Definition of incision in US English:



  • 1A surgical cut made in skin or flesh.

    ‘an abdominal incision’
    • ‘Immediately after the surgical incision was made, she began decompensating and, within minutes, went into full cardiopulmonary arrest.’
    • ‘Uncontrolled postoperative pain can affect a person's life long alter the surgical incision is healed.’
    • ‘All surgical incisions were closed before testing.’
    • ‘Greater sensitivity to pain is not always useful when doctors can use casts and other devices to fix bones in place, and sutures to repair injuries and close surgical incisions.’
    • ‘The types of skin incisions made for tracheostomy may or may not have a direct relationship to the likely development of stomal stenosis after intubation.’
    • ‘These will ideally include a means to localize the abnormal glands preoperatively as well as to determine if the resection is complete prior to closure of the surgical incision.’
    • ‘The cut wall of the bowel heals to the edges of the surgical incision, which is thus kept open.’
    • ‘Advantages of cryosurgery are that it is quick, is cost-effective, does not involve a surgical incision, and requires minimal equipment.’
    • ‘Subsequent surgical incisions in shaved skin, therefore, may become infected more easily than in untreated skin.’
    • ‘Any time a child has a surgical procedure, the surgical incision can introduce bacteria into the bloodstream.’
    • ‘Now mediastinoscopy involves the use of a rigid bronchoscope and a surgical incision made in the suprasternal notch.’
    • ‘Most traditional biopsy procedures involve an incision in the skin.’
    • ‘An effort also should be made by the surgeon to avoid placing a surgical incision through a pre-existing wound.’
    • ‘Skin incisions were closed primarily with 3/0 atraumatic silk sutures.’
    • ‘If your operation involves making an incision (surgical cut) on your head or pubic area, you may need to have the hair shaved from the area for hygiene and safety reasons.’
    • ‘The surgeon makes the skin incision and places a self-retaining retractor to open the surgical wound.’
    • ‘Two surgical incisions are used in carotid artery endarterectomies.’
    • ‘The surgeon placed two drains in the surgical incision, closed the wound, and applied a sterile wound dressing.’
    • ‘The surgical incision was evaluated for serous exudate, erythema, purulent exudate, and separation of deep tissues.’
    • ‘Vertical incisions provide improved surgical access and may be less prone to infection.’
    cut, opening, slit
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    1. 1.1 A mark or decoration cut into a surface.
      ‘a block of marble delicately decorated with incisions’
      • ‘This creature is to be found in his work either in sculptural form or as a surface incision.’
      • ‘Characteristically he used broadly contoured forms and polished his surfaces to immaculate smoothness, unbroken by projections or incisions.’
      • ‘Two rows of sharply delineated feathers are finely executed in low relief with deep, precise incisions marking the details.’
      • ‘Here sweeping, razor-thin incisions slash through medium without ever cutting through to canvas.’
      • ‘The Arvennese Princess walked confidently towards a cove of black stone, all of it covered in the most delicate incisions imaginable.’
      • ‘Contrary, to normal practice, the decoration was added after the panel was painted; the incisions cut into the paint layer where they overlap the parapet to the right of the saint.’
      • ‘Another protuberance outlined with two vertical incisions serves as a nose, and a horizontal slash suggests a mouth.’
      notch, nick, snick, scratch, scarification
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    2. 1.2 The action or process of cutting into something.
      ‘the method is associated with less blood loss during incision’
      • ‘While a subaerial or partial subaerial origin for canyon incision is optimum for the mantle plume model, a submarine origin for canyon incision may not necessarily preclude this mechanism.’
      • ‘Small incision preserves important subcutaneous blood vessels and nerves, which might otherwise be sacrificed.’
      • ‘Van Dijk et al. emphasized the absence of deep erosional incision in the geometry of the unconformity.’
      • ‘The second type depicts the entire standing female form in repousse with a full frontal face and torso; the pubic region is again emphasized by incision.’
      • ‘The stratigraphic positions of the palaeovalleys in the Adelaide fold belt rule out glacial eustacy related to the preceding widespread Marinoan glaciation as a possible cause of palaeovalley incision.’
      • ‘Two phases of valley incision have been observed beneath the flood basalts in the Nuussuaq Basin.’
      • ‘Surgical repair was undertaken in two stages, but this necessitated incision and excision of substantial portions of the anal sphincter muscle.’
      • ‘Additional smaller tubes are inserted through which fine instruments can be passed enabling surgery to be carried out without major incision.’
      • ‘This succession is characterized by fourth-order, fluvial-to-marine sequences, with valley incision up to 25 km wide and 70 m deep.’
      • ‘In some caves, glyphs were cut into deep clay banks along the cave walls; in those cases, incision with a sharp tool is the rule, and images are formed by single traces.’
      • ‘More recently, Maddy et al. suggested that aggradation and incision in river valleys can be explained by climate-induced changes in sediment and water supply.’
      • ‘Stalactites and stalagmites can also be used to provide constraints on rates of landscape evolution by dating valley incision or tectonic uplift.’
      • ‘The topography of the unconformity includes a northward-draining valley network interpreted to represent incision into the underlying Palaeocene section.’
      • ‘Typically the ‘wet’ landslides occur in or above narrow gorges, and have limited preservation potential due to the major fluvial incision into the mass waste products.’
      • ‘The canyons attain depths of 700 m and widths of 15 km, with incision extending from near the top of the Munyarai Formation to the level of the Meramangye Formation.’
      • ‘They both asked, ‘Have you undergone incision before coming back?’’
      • ‘Strongly frictional effluent derived from a distributary channel mouth of the fan delta was probably responsible for repeated incision and fill on the fan delta slope.’
      • ‘The alternative possibility, that incision was achieved by fluvial processes during an end-Permian eustatic lowstand, is less likely for the following reasons.’
      • ‘The mechanism of canyon incision is extremely important because it influences our perception of the magnitude of vertical crustal motion or sea-level change that may be required.’
      • ‘This period is also characterized by the deepest fluvial incision, which is interpreted as a response to a major relative sea-level lowering.’


Late Middle English: from late Latin incisio(n-), from Latin incidere ‘cut into’ (see incise).