Short Bowel Survivor & Friends

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Glossary of terms

Barium XRay- is a procedure in which xrays of the gastrointestinal tract is taken after barium sulphate is swallowed by a patient. Barium meals are useful in the diagnosis of structural abnormalities of the gut, because like other soft-tissue structures, they do not show clearly enough for diagnostic purposes on plain radiographs. Barium salts are radioopaque: they show clearly on a radiograph.

Bowel lengthening - A technique first devised by Mr Adrian Bianchi in the1980s which has now been modified and improved upon and is used by Mr Antonino Morabito at Manchester Childrens Hospital. This now includes the 'Step-Proceedure that both lengthens and tapers the short bowel, thus making it more efficient at absorbing nutrients from food.

Caesarean Section - surgical incision through the abdominal and uterine walls in order to deliver a baby - so called because Julius Caesar was reputed to have been born this way.

Colostomy - a surgical procedure that brings a portion of the large intestine through the abdominal wall to carry feces out of the body.

Electrolyte - An ion such as potassium sodium, or chloride dissolved in fluid that helps to regulate metabolic activities of the cell.

Gastrointestinal tract - The tube that extends from the mouth to the anus in which the movement of muscles and release of hormones and enzymes digest food. The gastrointestinal tract starts with the mouth and proceeds to the esophagus, stomach, duodenum, small intestine, large intestine (colon), rectum and, finally, the anus. Also called the alimentary canal or the digestive tract.

Gastroschisis - is a birth defect in which an infant's intestines stick out of the body through a defect on one side of the umbilical cord.

Short Gut - alternative term use for short bowel or intestine, often used in America.

Intravenous - within the vein, as with an injection into a vein or a way of inserting a drip feed for fluids such as, TPN, blood, plasma or medication.

Jugular Vein - a large vein near the neck which carries blood to the heart.
Long Line - or 'Catheter' a long slender flexible tube for inserting into a bodily cavity. Can be used to deliver liquids such as medication, Parenteral Nutrition, or to extract fluids e.g. blood.

Placenta Previa - refers to the placenta in such a position inside the uterus that it effectively blocks the cervix/neck of the womb. A rupture of the placenta during natural vaginal delivery could put the baby's life in danger. Mother in this situation are usually delivered by Ceasarean Section.

SBS - short bowel syndrome

Sonographer - a radiographer who specialises in ultra-sound techniques for diagnosing problems which may occur during pregnancy.