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Dissect means to cut or separate tissues. Doctors dissect tissue during surgery. Most of the time, this is done to remove a part of the body that is thought to be diseased. Pathologists dissect dead bodies. This is part of doing an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Review Date 1/27/2015

Updated by: Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.