In medicine, accessory refers to something that is not essential or integral to a bodily function or process, but rather supports or enhances it. Accessory structures or organs work in conjunction with primary structures or organs to facilitate bodily functions and processes.
Here are some examples of how “accessory” is used in medical terminology:
- Accessory muscles of respiration: These are muscles that are not essential for breathing but are used to supplement the function of the primary respiratory muscles during increased demand or when there is a decrease in the effectiveness of the primary muscles.
- Accessory digestive organs: These are organs that are not part of the gastrointestinal tract, but are involved in the process of digestion. Examples include the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.
- Accessory lymphoid organs: These are organs that are not part of the lymphatic system, but are involved in the immune response. Examples include the tonsils and spleen.
- Accessory nerve: This is a cranial nerve that supplies the sternocleidomastoid and trapezius muscles in the neck, which are accessory muscles of respiration.
In summary, “accessory” in medicine refers to a structure or organ that is not essential for a bodily function or process, but rather supports or enhances it.