Dorsolithotomy Vs. Dorsal Lithotomy

Dorsolithotomy Vs. Dorsal Lithotomy


As a medical transcriptionist, I was disappointed and somewhat amazed at the fact that your publication would use terminology in its articles that is not “acceptable” per the Current Medical Terminology by Vera Pyle–the “Bible” to many transcriptionists.

In the Coding Corner column in ADVANCE’s January 4 issue, Case 1: Cervical Dysplasia, reported that the patient was placed in the “dorsolithotomy” position. However, according to every reference source I have, I could not document this spelling. When I tried to run it through the latest version of Stedman’s Spellchecker, it was rejected. According to Vera Pyle’s 6th Edition, page 130, it is dorsal lithotomy position, not dorsolithotomy.

Shouldn’t all phases of the medical record be consistent (i.e., the coding, transcription, etc.)? I am aware that a transcriptionist did not specifically write this article, but this is a “shared” collection of articles for transcriptionists as well. I usually “dissect” your issues and place many of them in notebooks for reference sources, and this was an excellent article for sample of procedures, until this point.

–Wendy Keller

Lone Wolf Transcription

Elgin, IL


While the spelling of the term “dorsolithotomy” in the Jan. 4, 1999, Coding Corner column may not be acceptable according to Vera Pyle’s publication, it is not incorrect. As I am sure Ms. Keller knows, “dorso-” is a prefix or combining form used to indicate the “back.” Stedman’s defines “dorsal” as “pertaining to the back.” As far as I can tell, there is minimal difference in the two definitions.

The case studies that the authors of Coding Corner use come from the operative reports of actual patient medical records dictated by physicians. The physician who dictated the report on cervical dysplasia used the term “dorsolithotomy position,” not dorsal lithotomy position. Because the usage is not technically incorrect and the meaning is certainly clear, no editorial change was necessary.

Our primary clients are health information management (HIM) professionals, including coders. On a daily basis, these individuals face medical terminology that is not always acceptable by the book. It’s important that they see the different variations that a medical term can take.

–Janis K. Oppelt

Senior Editor

Medical Learning Inc.

St. Paul, MN

Subscriber Survey Winners Announced

Last November, ADVANCE for Health Information Professionals® published a Subscriber Survey, which asked for reader input. By completing the survey and returning it by the indicated deadline, respondants were entered into our cash giveaway. Five cash prizes of $50 are now being awarded to those lucky winners whose names were pulled in a random drawing.

Congratulations to the following winners: Dorinda M. Sattler, ART, medical records manager at The Medical Group of Michigan City (IN); Jennifer Lee, ART, CCS, director of HIM at Sebasticook Val-ley Hospital in Pittsfield, ME; Rosanne Leong-Camp, ART, release of information specialist at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, CA; Karen Kirby, the lead coder at TCEP in Bryan, TX; and Kym Mills, ART, a tumor registrar at St. Charles Mercy Hospital in Oregon, OH.


In the last issue of ADVANCE (Feb. 1, 1999), we published an article on production standards for medical transcriptionists (MTs). This article can now be found on our Web site for those of you who missed it the first time. It’s also linked to an electronic Bulletin Board so you and your colleagues can debate the issues behind implementing industry production standards for MTs.

Visit and enter the debate today on whether or not you support MT production standards. Also, keep an eye on our Letters to the Editor page in future issues; we’ll run opinions and comments here as well.

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