Advanced Reference: The wave-like motion produced in some body organs to move contents forward. Alternative contraction and relaxation of circular and longitudinal muscles.

Peritoneum Quick Reference: Membrane covering the inner walls of the abdominal cavity.

Advanced Reference: The peritoneum is a serous membrane and in fact comprises two layers, the perietal layer which covers the wall of the cavity and the visceral layer which covers the abdominal organs.

Peroneal Quick Reference: Relating to the fibula and structures on the outer side of the leg.

Advanced Reference: Indicates muscles, nerves on the fibular side of the lower leg. The peroneal artery is of significance during positioning patients in the lithotomy position, i.e. placing legs on outside or inside of stirrups and causing pressure injury.

Petri dish Quick Reference: Glass container used in hospital laboratory. Advanced Reference: A shallow glass dish in which organisms are grown on a culture medium.

Pexy Quick Reference: A suffix indicating to fix or suture in place.

Advanced Reference: Common example would be orchidopexy, i.e. fixing the testicle into the scrotum.

Pfannenstiel Quick Reference: (fan-an-steel) Surgical incision.

Advanced Reference: Alternative name for transverse incision. Used for such procedures as Caesarean section and open prostatectomy.

pH Quick Reference: Indication of the acid/alkali balance in the body.

Advanced Reference: pH measures the number of hydrogen ions in a solution. Acid has a pH below 7, greater than 7 indicates alkaline. Normal pH is in the range of 7.38-7.42.

Phagocyte Quick Reference: (fajoo-site) Cells that envelop and digest bacteria.

Advanced Reference: Includes the destruction of white blood cells, macrophages, cells and debris. Phagocytes are a vital part of the body's defence system.

Phalanges Quick Reference: The bones of the fingers and toes. £ Advanced Reference: The thumb and big toe have two phalanges, whereas the remaining digits all have three.

Pharynx Quick Reference: (far-rinx) Area continuous with the mouth and nasal cavity.

Advanced Reference: Muscular back wall of the nose, mouth and throat. Extending from the base of the skull to the entrance of the oesophagus.

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