Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA)

Aneurysm is a term used to describe swelling of an artery. The abdominal aorta is the largest blood vessel in the body extending from heart, down to the abdomen

Active cycle of breathing technique (ACBTA)

Performing maximum tidal volume combined with the inspiratory hold manoeuvre. When completed correctly over a period of time this will improve a person’s ventilation/aerobic capacity

Aerobic capacity

The maximal amount of physiological work an individual can complete, were by the heart and lungs can maintain the oxygen demand of the working tissues. The body can work for a short period beyond this point, known as anaerobic capacity of an individual

Aerobic exercise

Exercise which causes your heart rate and breathing to increase. This exercise is also known as cardiovascular exercise


Medication which relieves pain


Abnormal growth of cells within the body which reproduce abnormally and can also spread to other parts of the body. Cancerous cells can destroy surrounding cells and healthy tissue

Cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET)

A non-invasive method where by an individual is asked to perform exercise in a controlled environment to assess the performance and health of the heart and lungs.

Cardiovascular exercise

Exercise which causes your heart rate and breathing to increase. This exercise is also known as aerobic exercise


Treatment for cancer whereby anti-cancer drugs are administered as part of a regime


A medical procedure which is undertaken using a thin flexible tube with a camera on the end known as a colonoscope to view the bowel, colon and rectum


Within medicine this term refers to surgery or disorders of the rectum, anus and colon

Computed tomography (CT) scan

Imaging technique which uses X-rays to produce a detailed image of internal structures and organs within the body

Critical care unit (CCU)

Also known as intensive care unit (ICU) or intensive care unit (ITU) is a specialised hospital unit which provides intensive treatment medicine

Elective surgery

This is surgery which has been scheduled or planned to take place


Epidural is a form of pain relief administered by an anaesthetist into the epidural space of your spinal cord. The epidural is injected into your back, usually whilst you are awake to provide pain relief


Within medicine this term refers to surgery or disorders of the liver, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts and bile

Incentive spirometer

A device which helps you learn how to take deep breaths in order to inflate your lungs as fully as possible

Inspiratory hold

Following intake of a person’s maximal deep breath, they hold their breath for 3-5 seconds with their mouth closed


During the surgery/operation

Laparoscopic surgery

A surgical procedure that allows the surgeon to operate within the abdomen and pelvis without having to make large incisions in the skin

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Imaging technique which produces detailed images of various structures and organs within the body using a combination of magnetic fields and radio waves


The spread of cancer from one part of the body to another

Multi-disciplinary team (MDT)

A group of healthcare professionals belonging to different disciplines within the health service such as physiotherapy, nutrition, nursing, anaesthesia etc. The team is involved in individual patient care to ensure all available treatment options are considered for each patient

Patient controlled analgesia (PCA)

A type of pain relief which uses a pump connected to the patient via a small plastic tube (cannula) inserted into the arm or hand. The patient can control the administration of pain relief by pressing a button

Positron emission tomography (PET)

A nuclear imaging technique which is used to provide a functional image of organs and structures within the body. A biologically active molecule (tracer) is introduced in the body which are then detected using the PET technique


After the surgery/operation


Before the surgery/operation


A combined approach of exercise, nutrition, and psychological strategies to better prepare patients for the challenges associated with surgery/the post-operative period and/or other treatments

Radiation therapy

Therapy which is used to shrink tumours and kill cancer cells using high-energy radiation


A rep is the number of times you perform a specific exercise

Resistance exercise

Resistance exercise is an approach to building muscle and muscular endurance. A resistance exercise is any limb movement your muscles control against resistance, this can be external i.e. using weights, resistance bands, canned food or utilising your body weight. Resistance exercises should be performed slowly and in a controlled manner throughout avoiding momentum

Respiratory complications

Complications relating to the lungs


A set is the number of cycles you complete consisting of reps e.g. 2 sets of 12 reps bicep curl = 24 bicep curls in total

Tidal volume

The maximal volume a person can inhale in one deep breath


Imaging technique which uses high frequency sound waves to image structures and organs within the body


This is a surgical procedure also known as a pancreaduodenectomy where the surgeon removes the head of the pancreas, the gallbladder, the upper part of the small intestine, a portion of the stomach and lymph nodes near the pancreas