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.
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.