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Digestive Terms

- V -

  • Vagotomy

  • An operation to cut the vagus nerve. This causes the stomach to make less acid.

  • Vagus Nerve

  • The nerve in the stomach that controls the making of stomach acid.

  • Valve

  • A fold in the lining of an organ that prevents fluid from flowing backward.

  • Varices

  • Stretched veins such as those that form in the esophagus from cirrhosis.


  • A word made from the first letters of a group of birth defects. It is used when all of these birth defects affect the same child. The birth defects are Vertebral defects, Anal malformations, Tracheoesophageal fistula, Esophageal atresia, and Renal defects.

  • Villi

  • The tiny, fingerlike projections on the surface of the small intestine. Villi help absorb nutrients.

  • Viral Hepatitis

  • Hepatitis caused by a virus. Five different viruses (A, B, C, D, and E) most commonly cause this form of hepatitis. Other rare viruses may also cause hepatitis. See Hepatitis.

  • Volvulus

  • A twisting of the stomach or large intestine. May be caused by the stomach being in the wrong position, a foreign substance, or abnormal joining of one part of the stomach or intestine to another. Volvulus can lead to blockage, perforation, peritonitis, and poor blood flow.

  • Vomiting

  • The release of stomach contents through the mouth.

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Digestive Terms

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