LACTOBACILLUS
LARVA MIGRANS
blood supply in a heart attack (see
myocardial infarction
or
shock
).
lactobacillus
A type of rod-shaped
bacte-
ria
found in fermented plant and dairy
products. Some types of lactobacilli
colonize the human intestine and the
vagina, where they prevent the overmul-
tiplication of harmful bacteria.
lactose
One of the sugars present in
milk; a disaccharide
carbohydrate
.
lactose intolerance
The inability to
digest
lactose
(see
lactase deficiency
).
lactulose
A
laxative drug
that is used to
treat
constipation
.
lambliasis
Another name for
giardiasis
.
laminectomy
Surgical removal of part
or all of one or more laminae (the bony
arches on each
vertebra
) to expose the
spinal cord. Laminectomy is performed
as the first stage of spinal canal decom-
pression (see
decompression, spinal canal
).
lamivudine
A
reverse transcriptase inhi-
bitor
drug used in the treatment of
HIV
infection. Often, when the treatment is
started, 3 drugs are used: 2 reverse tran-
scriptase inhibitors and a third drug
from another class, such as a
protease
inhibitor
.
Lamivudine may also be used
to treat longstanding
hepatitis B
infec-
tions. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea
are the most common side effects.
lamotrigine
An
anticonvulsant
drug
used either alone or in combination
with other anticonvulsants in the treat-
ment of
epilepsy
. It can cause a number
of minor side effects, such as nausea,
headache, and blurred vision. Rarely,
serious skin reactions may occur, par-
ticularly in children. In addition, there
may be flu-like symptoms, bruising, sore
throat, and facial swelling, which should
be reported to a doctor promptly.
lance
To incise using a
lancet
or a surgi-
cal
scalpel
.
lancet
A small, pointed, double-edged
knife used to open and drain lesions,
such as boils and abscesses.
language disorders
Problems affect-
ing the ability to communicate and/or
comprehend the spoken and/or written
word (see
speech
;
speech disorders
).
lanolin
A mixture of purified water and
a yellow, oily substance obtained from
sheep's wool. Lanolin is used as an
emollient
in the treatment of dry skin
and mild
dermatitis
. Occasionally, it may
cause an allergic reaction.
lansoprazole
A drug used to treat dis-
orders caused by excess stomach acid,
such as
peptic ulcer
and
acid reflux
. Side
effects
of lansoprazole
include
ab-
dominal pain, diarrhoea, constipation,
headache, and dizziness.
lanugo hair
Fine, soft, downy hair that
covers a
fetus
.
Lanugo hair first appears
in the 4th or 5th month of gestation
and usually disappears by the 9th month.
It can still be seen in some premature
babies. Lanugo hair sometimes reap-
pears in adults who have cancer. It may
also occur in those with
anorexia ner-
vosa
or be a side effect of certain drugs,
especially
ciclosporin
.
laparoscopy
Examination of the inter-
ior of the abdomen using a laparoscope,
which is a type of
endoscope
. Laparo-
scopy is widely used in
gynaecology
.
Surgical procedures such as
appendi-
cectomy
and
cholecystectomy
are now
often performed laparoscopically (see
minimally invasive surgery
).
GYNAECOLOGICAL LAPAROSCOPY
laparotomy
Any operation in which the
abdomen is opened either for diagnos-
tic purposes or for surgical treatment.
larva migrans
Infections that are char-
acterized by the presence of the larval
(immature) forms of certain worms in
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