Go Under the Knife



Sophie was rushed to the hospital due to lower right abdominal pain. The pain is aggravated upon coughing and other jarring movements. The doctor suspects that Sophie is suffering from appendicitis.


Surgeon:           Hello Sophie! I’m Crystal Jennings, one of the resident surgeons of Saint Therese Hospital and I’m here to assess your condition. Now, may I have the permission to check your abdomen. (Applies gentle pressure on the lower right side of the abdomen)


Sophie:             I’m afraid that hurts. (Does abdominal guarding when her abdomen was pressed)


Surgeon:           We will run further tests on you to confirm if it’s appendicitis you’re suffering from. I will have your blood drawn and you may have to undergo urine and imaging tests, but before that, I’ll have you sign this consent first. (Explains the procedure) Do you have any questions?


Sophie:             Is it possible that I’ll go under the knife if it’s confirmed that I have appendicitis?


Surgeon:           Yes. You will have to undergo appendectomy once appendicitis has been confirmed and other possible medical conditions have been ruled out. Meanwhile, I’ll have the nurse do a skin test on you for your antibiotic therapy. Is there anything else, Miss Sophie?


Sophie:             That would be all. Thanks!


Surgeon:           Thanks!


Go under the knife To have or undergo a surgery
Jarring Shaking, vibrating or sudden movement
Appendicitis Inflammation or swelling of the appendix
Abdominal guarding The act of tensing the abdominal muscles to guard a painful organ
Run tests Conduct a laboratory test
Appendectomy Removal of the appendix
Rule out Remove/eliminate from the possibility or consideration
Skin Test A test done to determine certain medications or chemical components that a person is allergic to
Informed consent A form signed by the patient or an immediate relative that the former allows himself/herself to undergo a treatment or a medical procedure


  • To go or to be under the knife means submitting oneself for surgery.

Example: She had to go under the knife for the removal of her appendix.

  • If something (or someone) jars, (he or she) it is shaking. It may also mean sudden movement.

Example: The jarring movement gave him a headache.

  • Appendicitis is the swelling of the finger-shaped pouch called the appendix, which is located on the lower right side of the abdomen.

Example: Pain located on the lower right side of the abdomen may be caused by appendicitis.

  • When the abdomen is pressed and the abdominal wall muscles get tensed, the tensing is referred to as abdominal guarding. This is usually seen in people suffering from appendicitis or diverticulitis.

Example: She had abdominal guarding when the doctor examined and pressed her abdomen.

  • When health professionals tell you that they will run tests on you, it means you have to undergo certain tests and submit urine, blood and other samples that will be sent to the laboratory to be tested. The results are then relayed to the physician, which will be later on explained to you.

Example: Before surgery is performed, they need to run some tests on her.

  • Appendectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removal of the appendix.  From the words appendix and –ectomy a suffix which means “out and to cut”.

Example: Her appendix was inflamed so she has to undergo an appendectomy.

  • Rule out is a term used in the medical practice, which means to exclude the possibility of or from consideration.

Example: The chest x-ray that was done helped rule out pneumonia.

  • A skin test is a test that helps determine certain substances that a person has an allergic reaction to. This can be done in two ways: through a prick or a puncture, and by injecting a diluted allergen just right below the surface of the skin.

Example: Her skin test result revealed negative allergy for penicillin.

  • An informed consent is a form that a patient signs, which serves as an agreement that he or she understands the benefits and risks of a certain medical intervention.

Example: The doctor made her sign an informed consent after explaining the benefits and risks of the surgery.


  1. What surgical procedure does Sophie have to undergo?
  2. Have you tried being under the knife? What type of surgery?
  3. Differentiate appendicitis and appendectomy.
  4. What form did the doctor make Sophie sign?








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