Baldness: Medically known as alopecia. There are many types of baldness, each with a different cause. Baldness may be localized to the front and top of the head, as in the very common type of male-pattern baldness; baldness may be patchy, a condition called alopecia areata; or a variant of alopecia areata may involve the entire head: alopecia capitis totalis. The word “alopecia” comes from the Greek “alopex” for “fox.” Foxes are less furry when afflicted with a skin disease called the “mange” which causes them to lose their hair. When a fancier word for “baldness” was sought, the mangy fox supplied it, “alopecia” or, if you wish, “fox-mange,” not a very positive image to associate with baldness.
- Baldness, patchy
Baldness, patchy: Patchy baldness. Also referred to as alopecia areata. Alopecia means baldness and areata means occurring in patches. This process typically begins with patchy hair loss on the scalp and sometimes progresses to complete baldness and even loss of body hair. The hair loss tends to be rather rapid and asymmetrical and is different […]
- Ball-and-socket joint
Ball-and-socket joint: A joint in which the round end of a bone fits into the cavity of another bone. The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint.
- Balloon angioplasty
Balloon angioplasty: Coronary angioplasty is accomplished using a balloon-tipped catheter inserted through an artery in the groin or arm to enlarge a narrowing in a coronary artery. Coronary artery disease occurs when cholesterol plaque builds up (atherosclerosis) in the walls of the arteries to the heart. Angioplasty is successful in opening coronary arteries in 90% […]
- Balloon tamponade
Balloon tamponade: A procedure in which a balloon is inflated within the esophagus or stomach, to apply pressure on bleeding blood vessels, compress the vessels, and stop the bleeding. It is used in the treatment of bleeding veins in the esophagus (esophageal varices) and stomach. Also known as esophagogastric tamponade.
Bambino: The little child who is the infant in swaddling, the symbol of pediatrics, sculpted by the Florentine artist Andrea della Robbia (1437-1528).