This page contains a glossary of Mending Kids terms you may find useful.


  • Cardiologist:

    a doctor with special training in finding, treating and preventing diseases of the heart

  • Interventional Cardiologist:

    a type of cardiologist who has undertaken specialized training to perform catheterization and other minimally invasive procedures, such as placing stents

  • Cardiac Surgeon:

    a surgeon who operates on the heart and blood vessels to repair damage caused by diseases and disorders of the cardiovascular systems

  • Anesthesiologist:

    a physician who specializes in the practice of anesthesia, which is a drug administered for medical purposes to induce partial or total loss of bodily sensations

  • OR Nurse:

    an operating room (OR) nurse who provides care and support to patients before, during and after surgery and assists the surgeon with the surgery

  • Perfusionist:

    a specialized healthcare professional who uses the heart-lung machine during a cardiac surgery and other surgeries

  • PICU Nurse:

    a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) nurse who specializes in taking care of critically ill infants and children in the hospital

  • Respiratory Therapist:

    a specialized healthcare practitioner who treats people with disorders affecting the cardiopulmonary system, such as asthma, pneumonia and emphysema

  • Aortic Valve Stenosis:

    a valve from the heart to the body that does not open and close properly

  • Arrhythmia:

    an abnormal heartbeat

  • Atrial Septal Defect (ASD):

    a hole in the septum of the heart

  • Cardiothoracic surgery:

    surgical treatment of diseases affecting the organs inside the thorax, which includes the heart and lungs

  • Coarctation of the Aorta (CoA):

    a narrowing of the aorta that carries blood to the body, which an cause high blood pressure or heart damage

  • Complete Atrioventricular Canal defect (CAVC):

    a large hole in the center of the heart that affects all four chambers

  • Fibrillation:

    rapid contractions of the heart muscles

  • Pulmonary Valve Stenosis:

    a thickened or fused heart valve that does not fully open which makes it difficult for blood to flow out of the heart and to the lungs

  • Rheumatic Heart Disease:

    is the most common acquired heart disease in children in many countries and is caused by rheumatic fever

  • Septum:

    a wall that separates the heart’s left and right sides

  • Stent:

    a device implanted in a vessel used to help keep it open

  • Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF):

    is a type of congenital heart defect that refers to a combination of four related heart defects

  • Truncus Arteriosus:

    a condition when a person has one larger artery instead of two separate ones to carry the blood to the body

  • Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD):

    a hole in the wall separating the two lower chambers of the heart


  • Otolaryngologist:

    commonly referred to as an ENT physician, an otolaryngologist specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of the ears, nose, throat and related structures of the head

  • Adenoid:

    lymphoid tissue located in the back of the nose

  • Adenoidectomy:

    surgical removal of the adenoids

  • Mastoidectomy:

    surgical procedure to remove the infection or growth in the bone behind the ear called the mastoid bone

  • Otitis media:

    an ear infection that results from inflammation of the middle ear

  • Palatoplasty:

    a surgical procedure used to reconstruct the cleft palate

  • Rhinoplasty:

    a surgical procedure to reconstruct the nose to improve a breathing problem

  • Septoplasty:

    surgery to straighten the septum, the wall that separates the left and right airways in the nose

  • Tympanoplasty:

    surgery to reconstruct the tympanic membrane (eardrum)

  • Subglottic stenosis:

    is a narrowing of the airway below the vocal cords, also known as the subglottis, and above the trachea

  • Tonsillectomy:

    procedure to remove the tonsils

  • Tympanoplasty:

    surgery to reconstruct the tympanic membrane (eardrum)


  • Hernia:

    a condition in which a tissue bulges out through an opening in the muscles and mostly occurs around the groin and stomach

  • Hydrocele:

    a condition in which there is a buildup of water fluid surrounding one or both testicles

  • Hypospadias:

    is an abnormality in which the opening of the urethra is on the underside of the penis instead of at the tip

  • Orchidopexy:

    a surgical procedure to move an undescended testes in the scrotum

  • Phimosis:

    refers to the inability to retract the foreskin over the glans of the penis

  • Undescended testicles:

    also known as cryptorchidism, it is a painless condition in which a testicle does not completely come downward from the abdomen into the scrotum

  • Ureteral reimplantation:

    surgery to fix the tubes that connect the bladder to the kidneys

  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs):

    caused by bacteria along the urinary tract

  • Vesicoureteral reflux (VUR):

    occurs when urine in the bladder flows back to the ureters and sometimes the kidneys


  • Club Foot:

    a congenital foot deformity that can be present in one or both feet in which the heel points downward while the front half of the foot turns inward

  • Orthopedic surgeon:

    a physician who diagnoses, treats and manages musculoskeletal problems, such as broken bones and limb and spine deformities

  • Traction:

    refers to the set of mechanisms for straightening broken bones through the practice of exerting a slow, gentle pull on a fractured or dislocated body part

  • Tuberculosis of Spine:

    also known as tuberculous spondylitis, it is the most common site of skeletal tuberculosis, which can be painful to an individual


  • Skin grafting:

    a type of surgery to heal third degree burns

  • First degree burn:

    a minor burn that includes only the outer layer of the skin, called the epidermis, is usually red and very painful and heals in 3-5 days

  • Second degree burn:

    is more serious than a first degree burn and can be classified as partial or full thickness

  • Partial thickness:

    involves the entire epidermis and upper layer of the dermis, is pink or red in color, painful and wet appearing and heals in 10-21 days

  • Full thickness:

    involves the destruction of the entire epidermis and most of the upper layer of the dermis, sensation is diminished, can be red or white and dry and excision and skin grafting is needed to heal

  • Third degree burn:

    the most serious burn that involves all layers of skin, extend into the subcutaneous tissues, appear black or white, dry and leathery and no pain is felt


  • Cleft lip and cleft palate:

    are birth defects that occur when a baby’s lip or mouth do not form properly during pregnancy

  • Cleft lip:

    occurs when the lip tissue does not join completely, resulting in an opening in the upper lip

  • Cleft palate:

    occurs when the tissue that makes up the roof of the mouth does not join together completely during pregnancy

  • Frenulectomy:

    is a surgical procedure to remove a frenulum, a tissue that prevents an organ in the body from moving too far and is frequently done on the lingual frenulum (tongue)

  • Polydactyly:

    a congenital defect in which a baby is born with one or more extra fingers or toes

  • Syndactyly:

    a congenital defect in which the fingers or toes are webbed or joined together


  • Imperforate anus:

    a defect in which the opening to the anus is missing or blocked

  • Colostomy:

    a surgical procedure that brings one end of the large intestine out through an opening, called the stoma, made in the abdominal wall to carry feces out of the body through a pouch

  • Ascending colostomy:

    this procedure is performed in the ascending colon, on the right side of the abdomen where only part of the colon remains functional

  • Transverse colostomy:

    performed across the middle of the abdomen, it is a common type of colostomy and is permanent

  • Descending colostomy:

    located in the descending colon, this procedure is performed on the left side of the abdomen

  • Sigmoid colostomy:

    the most common type of colostomy, it is located in the sigmoid colon, the bottom of the large intestine, which moves waste to the rectum


  • Hydrocephalus:

    a buildup of cerebral spinal fluid in the brain

  • Spina bifida:

    a type of birth defect called a neural tube defect that involves the incomplete development of the spinal cord or its coverings

  • Ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt:

    a device used to relieve pressure from the brain caused by fluid accumulation