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Medical Prefixes and Postfixes Cheat Sheet

Submitted by Meditec on Wed, 09/06/2017 - 15:37
Medical Prefixes and Postfixes Cheat Sheet

A lot of medical terms are long, confusing, or weird looking. But medical professionals work with tons of medical terminology every day. For example, Medical Office Managers encounter medical terms when they are managing health information data, billing, and coding. It’s always helpful to be familiar with some common medical prefixes and postfixes. You may not know all the medical terminology of your profession right away, but you can get an idea of the definition if you know what the parts mean. A prefix is a part of a word that comes first. A postfix or suffix appears at the end of the word. Here is a cheat sheet to help you get a handle on medical prefixes and postfixes. Prefixes

  • Bio-
    • Life - As in biology, study of living things
  • Cardi-
    • Heart - As in cardiogram, record of muscle activity in the heart
  • Dys-
    • Difficult or bad - As in dyspnea, difficulty breathing
  • Faci-
    • Face - As in facial, affecting the face
  • Gastro-
    • Stomach - As in gastroenterology, study of the digestive system
  • Hema-
    • Blood - As in hematoma, swelling filled with blood
  • Iso-
    • Equal or like - As in isometric, of equal dimensions
  • Latero-
    • Side
    • As lateroduction, movement to one side
  • Meta-
    • After or behind
    • As in metastasis, spreading from a primary tumor
  • Neur-
    • Nerve or nervous system
    • As in neurology, study of nervous system disorders
  • Osteo-
    • Bone
    • As in osteoporosis, bone disease
  • Peri-
    • Around or about
    • As in paricardial, around the heart
  • Retro-
    • Backward, behind
    • As in retroversion, bending backwards of the uterus
  • Somat-
    • Body
    • As in somatic, affecting the body
  • Trans-
    • Across, over
    • As in transfusion, transferring blood

Postfixes -astehnia Weakness As in myasthenia gravis, muscle weakness -crine Secrete As in endocrine, glands -dynia Pain As in vulvodynia, chronic pain -ectomy Surgical removal As in hysterectomy, removing the uterus -ectasis Expansion As in bronchiectasis, widening of airways -gnosis Knowledge As in diagnosis, identifying the cause -gram Picture or record As in cardiogram, record of muscle activity in the heart  -iatry Field of study As in psychiatry -itis Inflamed As in bronchitis, inflamed bronchial tubes -lepsy Attack As in narcolepsy, sudden sleep -mania Preoccupation As in pyromania, desire to start fires -metry Measuring As in optometry, examining the eyes -phagia Eat As in dysphagia, painful swallowing -rrhage Bursting As in hemorrhage, bleeding from a ruptured blood vessel  -trophy   After reviewing these prefixes and postfixes, scroll through some unfamiliar medical terms and see if you can correctly guess their meanings. Need medical billing and coding training? Well, you’re in luck! Meditec has the convenient online training you need to land that medical office manager job. Enroll now!