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Grey's Anatomy

Doc Speak: What’s an Anastomosis?

This week's breakdown of the medical lingo used on Grey's Anatomy is brought to you by the letter A. Yes, folks, all of our terms today start with that letter. And better yet, the participants in the surgery we're analyzing included Alex, Arizona, and Altman. All aboard!

The Cooks' newborn baby needed an immediate heart transplant, but something went amiss during the surgery. Teddy noticed a very low arterial pressure wave, a measurement of the amount of pressure one's blood is exerting on one's arteries, or the veins responsible for carrying blood away from the heart. She thought that maybe there was a kink in the art line, which is another term for arterial catheter (also known as arterial line or a-line), a device used to monitor blood pressure in real-time. Teddy then decided that the aorta (the largest artery in the body) needed a long, diagonal anastomosis, which is a big word for a simple concept: it's just a surgical connection between two structures — usually tubular structures, such as blood vessels. Luckily, the good docs were able to make that anastomosis in less than half an hour, saving the day and the lil' nipper.

Source: Medline Plus

02.11.2011 / 10:43 PM EDT by Dan Clarendon
Related: Grey's Anatomy

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