Endometrial Ablation Podcast

Endometrial Ablation Podcast

Detailed information on endometrial ablation, including the reasons and preparation for the procedure, how the procedure is performed, after care, an anatomical illustration of the female pelvic organs, an illustration of the menstrual cycle, and an illustration of an endometrial ablation procedure.

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Nasal Surgery: Preparing for Surgery

Nasal Surgery: Preparing for Surgery

Nasal surgery may be done at your doctor’s office, a surgery center, or a hospital. You will be told how to prepare for surgery. Follow these directions carefully. And be sure you have your questions answered before the procedure.

Before surgery

Follow all of the instructions you are given. In addition:

  • Tell your doctor about any medicines you take. This includes over-the-counter medicines, herbs, and supplements. You may need to stop taking some or all of them before surgery.

  • Tell your doctor if you have a pacemaker.

  • Do not take medicines containing aspirin or ibuprofen during the 14 days before surgery.

  • Don’t drink or eat for 8 hours before surgery.

  • Don’t wear makeup, jewelry, or contact lenses to surgery.

  • Arrange for an adult family member or friend to drive you home after surgery.

Be aware that you may spend the night in the hospital. This is uncommon. Your doctor can discuss this possibility with you. 

Anesthesia

You will be given medicine to keep you from feeling pain during surgery. This is called anesthesia. The type you will have will be discussed with you before the procedure. You may have one of 3 types.

  • Local anesthesia. This numbs the nose and area around it. You may also be given medicine to relax you. But you will remain awake. Expect to hear noises and see movement during the surgery.

  • Monitored anesthesia care. This makes you drowsy or lightly asleep during surgery. You can still expect to hear some sounds.

  • General anesthesia. This puts you into a state like deep sleep during surgery. You will hear and remember nothing.

High Blood Pressure/Hypertension

Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the
artery walls. The force is made with each heartbeat as blood is pumped from the
heart into the blood vessels.  This is called systolic blood pressure. Blood
pressure is also affected by the size of the artery walls and their elasticity. Each
time the heart beats (contracts and relaxes), pressure is created inside the
arteries.  When the heart is relaxed, the arteries stay at a lower resting tone to
maintain some pressure in the artery. This is called diastolic blood pressure. 

High blood pressure is when the force of the blood is too high
during heart contraction or relaxation within the arteries. The arteries may have an
increased resistance against the flow of blood. This causes your heart to pump
harder to circulate the blood.

These factors may cause high blood pressure:

  • Being overweight
  • Having lots of salt in your diet
  • Not getting much physical activity
  • Family history of high blood pressure
  • High stress levels
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Kidney disease

More than half of all adult Americans have high blood pressure.
You are at risk for it if you:

  • Have diabetes, gout, or kidney disease
  • Are African American, especially if you live in the
    southeastern U.S.
  • Are middle-aged or older
  • Have a family history of high blood pressure
  • Eat a lot of high-salt foods
  • Are overweight
  • Drink a lot of alcohol
  • Take birth control pills (oral contraceptives)
  • Have depression
  • Are pregnant
  • Smoke or use e-cigarettes
  • Use stimulant drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamine

High blood pressure often has no symptoms. But you can find out if
your blood pressure is higher than normal by checking it yourself or by having it
checked regularly by your healthcare provider.

Very high blood pressure can cause symptoms. These include
headache, changes in vision, or chest pain.

Blood pressure is measured with a blood pressure cuff and
stethoscope by a nurse or other healthcare provider. You can also take your own
blood pressure with an electronic blood pressure monitor. You can find one at most
pharmacies.

Two numbers are recorded when measuring blood pressure:

  • The top number is the systolic
    pressure.
    This is the pressure inside the artery when the heart
    contracts and pumps blood through the body.
  • The bottom number is the
    diastolic pressure.
    This is the pressure inside the artery when the
    heart is at rest and is filling with blood.

Both the systolic and diastolic pressures are recorded as mm Hg
(millimeters of mercury). This recording represents how high the mercury column in
the blood pressure cuff is raised by the pressure of the blood.

Blood pressure is rated as normal, elevated, or stage 1 or stage 2
high blood pressure:

  • Normal blood pressure is systolic of less than 120 and
    diastolic of less than 80 (120/80).
  • Elevated blood pressure is systolic of 120 to 129 and
    diastolic less than 80.
  • Stage 1 high blood pressure is when systolic is 130 to 139
    or diastolic is 80 to 89.
  • Stage 2 high blood pressure is when systolic is 140 or
    higher or diastolic is 90 or higher.

Even higher blood pressure is called a hypertensive crisis. This
means the systolic blood pressure is 180 or higher, the diastolic blood pressure is
more than 120, or both. If you have this, you need a change in your medicine right
away or a stay in the hospital.

A single higher blood pressure measurement does not necessarily
mean you have a problem. Your healthcare provider will want to see several blood
pressure measurements over a number of days or weeks before diagnosing high blood
pressure and starting treatment. Ask your provider when you should call if your
blood pressure readings are not within the normal range.

Treatment for high blood pressure may involve:

Lifestyle changes

These healthy steps can help you control your blood
pressure:

  • Choose foods that are low in salt (sodium).
  • Choose foods low in calories and fat.
  • Choose foods high in fiber.
  • Stay at a healthy weight, or lose weight if you are
    overweight.
  • Limit serving sizes.
  • Get more exercise.
  • Drink fewer or no alcoholic beverages.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Get enough quality sleep.

Certain
medicines

Sometimes you may need to take 1 or more daily medicines to
control high blood pressure. Take it exactly as directed.

If you have high blood pressure, have your blood pressure
checked routinely and see your healthcare provider to watch the condition.

High blood pressure raises your risk for:

  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Kidney failure
  • Loss of eyesight
  • Death

You can help prevent high blood pressure with many of the same
healthy steps used to treat it. These are:

  • Cut back on salt (sodium) in your diet.
  • Eat foods that are low in calories and fat, and high in
    fiber.
  • Stay at a healthy weight, or losing weight if you are
    overweight.
  • Exercise more.
  • Stop smoking tobacco and e-cigarettes.
  • Drink fewer or no alcoholic beverages.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Don’t use stimulants or illegal drugs.
  • High blood pressure is when the force of the blood pushing
    against the artery walls is too high. This causes your heart to pump harder to
    circulate the blood.
  • Risk factors for high blood pressure include being
    overweight, having a family history of the disease, and being older.
  • High blood pressure often has no symptoms.
  • Two numbers are recorded when measuring blood pressure. The
    top number is the systolic pressure. The bottom number is the diastolic
    pressure.
  • High blood pressure is diagnosed when the systolic pressure
    is 130 or higher or the diastolic pressure is 80 or higher.
  • Lifestyle changes and medicines may help treat high blood
    pressure.

Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare
provider:

  • Know the reason for your visit and what you want to
    happen.
  • Before your visit, write down questions you want
    answered.
  • Bring someone with you to help you ask questions and
    remember what your provider tells you.
  • At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and
    any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions
    your provider gives you.
  • Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed, and how
    it will help you. Also know what the side effects are.
  • Ask if your condition can be treated in other ways.
  • Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the
    results could mean.
  • Know what to expect if you do not take the medicine or have
    the test or procedure.
  • If you have a follow-up appointment, write down the date,
    time, and purpose for that visit.
  • Know how you can contact your provider if you have
    questions.

Couples Therapy Can Help Mend a Marriage

Couples Therapy Can Help Mend a Marriage

Problems and crises can affect any
relationship, no matter how much 2 people love each other. Sometimes you might need
professional help to resolve a problem. Some mental health experts are trained to help
couples heal pain, rebuild trust, and improve communication.

Research shows that couples who seek couples therapy increase their chance of staying together. They also improve communication and satisfaction in their relationship.

What is couples therapy?

Couples therapy is short-term counseling. It’s provided by licensed therapists trained to help couples resolve conflicts. An effective therapist helps couples understand their problems. He or she teaches the couple tools to help them work out disagreements and come up with solutions.

When can it help?

Common issues marriage counselors are trained to help with include:

  • Communication problems

  • Conflicts about money issues
  • Conflicts about raising
    children

  • Infidelity

  • Substance abuse

  • Step-parenting

  • Conflicting expectations

  • Sexual problems

Couples are less likely to benefit
from therapy if they wait too long before getting help. Therapy is not likely to help if
one partner is not interested in saving the marriage.

How does couples therapy work?

Different therapists have different approaches to counseling. The therapist encourages each partner to answer honestly and fairly to questions. The therapist acts as a mediator or referee. He or she will guide the participants to an understanding of each other’s feelings. The therapist will model respect and acceptance. Marriage counselors don’t take sides. They stay neutral and open to helping both people.

Honesty and a willingness to bring deep-seated resentments and disappointments to the surface in a safe environment with a trained mental health professional are often the key to healing.

What if one partner won’t attend counseling?

Couples therapy works best when
both people in the relationship go to the sessions. If one partner won’t go, it may
still help if the other person learns better communication skills and puts them to
use.

How do you choose a couples therapist?

Look for a marriage counselor who is a licensed mental health professional. This includes

  • Psychiatrists

  • Psychologists

  • Licensed clinical social workers

  • Licensed marriage and family therapists

The American Association for
Marriage and Family Therapy also provides sources for credentialed therapists. You may
need to meet with more than one therapist before you find a therapist with whom you feel
comfortable. There are no guarantees that couples therapy will save or improve a
relationship. But many couples find that a fair, experienced counselor can clarify
issues they couldn’t resolve on their own.

Women’s Health Issues 2

Screening can help find breast cancer. Find it early lets you get treated right away. Talk with your health care provider about breast cancer screening.

X-rays of the Spine, Neck, or Back

X-rays of the Spine, Neck, or Back

(Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar, Sacral, or Coccygeal X-ray Studies)

Procedure overview

What are X-rays of the spine, neck, or back?

X-rays use invisible electromagnetic energy beams to make images of internal tissues, bones, and organs on film. Standard X-rays are performed for many reasons. These include diagnosing tumors or bone injuries.

X-rays are made by using external radiation to produce images of the body, its organs, and other internal structures for diagnostic purposes. X-rays pass through body tissues onto specially-treated plates (similar to camera film) and a “negative” type picture is made (the more solid a structure is, the whiter it appears on the film). Instead of film, X-rays are now typically made by using computers and digital media.

When the body undergoes X-rays, different parts of the body allow varying amounts of the X-ray beams to pass through. Images are made in degrees of light and dark. It depends on the amount of X-rays that penetrate the tissues. The soft tissues in the body (like blood, skin, fat, and muscle) allow most of the X-ray to pass through and appear dark gray on the film. A bone or a tumor, which is denser than soft tissue, allows few of the X-rays to pass through and appears white on the X-ray. At a break in a bone, the X-ray beam passes through the broken area. It appears as a dark line in the white bone.

X-rays of the spine may be performed to evaluate any area of the spine (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral, or coccygeal). Other related procedures that may be used to diagnose spine, back, or neck problems include myelography (myelogram), computed tomography (CT scan), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or bone scans. Please see these procedures for additional information.


Anatomy of the spinal column

Anatomy of the spine

The spinal column is made up of 33 vertebrae that are separated by spongy disks and classified into distinct areas:

  • The cervical area consists of 7 vertebrae in the neck.

  • The thoracic area consists of 12 vertebrae in the chest.

  • The lumbar area consists of 5 vertebrae in the lower back.

  • The sacrum has 5 small, fused vertebrae.

  • The 4 coccygeal vertebrae fuse to form 1 bone, called the coccyx or tailbone.

The spinal cord, a major part of the central nervous system, is located in the vertebral canal and reaches from the base of the skull to the upper part of the lower back. The spinal cord is surrounded by the bones of the spine and a sac containing cerebrospinal fluid. The spinal cord carries sense and movement signals to and from the brain and controls many reflexes.

Reasons for the procedure

X-rays of the spine, neck, or back may be performed to diagnose the cause of back or neck pain, fractures or broken bones, arthritis, spondylolisthesis (the dislocation or slipping of 1 vertebrae over the 1 below it), degeneration of the disks, tumors, abnormalities in the curvature of the spine like kyphosis or scoliosis, or congenital abnormalities.

There may be other reasons for your health care provider to recommend an X-ray of the spine, neck, or back.

Risks of the procedure

You may want to ask your health care provider about the amount of radiation used during the procedure and the risks related to your particular situation. It is a good idea to keep a record of your past history of radiation exposure, like previous scans and other types of X-rays, so that you can inform your health care provider. Risks associated with radiation exposure may be related to the cumulative number of X-ray exams and/or treatments over a long period of time.

If you are pregnant or suspect that you may be pregnant, you should notify your health care provider. Radiation exposure during pregnancy may lead to birth defects. If it is necessary for you to have a spinal X-ray, special precautions will be made to minimize the radiation exposure to the fetus.

There may be other risks depending on your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your health care provider prior to the procedure.

Before the procedure

  • Your health care provider will explain the procedure to you and offer you the opportunity to ask questions that you might have about the procedure.

  • Generally, no prior preparation, like fasting or sedation, is required.

  • Notify the radiologic technologist if you are pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant.

  • Notify the radiologic technologist if you have had a recent barium X-ray procedure, as this may interfere with obtaining an optimal X-ray exposure of the lower back area.

  • Based on your medical condition, your health care provider may request other specific preparation.

During the procedure

An X-ray may be performed on an outpatient basis or as part of your stay in a hospital. Procedures may vary depending on your condition and your health care provider’s practices.

Generally, an X-ray procedure of the spine, neck, or back follows this process:

X-ray image of the back and pelvis

  1. You will be asked to remove any clothing, jewelry, hairpins, eyeglasses, hearing aids, or other metal objects that may interfere with the procedure.

  2. If you are asked to remove any clothing, you will be given a gown to wear.

  3. You will be positioned on an X-ray table that carefully places the part of the spine that is to be X-rayed between the X-ray machine and a cassette containing the X-ray film or digital media. Your health care provider may also request X-ray views to be taken from a standing position.

  4. Body parts not being imaged may be covered with a lead apron (shield) to avoid exposure to the X-rays.

  5. The radiologic technologist will ask you to hold still in a certain position for a few moments while the X-ray exposure is made.

  6. If the X-ray is being performed to determine an injury, special care will be taken to prevent further injury. For example, a neck brace may be applied if a cervical spine fracture is suspected.

  7. Some spinal X-ray studies may require several different positions. Unless the technologist instructs you otherwise, it is extremely important to remain completely still while the exposure is made. Any movement may distort the image and even require another study to be done to obtain a clear image of the body part in question. You may be asked to breathe in and out during a thoracic spine X-ray.

  8. The X-ray beam will be focused on the area to be photographed.

  9. The radiologic technologist will step behind a protective window while the image is taken.

While the X-ray procedure itself causes no pain, the manipulation of the body part being examined may cause some discomfort or pain. This is particularly true in the case of a recent injury or invasive procedure like surgery. The radiologic technologist will use all possible comfort measures and complete the procedure as quickly as possible to reduce any discomfort or pain.

After the procedure

Generally, there is no special type of care following an X-ray of the spine, back, or neck. However, your health care provider may give you additional or alternate instructions after the procedure, depending on your particular situation.

Online resources

The content provided here is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your health care provider. Please talk with your health care provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

This page contains links to other websites with information about this procedure and related health conditions. We hope you find these sites helpful. Please remember we do not control or endorse the information presented on these websites, nor do these sites endorse the information contained here.

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

American Cancer Society

Arthritis Foundation

National Cancer Institute (NCI)

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

National Library of Medicine

Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases – National Resource Center – NIH

Scoliosis Research Society