Glossary: F

facial implant

cosmetic plastic surgery to change the shape of the chin, check, or jaw. This procedure is typically done to enhance certain facial features, or to bring a certain aspect of the face into proportion with the rest of the facial structures.

facial skin

to approximate a smoother, firmer appearance. The procedure takes place on either the face, neck, or both.


a protein in the blood that is needed to form the blood clot.

factor V Leiden

an inherited mutation (change in a gene) in factor V which increases a person's risk for venous thrombosis.

fallopian tubes

two thin tubes that extend from each side of the uterus, toward the ovaries, as a passageway for eggs and sperm.

false negative report

a negative result when in reality it is positive in nature.

false positive report

a positive result when in reality it is negative in nature.


a clustering of disease in a family, with no specific inheritance pattern, but more cases than chance alone would predict.

familial polyposis

an inherited disease that causes polyps in the colon. These polyps can lead to cancer.


one of three nutrients that supply calories to the body.

fat necrosis

a benign breast condition in which painless, round, firm lumps caused by damaged and disintegrating fatty tissues form in the breast tissue, often in response to a bruise or blow to the breast.

fatty liver (Also called steatosis.)

buildup of fat in liver cells.

fecal fat test

test to measure the body's ability to break down and absorb fat.

fecal incontinence

being unable to hold stool in the colon and rectum.

fecal occult blood test

checks for hidden (occult) blood in the stool. It involves placing a very small amount of stool on a special card, which is then tested in the physician's office or sent to a laboratory.


solid wastes that pass through the rectum as bowel movements. Stools are undigested foods, bacteria, mucus, and dead cells.




able to become pregnant.


walking with a series of quick, small, shuffling steps as if hurrying forward to keep balance.

fetal alcohol syndrome

set of serious birth defects that can occur when a pregnant woman drinks excessive amounts of alcohol.


an unborn baby from the eighth week after fertilization until delivery.

fever (Also called pyrexia.)

an abnormal temperature of the body. A fever generally indicates that there is an abnormal process occurring in the body.


substance in foods that comes from plants, which helps with digestion by keeping stool soft so that it moves smoothly through the colon.


rapid contractions of the heart muscles.


a solid, smooth, benign lump that is commonly found in women in their late teens and early twenties.

fibrocystic breast disease

noncancerous irregularities and lumpiness in the breast tissue.

fibrocystic breasts

noncancerous condition in which small lumps and cysts develop in the breasts.

fibroid embolization

a new experimental technique which involves identifying which arteries are supplying blood to the fibroids and then blocking off these arteries, which cuts off the fibroids blood supply and causes them to shrink. Physicians are still evaluating the long-term implications of this procedure on fertility and regrowth of the fibroid.


non-cancerous growths in, on, or within the walls of the uterus.

fibromyalgia (Also called fibrositis.)

a chronic, widespread pain in muscles and soft tissues surrounding the joints throughout the body.


the growth of scar tissue due to infection, inflammation, injury, or even healing.

fine needle aspiration

the use of a thin, hollow needle to withdraw tissue from the body. In the case of suspected prostate cancer it may be used in conjunction with transrectal ultrasound of the prostate.

fish poisoning

poisoning that occurs by eating various species of fish and shellfish at certain times of the year when they contain poisonous biotoxins. This can occur even if the fish is well cooked.


abnormal passage between two organs or between an organ and the outside of the body, caused when damaged tissues come into contact with each other and join together while healing.

flap surgery

one type of surgery that involves transporting healthy, live tissue from one location of the body to another


excessive gas in the stomach or intestine, this may also cause bloating.


gas passed through the rectum.

flexor muscle

any muscle that causes the bending of a limb or other body part.


a natural chemical that strengthens enamel - the hard outer coating on teeth - helps prevent tooth decay, and helps repair early damage to teeth.


a study of moving body structures, similar to an x-ray "movie." A continuous x-ray beam is passed through the body part being examined, and is transmitted to a TV-like monitor so that the body part and its motion can be seen in detail.


ineffective contractions of the heart muscles.

folate deficiency

the lack of folic acid (one of the B vitamins) in the blood. folic acid

folic acid

a nutrient found in some green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans, citrus fruits, fortified breakfast cereals, and some vitamin supplements. Folic acid can help reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spinal cord.

follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)

hormone secreted by the pituitary gland in the brain that stimulates the growth and maturation of eggs in females and sperm in males, and sex hormone production in both males and females.


an inflammation of the hair follicles due to an infection or irritation.

food allergy

a physiological reaction caused when the immune system mistakenly identifies a normally harmless food as damaging to the body.

food exchanges

a way to help people stay on special food plans by letting them replace items from one food group with items from another group.

food intolerance

an adverse reaction of the body to a certain food(s) that does not affect the immune system, although some symptoms may be the same as in food allergy.

food-drug interaction

occurs when food eaten affects the ingredients in a medication being taken, preventing the medication from working the way it should.

forehead lift

the surgical removal of excess fat and skin, as well as a tightening of the muscles in the forehead area. It can correct sagging brows or deep furrows between the eyes. It is often done in conjunction with a facelift in order to create a smoother facial appearance overall.


partial or complete break in the bone.


darkened, flat spots that typically appear only on sun-exposed areas of skin.

free skin graft

the detaching of healthy skin from one part of the body to repair areas of lost or damaged skin in another part of the body.


an injury to the body caused by freezing.

frozen shoulder (Also called capsulitis.)

a shoulder injury which has four stages: pain, pain and stiffness, stiffness, and resolution.

functional disorders

conditions that result from poor nerve and muscle function.

functional incontinence

leakage due to a difficulty reaching a restroom in time because of physical conditions such as arthritis.


the top of the enlarged uterus.

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