an opening in a fallopian tube for the treatment of blockage due to infection, chronic inflammation, or ectopic pregnancy.

Tracheostomy (trache-ostomy) - surgical opening created in the trachea (windpipe) for the insertion of a tube to allow air to pass to the lungs.

Tympanostomy (tympan-ostomy) - surgical creation of an opening in the ear drum to release fluid and relieve pressure. Small tubes called tympanostomy tubes are surgically placed in the middle ear to facilitate fluid drainage and equalize pressure. This procedure is also known as a myringotomy.

Urostomy (ur-ostomy) - surgically created opening in the abdominal wall for the purpose of urinary diversion or drainage.