-otomy : Surgical Procedure Dictionary

otomy suffix meaning “to make an incision or cut into”:

These procedures are done by making an incision into particular organ for releasing fluid,pus or pressure and used to treat infection, swelling or destroying unwanted membrane.


  • Amniotomy:  Surgical rupture of the fetal membranes to induce or expedite labor.
  • Clitoridotomy:  An incision into the clitoris.
  • Hysterotomy: An incision in the uterus, and is performed during a cesarean section.
  • Hymenotomy:  An incision into hymen.
  • Episiotomy: A surgical cut made at the opening of the vagina during childbirth, to aid a difficult delivery and prevent rupture of tissues.
  • Meatotomy: An incision made to enlarge a meatus, for example, of the urethra or ureter.
  • Nephrotomy: A surgical incision of a kidney (as for the extraction of a calculus).

Nervous system


  • Craniotomy: A surgical opening of a portion of the skull.
  • Pallidotomy:  An incision into globus pallidus (one of the basal nuclei of the brain),  to destroy a small area of brain cells.
  • Thalamotomy: An incision into thalamus by stereotaxy for the relief of pain, involuntary movements.
  • Lobotomy:  An incision into the prefrontal lobe of the brain, formerly used to treat mental illness.
  • Bilateral cingulotomy: A bilateral surgical excision of the anterior half of the cingulate gyrus.
  • Cordotomy: An incision into fibers of the spinal cord used to relief of severe pain.
  • Rhizotomy: A section of the spinal nerve roots for the relief of pain or spastic paralysis.
  • Laminotomy: A surgical division of one or more vertebral laminae.
  • Foraminotomy:  An Incision into a foramen, aperture or other opening (in bone) so as to enlarge it, typically performed to release an entrapped nerve.


  • Axotomy: Cutting or otherwise severing of an axon.
  • Vagotomy: A surgical operation in which one or more branches of the vagus nerve are cut, typically to reduce the rate of gastric secretion.


  • Myringotomy : A surgical incision into the eardrum, to relieve pressure or drain fluid.


  • Radial keratotomy: A surgical operation involving cutting into the cornea of the eye. The most common form is radial keratotomy, performed to correct myopia.
  • Mini asymmetric radial keratotomy: A series of micro-incisions of variable depth cornea, which changes its thickness and shape.


  • Myotomy: A surgical procedure in which muscle is cut.
  • Tenotomy: A surgical cutting of a tendon, especially as a remedy for club foot.
  • Fasciotomy: A surgical procedure where the fascia is cut to relieve tension or pressure commonly to treat the resulting loss of circulation to an area of tissue or muscle.
  • Escharotomy: A surgical procedure used to treat full-thickness (third-degree) circumferential burns by making deep incision in skin.
  • Osteotomy: A surgical procedure of cutting a bone, especially to allow realignment.
  • Arthrotomy:  A surgical procedure of an opening in a joint that may be used in drainage.


  • Myotomy:  A surgical procedure in which muscle is cut.
    • Heller myotomy:  A  surgical procedure in which the muscles of the cardia (lower oesophageal sphincter or LOS) are cut, allowing food and liquids to pass to the stomach.
    • Pyloromyotomy: An incision is made in the longitudinal and circular muscles of the pylorus. It is used to treat hypertrophic pyloric stenosis.
  • Anal sphincterotomy:  A surgical procedure that involves treating mucosal fissures from the anal canal/sphincter
  • Lateral internal sphincterotomy: An operation performed on the internal anal sphincter muscle for the treatment of chronic anal fissure.


  • Sinusotomy: A surgical operation in which an incision is made in a sinus to prevent or reduce inflammation.
  • Cricothyrotomy: An incision made through the skin and cricothyroid membrane to establish a patent airway during certain life-threatening situations, such as airway obstruction by a foreign body, angioedema, or massive facial trauma.
  • Bronchotomy: A surgical incision is made below the glottis in order to achieve direct access to the lower respiratory tract, bypassing the upper respiratory tract.
  • Thoracotomy:  An incision into the pleural space of the chest.
  • Thyrotomy: An incision of the larynx through the thyroid cartilage.
  • Tracheotomy: A surgical procedure which consists of making an incision on the anterior aspect of the neck and opening a direct airway through an incision in the trachea.


  • Cardiotomy:  A surgical procedure where an incision is made in the heart.
  • Phlebotomy:  An incision in a vein with a needle.
  • Arteriotomy: An opening or cut of an artery wall.
  • Veinotomy: An incision into a vein.

Random Procedure

  • Laparotomy:  A surgical procedure involving a large incision through the abdominal wall to gain access into the abdominal cavity.

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