-tomy Also -otomy.
[Greek -tomia, cutting, from temnein, to cut.]
Dichotomy, a contrast between two things represented as being opposed or entirely different, derives from Greek dikho-, in two or apart, hence ‘cutting in two’. The subject of anatomy, concerned with the bodily structure of humans, animals, and other living organisms, was so named because it relied heavily on dissection (Greek ana-, up, so ‘cutting up’). Most other examples refer to medical procedures that involve an incision. Some common ones are given in the list below. All contain the linking vowel -o- before the ending, making it in effect -otomy. See also -ectomy and -stomy.
Examples of words in -tomy
Examples are from Greek unless otherwise stated.
|craniotomy||removal of a portion of the skull||kranion, skull|
|episiotomy||a cut made at the opening of the vagina during childbirth to aid a difficult delivery||epision, pubic region|
|keratotomy||a surgical operation involving cutting into the cornea of the eye||keras, kerat-, horn|
|laparotomy||an opening made into the abdominal cavity||lapara, flank|
|lobotomy||an incision into the prefrontal lobe of the brain||English lobe|
|osteotomy||the surgical cutting of a bone||osteon, bone|
|phlebotomy||the surgical opening or puncture of a vein in order to withdraw blood||phleps, phleb-, vein|
|thoracotomy||making an opening into the chest wall||thōrax, thorāc-, chest|
|tracheotomy||an incision in the windpipe made to relieve an obstruction to breathing||English trachea, windpipe|