OBGYN Glossary

The following are a list of terms that may be used during the course of your OB/GYN care.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

L

Labia
Folds of skin at the openings of bodily organs are referred to as labia. The vagina has two sets of labia.

Labor
This refers to the birthing process; contractions of the uterus open up the cervix and push the baby down through the birth canal.

Laparoscopic Lymph Node Sampling
Laparoscopy is used to remove lymph nodes through a viewing tube.

Laparoscopy
An examination that requires an anesthetic, laparoscopy is when a doctor inserts a small cut just below or through the navel to see the abdomen’s inside or obtain tissues.

Laparotomy
Any surgery in which an abdominal incision is made, laparotomy is often used as a diagnostic method when less invasive methods are inconclusive.

Laser
Often used as a surgical tool, a laser is a small, intense beam of light.

Lightening
A few weeks before labor, the baby “drops,” as the pregnant uterus changes shape.

Local Anesthesia
Unlike general anesthesia, which renders a patient unconscious, local anesthesia only prevents pain in a certain part of the body.

Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP)
An electric wire loop is used to obtain a piece of tissue or excise abnormal areas on the cervix.

Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL)
Composed more of cholesterol than protein, LDL builds up and causes arteries to narrow and become clogged. This is also called plaque.

Low Vertical Incision
This refers to the cut made up and down in the lower, thinner area of the uterus, used for cesarean delivery.

Lumpectomy
This surgery, sometimes referred to as a biopsy, involves the removal of a breast lump.

Luteinizing Hormone (LH)
The pituitary gland secretes this hormone to stimulate the growth of sperm in males and eggs in females.

Lymph
Lymph is the nearly colorless fluid that bathes the body’s cells. It moves throughout the body via a system of vessels and nodes.

Lymph Nodes
Sometimes referred to as lymph glands, these nodes are small organs located in the lymphatic system’s channels. They function by storing special cells to trap bacteria and cancer cells. These nodes can be found in the underarms, groin, neck, chest, and abdomen.

Lymphatic System
This system produces, stores, and carries white blood cells to fight disease or infection. Tissues and organs in the system include bone marrow, the spleen, the thymus, and the lymph nodes.

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