Glossary

This glossary defines terms that your doctor may have used or that you may have come across while reading this book. Italicized words within definitions refer you to other terms in the glossary for additional information.

abdominoplasty Also known as a tummy tuck. A major surgical procedure, abdo-minoplasty is a type of cosmetic surgery in which excess fat and skin are removed from the abdominal area. Abdominoplasty usually is performed on people who have not been able to lose unwanted abdominal fat and skin through diet and exercise.

ACE inhibitor See angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor.

acne A common skin disorder caused by inflammation of the hair follicles and sebaceous glands and characterized by pimples that appear on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders.

acoustic nerve See auditory nerve.

acquired immunodeficiency syndrome A disorder of the immune system caused by infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

actinic keratosis Also known as solar keratosis (because it results from long-term exposure to excessive amounts of sunlight). A type of skin growth caused by overproduction of keratin. Actinic keratosis can develop into a form of skin cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma.

adenoma A benign tumor that arises from glandular tissue.

adrenal gland One of a pair of triangular glands located directly above each kidney. Adrenal glands produce a variety of hormones that affect nearly every system in the body.

adrenaline See epinephrine.

advance directive A legal document designed to help ensure that healthcare decisions made on a person's behalf are consistent with his or her preferences. See also do-not-resuscitate order, durable power of attorney for healthcare, and living will.

aerobic exercise A physical exercise that requires your heart and lungs to work harder to meet your muscles' continuous demand for oxygen. Examples of aerobic exercise include brisk walking, dancing, step-aerobics, jogging, and biking.

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