Health Library

The Health Library is a collection of health and wellness resources created for learning and accessibility. Select a topic below for related health information or search for a topic in the search bar for more information on other medical conditions.

General Surgery

  • Breathing can be hard after you've had surgery, when you have a lung disease like COPD, or if you're on bed rest. You may find that you can only take small, shallow breaths. Breathing this way makes it harder to get air into your lungs and can cause fluid and mucus to build up in your lungs. This could cause a serious...

  • Guides through decision to treat abnormal uterine bleeding. Explains symptoms that doctor would look for before recommending treatment. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Some breast cancers need the hormones estrogen or progesterone to grow. These cancer cells have "receptors" on their surfaces. Receptors are like doorways to let hormones in. These types of breast cancer are called estrogen-receptor-positive (ER+)...

  • Learn how to care for a central or PICC IV line at home.

  • Get tips for managing skin changes caused by radiation treatment.

  • Compare the pros and cons of having breast reconstruction.

  • Learn what an appendectomy is and how the surgery is done.

  • For years, studies have shown that for early-stage breast cancer, women who have breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy) followed by radiation treatments live just as long as women who have mastectomy. This was good news for women who wanted to avoid...

  • Learn what it's like to have an ileostomy procedure.

  • Learn about different kinds of treatments given through a PICC or central venous line.

  • How does protein help with wound healing? Your body needs protein to help build and repair muscle, skin, and other body tissues. Protein also helps fight infection, balance body fluids, and carry oxygen through your body. When you have a wound that's healing, think of food as medicine. Eat a balanced diet with enough...

  • Learn how to care for yourself at home after a vascular access procedure.

  • Gender identity is your inner sense of being male, female, both, neither, or some other gender. For transgender people, their gender identity does not match the sex that they were assigned at birth. Sometimes gender identity is outside the two most common categories of male or female. People who feel this way may use...

  • Learn how to care for your child's surgical drain.

  • Learn what a laparoscopy is and how the procedure is done.

  • Learn how to care for your child after an appendectomy.

  • Learn what happens during an appendectomy for children.

  • Learn what a laparoscopy is and how the procedure is done.

  • Learn how to pack a wound at home.

  • Learn how to stay mobile while you're in the hospital.

  • Find out what to expect when your child has surgery to repair a hernia.

  • Find out what you can do at home to care for your child after a hernia repair.

  • Find out how to prepare for surgery.

  • Learn how your gallbladder is removed and what you can do to prepare.

  • Learn how to care for yourself and safely recover after gallbladder removal surgery.

  • Find out what to expect and how to prepare for a thyroidectomy.

  • Find out how you'll feel after a thyroidectomy and how to take care of yourself at home.

  • Learn how to care for yourself and safely recover after surgery to remove hemorrhoids.

  • Learn how hemorrhoidectomy is done and how you can prepare.

  • Find out what to expect and how to prepare for surgery to remove one or more of the parathyroid glands.

  • Find out how you'll feel after a parathyroidectomy and how to take care of yourself at home.

  • Guides through decision to have surgery for pelvic organ prolapse. Explains symptoms and discusses several types of surgeries used for different symptoms. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides through decision on when to start having mammograms. Discusses the benefits and risks of having a mammogram and the risk for getting breast cancer. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • After breast surgery (mastectomy), you may feel some pain going down your arm. Your shoulder and arm may be stiff and hard to move. You may also have some loss of feeling there. The basic exercises described here will help you start moving your arm....

  • Provides information on common hernias, including abdominal, incisional, and umbilical hernias. Briefly covers symptoms and treatment with surgery.

  • During surgery to remove the gallbladder (cholecystectomy), you may have a procedure called intraoperative cholangiogram. The doctor places a small tube called a catheter into the cystic duct, which drains bile from the gallbladder into the common...

  • Postcholecystectomy syndrome sometimes occurs when abdominal symptoms develop after surgery to remove the gallbladder (cholecystectomy). About 5% to 40% of people who have the gallbladder removed may experience symptoms. Symptoms of...

  • Shunt surgeries are designed to redirect the flow of blood or abdominal fluid through other areas of the body. Shunts are rarely used because of the complications they may cause. They are done only in medical centers where the surgeon is experienced in doing the procedures. Peritoneovenous shunts. These...

  • Whether to wear a breast form (prosthesis) after breast surgery is a very personal decision. Some women feel better about themselves when their clothes fit just as they did before surgery. Other women feel comfortable just as they are. You can buy these forms already made, or they can be custom-made from a mold of...

  • Learn the signs of infection with diabetes so that small skin problems don't become serious.

  • Learn how to use an incentive spirometer to improve the health of your lungs.

  • Learn what to expect during bowel resection surgery.

  • Learn how a colostomy is done and what to expect after surgery.

  • Looks at a type of surgery that removes cancer from the pancreas. Covers why surgery is done and how well it works. Also covers risks.

  • What is a low-fiber diet? A low-fiber diet contains foods that don't create much waste (stool). This diet slows down your bowels and gives them a chance to rest. Fiber is the part of plants that your body can't digest. It gives bulk to your diet and helps you feel full. It also helps you have regular bowel...

  • Guides through decision to have surgery for an umbilical hernia. Describes symptoms of an umbilical hernia and when they normally occur. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Learn how to care for your stitches to help them heal properly.

  • Learn how to care for your cut or scrape so it will heal and won't get infected.

  • If you've found out that you have a BRCA gene change, you may be feeling pretty overwhelmed. But when it comes to cancer, knowledge is power. Now that you know you are BRCA-positive, you can take steps to reduce your risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Thinking about cancer risk Experts know that women who are...

  • What is a suprapubic catheter? A suprapubic catheter is a thin, sterile tube used to drain urine from your bladder when you cannot urinate. This type of catheter is used if you aren't able to use a catheter that is inserted into the urethra. The urethra carries urine from the bladder out of the body. An opening...

  • Is this topic for you? Anal cancer is not the same as cancer of the colon or rectum. To learn about these cancers, see the topic Colorectal Cancer. What is anal cancer? Anal cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in the anus, which is the opening at the end of the rectum. Anal cancer is not common and is often...

  • Learn how to prepare for surgery when you have diabetes.

  • Learn how to live with a urinary catheter and how to take care of it to prevent infection.

  • Learn how to help prevent dangerous blood clots after your surgery.

  • Learn how a negative pressure device helps heal your wound and what to expect when you take the device home.

  • Learn what an implanted port is and how to care for it at home.

  • Learn what a hysterectomy is and how it's done.

  • Compare the pros and cons of having a hysterectomy for abnormal uterine bleeding.

  • Hear what other women thought about as they decided whether to have this surgery.

  • Compare the pros and cons of having weight-loss surgery.

  • Hear what other people thought about as they decided whether to have weight-loss surgery.

  • Learn how to take care of yourself at home after a hysterectomy.

  • Learn how to prevent problems and recover well after surgery.

  • As we get older, our skin gets more thin and dry, so it is easier to damage. The chance of skin damage is higher for people who can't move much and who spend most of their time in bed or in a wheelchair. The skin can develop rashes and sores, especially pressure injuries. These sores are caused by constant...

  • Learn about stomas and ostomy bags and how to take care of them.

  • Learn what tests are used to check for colon cancer (colorectal cancer) and what the results may mean.

  • Learn how to care for a surgical drain at home.

  • Learn what a lumpectomy is and how it is done.

  • Learn how to take care of yourself at home after having a lumpectomy.

  • Learn what a mastectomy is and how it is done.

  • Learn how to take care of yourself at home after having a mastectomy.

  • Learn how to take care of yourself at home after having lymph nodes removed.

  • Learn exercises to reduce stiffness and soreness and get your shoulder and arm back to normal.

  • Hear what other women thought about as they decided whether to have breast reconstruction.

  • When is radiation used for early-stage breast cancer? Radiation therapy is given to most women with early-stage breast cancer who choose breast-conserving surgery such as lumpectomy. Their other surgery option is mastectomy, which removes the whole breast. Many women choose breast-conserving surgery...

  • Learn about appendectomy and how to care for yourself after the surgery.

  • Learn what wound debridement surgery is and how to prepare your child for it.

  • Learn what you can do at home to care for your child after wound debridement surgery.

  • Guides you through decision to treat hemorrhoids. Looks at home remedies and other treatment options including rubber band ligation, coagulation, and hemorrhoidectomy. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Screening tests for colorectal (colon) cancer Screening tests for colorectal cancer look for signs of cancer before you have symptoms. Screening tests for colorectal cancer include: Stool tests that can be done at home. They include: FIT (fecal immunochemical test). This test checks for signs of blood...

  • Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) is a procedure that may be used to reduce portal hypertension and its complications, especially variceal bleeding. A TIPS procedure may be done by a radiologist, who places a small wire-mesh coil...

  • Guides you through decision to use medicine or surgery to treat GERD. Covers medicines like antacids and esomeprazole (Nexium). Discusses laparoscopic surgery. Looks at pros and cons of each. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through choosing a test to check for colorectal cancer. Looks at symptoms of colorectal cancer. Covers stool tests, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, and virtual colonoscopy. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides through the decision to have surgery to remove the gallbladder. Includes info on open and laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Lists benefits and risks of surgery. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Laparoscopy (say "lap-uh-ROSS-kuh-pee") is surgery that is done through small cuts (incisions) in your belly. To do this type of surgery, a doctor puts a lighted tube, or scope, and other surgical tools through small incisions in your belly. The...

  • A breast biopsy removes a sample of breast tissue that is looked at under a microscope to check for breast cancer. A breast biopsy is usually done to check a lump found during a breast examination or to look at a suspicious area found on a mammogram, an ultrasound, or an MRI. There are several ways to do a breast...

  • Discusses groin problems and injuries. Looks at acute injuries, hernias, rashes, and other groin problems in children. Covers signs and symptoms. Offers home treatment and prevention tips. Covers emergencies such as severe pain and signs of shock.

  • Several conditions or situations may require surgery to remove the gallbladder. Surgery usually is needed when: Your gallbladder suddenly becomes inflamed or infected (cholecystitis). Gallstones cause repeated attacks of pain. You have growths called polyps in the gallbladder, usually larger...

  • Discusses cholecystectomy, surgery to remove the gallbladder. Covers how it is done and how well it gets rid of gallstones. Also covers risks associated with laparoscopic surgery.

  • In open gallbladder surgery (cholecystectomy), the surgeon removes the gallbladder through a single, large cut (incision) in the abdomen. You will need general anesthesia, and the surgery lasts 1 to 2 hours. The surgeon will make the incision either under the border of the right rib cage or in the middle of the upper...

  • Discusses gallstones, which are hard stones in the gallbladder. Covers causes and symptoms. Discusses what increases your risk and offers prevention tips. Covers treatment options, including bile acid, lithotripsy, ERCP, and laparoscopic and open surgery.

  • Women who have had breast implants or surgery to remove cysts or benign (noncancerous) lumps usually are able to breastfeed. Women who have had surgery to make their breasts smaller (breast reduction) may have trouble breastfeeding if the milk ducts...

  • Discusses rare flesh-eating bacterial infection. Includes info on Fournier gangrene. Covers symptoms and how it is diagnosed. Looks at treatment with medicine, surgery, and oxygen therapy. Covers treatment for complications caused by the infection.

  • Adults need to have inguinal hernia repair surgery in the following situations. Hernias that contain a loop of intestine without blood supply (strangulated hernias) require emergency surgery. Hernias that contain a trapped loop of intestine...

  • Discusses laparoscopic surgery to repair hernias in the groin. Covers why it's done and how well it works. Covers risks. Includes conditions that may not work with laparoscopic surgery. Covers things to think about when choosing laparoscopic hernia repair.

  • Discusses surgery that involves an incision to repair hernias in the groin. Covers why surgery is done and how well it works. Covers risks. Covers things to think about when having hernia repair surgery (herniorrhaphy).

  • Provides information on hernias. Focuses on inguinal hernias. Briefly describes femoral and abdominal wall hernias. Covers symptoms and treatment with surgery.

  • Paracentesis is a procedure to take out fluid that has collected in the belly ( peritoneal fluid) outside the intestines. This fluid buildup is called ascites. Ascites may be caused by infection, inflammation, an injury, or other conditions, such as cirrhosis or cancer. The fluid is taken out using a thin needle put...

  • Discusses testing and diagnosis of colorectal cancer. Covers polyps, small growths inside the colon or rectum. Includes when screening tests such as colonoscopy should be done. Discusses treatment with surgery and chemotherapy. Offers prevention tips.

  • Lymphadenectomy is surgery to remove lymph nodes. This surgery is done to see if cancer has spread to a lymph node. Some lymph nodes are located near the surface of the body, while others are deep in the abdomen or around organs, such as the heart...

  • When an external hemorrhoid gets irritated and clots (thrombosed, or clotted, hemorrhoid), a doctor may relieve your pain by removing the contents of the clot. The doctor will use a medicine to numb the anal area (local anesthetic). Then he or she...

  • Covers hemorrhoidectomy, surgery to remove hemorrhoids. Covers when and why it is done. Also covers how it is done, recovery, and home treatment after surgery. Includes info on common and rare risks.

  • Describes rubber band ligation, a procedure in which the hemorrhoid is tied off at its base with rubber bands. Covers why it is done and how well it works. Also covers risks. Discusses what to expect after treatment.

  • Provides info on hysterectomy, a surgical treatment for endometriosis, fibroids, or uterine cancer. Describes types of surgery such as vaginal, abdominal, supracervical hysterectomies, and LAVH. Covers risks. Discusses physical and emotional recovery.

  • Has info on infrared photocoagulation, a procedure in which an intense beam of infrared light is used to cause scar tissue, which cuts off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid. Covers how well it works and risks. Covers what to expect after the procedure.

  • Discusses hemorrhoids. Covers causes like constipation. Also covers symptoms, including rectal itching or bleeding. Discusses what increases your risk and offers prevention tips. Includes info on home treatment and medical procedures like hemorrhoidectomy.

  • A stool test is one of many tests used to look for colorectal cancer. These tests may find cancer early, when treatment works better. Colorectal cancer affects the large intestine ( colon) and the rectum. Stool tests include: Fecal immunochemical test and stool DNA (FIT-DNA). Fecal occult blood test...

  • Laparoscopy (say "lap-uh-ROSS-kuh-pee") is a type of surgery that uses very small cuts. These cuts are called incisions. The doctor puts a lighted tube through incisions in your belly. This tube is called a scope. Then the doctor puts special tools through the tube to do the surgery. The surgery may be done to...

  • Explains liver biopsy, also called percutaneous liver biopsy, a test used to look for liver diseases like hepatitis, cirrhosis, hemochromatosis, or cancer. Covers how to prepare and what to expect. Includes what results mean. Also lists risks.

  • A lymph node biopsy removes lymph node tissue to be looked at under a microscope for signs of infection or a disease, such as cancer. Other tests may also be used to check the lymph tissue sample, including a culture, genetic tests, or tests to study the body's immune system (immunological tests). Lymph nodes are...

  • A thyroid biopsy is a procedure in which a small sample of tissue is removed from the thyroid gland and looked at under a microscope for cancer, infection, or other thyroid problems. The thyroid gland is found in front of the windpipe (trachea), just below the voice box (larynx). A sample of thyroid tissue can be...

  • Discusses three main types of hiatal hernia: sliding, paraesophageal, and mixed. Covers symptoms such as heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Looks at treatment with lifestyle changes, medicines, and sometimes surgery.

  • Includes info on diverticulitis, a condition in which pouches form in the colon and get inflamed or infected. Discusses symptoms and possible complications. Covers treatment with changes to your diet, medicine, or surgery. Offers prevention tips.

  • Discusses surgical treatment of digestive system problems by removing diseased or damaged part of the colon (bowel resection). Includes laparoscopic surgery. Covers what to expect after surgery. Discusses risks.

  • After surgery to remove a cataract: Use eyedrops as prescribed by your doctor. Wash your hands before putting drops in your eye. Be careful not to touch your eye with your hands or the tip of the medicine dropper. Protect your eye. Do not rub or...

  • Discusses doing regular self-exam to help find breast lumps or changes early. Covers how it is done and what to look for. Also discusses what results mean and when you should see a doctor.

  • This surgery is done to treat ulcerative colitis. The doctor removes all of the large intestine (colon) and the diseased lining of the rectum. This surgery is also called an ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA). In an ileoanal procedure, the lining of the rectum is removed, and the lower end of the small intestine (the...

  • What is necrotizing enterocolitis? Necrotizing enterocolitis is infection and inflammation of the intestine. It is most common in babies who are born early (premature). Many newborns who have it go on to live healthy lives. But if the infection becomes severe, it can cause severe damage to the intestine, which can be...

  • Discusses what happens when the appendix becomes infected and inflamed. Includes appendicitis symptoms such as belly pain. Looks at exams and tests. Covers different types of surgery to remove your appendix (appendectomy).

  • During fundoplication surgery, the upper curve of the stomach (the fundus) is wrapped around the esophagus and sewn into place so that the lower portion of the esophagus passes through a small tunnel of stomach muscle. This surgery strengthens the valve between the esophagus and stomach ( lower esophageal sphincter)...

  • Discusses possible causes of swollen glands and other lumps under the skin. Covers bacterial and viral infections, noncancerous growths, hernias, aneurysms, and swelling caused by cancer. Includes an interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Colon cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the colon. The colon is part of the body's digestive system. The digestive system removes and processes nutrients (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and water) from foods and helps pass waste material out of the...

  • Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. The breast is made up of lobes and ducts. Each breast has 15 to 20 sections called lobes. Each lobe has many smaller sections called lobules. Lobules end in dozens of tiny bulbs that can make milk. The lobes, lobules, and...

  • Rectal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the rectum. The rectum is part of the body's digestive system. The digestive system takes in nutrients (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and water) from foods and helps pass waste material out of the body. The...

  • Male breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. Breast cancer may occur in men. Breast cancer may occur in men at any age, but it usually occurs in men between 60 and 70 years of age. Male breast cancer makes up less than 1% of all cases of breast cancer. The...

  • Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. The breast is made up of lobes and ducts. Each breast has 15 to 20 sections called lobes. Each lobe has many smaller sections called lobules. Lobules end in dozens of tiny bulbs that can make milk. The lobes, lobules, and...

  • Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths caused by cancer. To prevent new cancers from starting, scientists look at risk factors and protective...

  • Screening is looking for signs of disease, such as breast cancer, before a person has symptoms. The goal of screening tests is to find cancer at an early stage when it can be treated and may be cured. Sometimes a screening test finds cancer that is very small or very slow growing. These cancers are unlikely to cause...

  • Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths caused by cancer. To prevent new cancers from starting, scientists look at risk factors and protective...

  • Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread. Scientists are trying to better understand which people are more likely to...

  • Anal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the anus. The anus is the end of the large intestine, below the rectum, through which stool (solid waste) leaves the body. The anus is formed partly from the outer skin layers of the body and partly from the intestine. Two ring-like...

  • Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths caused by cancer. To prevent new cancers from starting, scientists look at risk factors and protective...

  • Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. The breast is made up of lobes and ducts. Each breast has 15 to 20 sections called lobes. Each lobe has many smaller sections called lobules. Lobules end in dozens of tiny bulbs that can make milk. The lobes, lobules, and...

  • Colorectal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the colon or the rectum. The colon is part of the body's digestive system. The digestive system removes and processes nutrients (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and water) from foods and helps pass waste...

  • A perforation is a hole in the wall of the digestive tract. A perforation may occur anywhere in the digestive tract and may occur when: A crater-shaped sore (ulcer) erodes through the wall of the stomach or a section of intestine. An infection in the appendix erodes through the wall of the appendix. An infection of...

  • Many people do not feel well after surgery. Pain, nausea, and a lack of energy may occur even after a minor surgery. Usually, getting some rest and following the instructions your surgeon gave you will help postoperative problems diminish over time. Different types of surgery require different home care instructions...

  • Guides through decision to have your child have surgery for an umbilical hernia. Describes symptoms of an umbilical hernia and when they normally occur. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Your wound will need care and observation. After the stitches or staples are put in, the area may be covered with a thin layer of ointment and covered with a nonstick bandage. Your doctor will give you instructions on how to care for your stitches or staples. Be sure to follow those instructions. Check with your...

  • It is important to determine if your wound needs to be closed by a doctor. Your risk of infection increases the longer the wound remains open. Most wounds that require closure should be stitched, stapled, or closed with skin adhesives (also called liquid stitches) within 6 to 8 hours after the injury. Some wounds that...

  • Minor cuts on the head often bleed heavily because the face and scalp have many blood vessels close to the surface of the skin. Although this amount of bleeding may be alarming, many times the injury is not severe and the bleeding will stop with treatment you can do at home. But it is important to know the difference...

  • In the following situations, do not try to remove an object from the wound. Seek medical treatment immediately. Do not remove an object that has punctured and penetrated the eyeball. Note: Do not bandage or put any pressure on the eye. If an object has penetrated the eyeball, hold the object in place to prevent...

  • A bite injury may need to be closed by a health professional, may require antibiotic medicines, or both. The decision to close a wound with stitches, staples, or skin adhesive depends on: The type of biting animal. The size and location of the bite. The time that has passed since the bite occurred...

  • Guides you through the decision to have your ovaries removed when you have a hysterectomy. Explains why it is done. Lists the risks and benefits of having your ovaries removed. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Discusses breast reconstruction surgery done after mastectomy. Covers two ways of doing the surgery: pedicle flap and free flap. Looks at types of flap surgery: TRAM, latissimus dorsi, DIEP, SIEA, TUG, and gluteal free. Covers what to expect after surgery and risks.

  • Breast implants are a way to recreate the shape of a breast after part or all of the breast is removed (mastectomy) because of cancer. There are several types of implants that are available. Some of the most common implants have a soft silicone...

  • Guides through decision to have breast reconstruction after a mastectomy. Describes what options are available for breast reconstruction and how it is done. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • What is a central venous catheter? A central venous catheter, also called a central line, is a long, thin, flexible tube used to give medicines, fluids, nutrients, or blood products over a long period of time, usually several weeks or more. A catheter is often inserted in the arm or chest through the skin into a...

  • After surgery, you will need to take care of the incision as it heals. Doing so may limit scarring, may help you avoid pain or discomfort, and may help lower the risk of problems like infection. Your doctor used either stitches, staples, tissue glue, or tape strips to close the incision. And you will need to keep...

  • Thyroid surgery is used to treat thyroid nodules, thyroid cancer, and hyperthyroidism. During this procedure, part or all of the thyroid gland is removed. During surgery, an incision is made in the skin. The muscle and other tissues are pulled aside to expose the thyroid gland.

  • Surgery to repair a torn meniscus involves rehabilitation, although it varies depending on the injury, the type of surgery, and your orthopedist's preference. In general, meniscus surgery is followed by a period of rest, walking, and selected exercises. Every recovery is different and depends on many things. But here...

  • Breast enlargement is surgery to make the breasts bigger and improve their shape. This surgery may also be called breast augmentation or augmentation mammoplasty. During breast enlargement, the surgeon places an implant in the breast. An implant is a soft silicone shell filled with silicone gel or saline (salt water)...

  • Discusses breast reduction surgery to reshape and reduce breast size. Looks at why it is done and how well it works. Covers what to expect after surgery. Looks at risks, such as scars and infection. Covers what to think about when having breast reduction.

  • Whether you have a mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy) for breast cancer, your doctors need to know whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. Lymph node involvement increases the likelihood that cancer cells have spread through the bloodstream to other parts of the body. Women with some forms of...

  • What is a lipoma? A lipoma is a growth of fat cells in a thin, fibrous capsule usually found just below the skin. Lipomas aren't cancer and don't turn into cancer. They are found most often on the torso, neck, upper thighs, upper arms, and armpits, but they can occur almost anywhere in the body. One or...

  • The rash and skin irritation that occurs with minor jellyfish or Portuguese man-of-war stings will usually go away with home treatment. Seabather's eruption is a rash that develops from the stings of jellyfish or sea anemone larvae. Although these rashes are annoying, they are not a serious medical problem. When an...

  • Skin adhesives are clear gels that may be used to hold the edges of a small cut together. Your doctor may apply a skin adhesive instead of stitching your cut. A liquid will be applied to your skin and allowed to dry. As it dries, it creates a film that will hold together the edges of your cut. If a skin adhesive is...

  • Guides you through the decision to use estrogen therapy (ET) after hysterectomy and oophorectomy. Lists the benefits and risks of ET. Suggests other treatments you can try. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • What is an umbilical hernia? An umbilical hernia happens when intestine, fat, or fluid pushes through a weak spot or hole in your baby's stomach muscles. This causes a bulge near or in the belly button, or navel. It may look like your child's belly button is swollen. Many children have an umbilical...

  • Skin wounds, including animal or human bites, need thorough cleaning to reduce the risk of infection and scarring and to promote healing. You may be able to do this yourself for minor wounds. You'll have to stop any bleeding, clean the wound, and perhaps bandage the wound. Stop the bleeding Before you...

  • Looks at causes and symptoms of diverticulosis. Explains what diverticulosis is and how it is treated. Covers painful diverticular disease. Offers home treatment and prevention tips, including eating more dietary fiber.

  • What is pelvic organ prolapse? Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when a pelvic organ—such as your bladder—drops (prolapses) from its normal place in your lower belly and pushes against the walls of your vagina. This can happen when the muscles that hold your pelvic organs in place get weak or stretched from childbirth or...

  • A rectocele occurs when the end of the large intestine (rectum) pushes against and moves the back wall of the vagina. An enterocele (small bowel prolapse) occurs when the small bowel presses against and moves the upper wall of the vagina. Rectoceles and enteroceles develop if the lower pelvic muscles become damaged by...

  • Provides info on breast cancer for women who have been diagnosed for the first time. Discusses symptoms and how breast cancer is diagnosed. Covers mammogram and clinical breast exam. Discusses treatment options, including mastectomy and chemotherapy.

  • Breast cancer is the abnormal growth of the cells that line the ducts and lobes of the breast. When breast cancer has spread outside the ducts or lobes into normal breast tissue, it is said to be invasive. The main types of invasive breast cancer are: Ductal carcinoma, which is cancer that begins in...

  • Guides you through decision about which surgery to have for early-stage breast cancer. Lists benefits and risks of both mastectomy and breast-conserving surgery. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Decision Points are designed to guide you through key health decisions, combining medical information with your personal information to make a wise health decision. Click on a link below to learn more about surgeries for your condition: Abnormal Uterine Bleeding: Should I Have a Hysterectomy? Achilles...

  • Discusses recurrent breast cancer. Covers symptoms and tests that diagnose cancer that has come back or spread. Discusses treatment with medicine or surgery. Offers home treatment tips for drug side effects or pain. Covers addressing emotional needs.

  • Guides you through decision to have hysterectomy and oophorectomy to treat endometriosis. Covers risks of treating and not treating. Covers how well hysterectomy and removal of ovaries works. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through decision to have surgery to treat uterine fibroids, which are also called myomas, leiomyomas, and fibromas. Covers what happens during surgery. Lists reasons for and against surgery. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • A urinary catheter is a flexible plastic tube used to drain urine from the bladder when a person cannot urinate. A doctor will place the catheter into the bladder by inserting it through the urethra. The urethra is the opening that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. When the catheter is in...

  • A clinical breast examination (CBE) is a physical examination of the breast done by a health professional. Clinical breast examinations are used along with mammograms to check women for breast cancer. Clinical breast examinations are also used to check for other breast problems. A clinical breast examination may be...

  • A sentinel lymph node biopsy is a surgery that takes out lymph node tissue to look for cancer. A sentinel node biopsy is used to see if a known cancer has spread from the original cancer site. A sentinel node biopsy may be done instead of a more extensive surgery called lymph node dissection. But if cancer is found in...

  • These are general guidelines. Your nurse will teach you how to take care of your catheter. Be sure to follow the specific instructions he or she gives you. Call your doctor if you have questions or concerns. To keep your catheter working right, you will need to flush it with a heparin solution. A heparin solution is...

  • These are general tips. Your nurse may change and care for your catheter at home. Or a nurse will teach you how to take care of your catheter. Be sure to follow the specific instructions he or she gives you. Call your doctor if you have questions or...

  • Discusses colon and rectal cancers that return after treatment or that spread to other parts of the body. Looks at symptoms. Discusses treatment with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

  • Liver resection is the surgical removal of part of the liver. This operation is for some types of liver cancer and for certain cases of metastatic colorectal cancer. Up to half of your liver can be removed as long as the rest is healthy. During a liver resection, the part of your liver that contains cancer is removed...

  • Breast cancer in men develops in the small amount of breast tissue found behind a man's nipple. It is often a type called invasive ductal carcinoma. Although the exact cause of breast cancer is not known, most experts agree that some men have a...

  • Experts agree that mammograms are the best screening test for people at average risk of breast cancer. But they don't all agree on the age at which screening should start. And they don't agree on whether it's better to be screened every year or every two years. Here are some of the recommendations from experts...

  • Guides you through decision to use chemotherapy for early-stage breast cancer. Lists reasons for and against chemotherapy. Covers side effects. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Puncture wounds are less likely than cuts to be stitched, stapled, or have a skin adhesive applied because: Puncture wounds tend to be smaller than cuts and usually do not heal better or scar less when stitched. Puncture wounds tend to be deeper, narrower, and harder to clean than cuts. Sealing bacteria into a wound...

  • Discusses surgery to remove the uterus to treat ovarian cancer. Covers what is done and what to expect after surgery. Looks at emotional concerns. Covers risks.

  • Knowing what to expect before, during, and after surgery can help ease your fears. Knowledge can also help you take an active role in your recovery. Being an active patient means asking questions and not agreeing to anything until you understand it and believe that it's for the best. Taking an active role also includes...

  • Splenectomy is surgery to remove the spleen. The spleen gets rid of old and damaged red blood cells. Red blood cells may be damaged by a health condition, such as thalassemia or sickle cell disease. When the blood cells pass through the spleen, they are often destroyed. This can leave the body with too few red blood...

  • How do you prepare for CABG surgery? There are many things that you can and must do in the days and weeks before your coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for your CABG surgery. CABG surgery is an invasive procedure that has a fairly long...

  • Each person's recovery from coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery is a little different. Your road to recovery has many steps, including time in the hospital, time at home, and participation in a rehabilitation program. You will hear a common theme during your recovery: Everyone heals at a different pace...

  • What happens in the first 24 hours after CABG surgery? After your coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery is finished, you will be transferred to a cardiac intensive care unit (CICU) or surgical ICU so that specially trained hospital staff can monitor your condition. The recovery process is different for every...

  • You will recover in the hospital after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery until your doctors feel it is safe for you to go home. During this time, staff on the cardiac recovery floor will help begin your rehabilitation and educate you on how to care for yourself when you return home. You must demonstrate that...

  • Although you may return home a few days after the completion of your coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedure, it may take several months before you can return to all of the activities you enjoyed prior to surgery. Recovery from major surgery has both physical and emotional aspects. For the first month or two...

  • What are your responsibilities during your recovery from bypass surgery? You have several responsibilities while you are recovering from coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, including: Caring for your wounds. Taking your medicines. Monitoring your weight. Improving your heart and lung...

  • Looks at causes and symptoms of small-bowel and large-bowel obstructions. Covers exams and tests to diagnose it. Covers treatment with enemas or stents. Discusses when surgery may be needed.

  • Doctors have several options for treating a bowel obstruction caused by twisting of the intestine (volvulus). The choice of procedure depends on the location of the obstruction. If the obstruction is caused by a twisting of the sigmoid area of the large intestine, a doctor may try to straighten out the twisting segment...

  • A magnetic resonance cholangiogram (MRC) is a test that can help doctors look for problems in the belly. The image is done from outside the body. No instruments are inserted in the body. Doctors can use MRC to find gallstones before surgery to remove the gallbladder (laparoscopic cholecystectomy). But the test is most...

  • What is an anal fissure? An anal fissure is a tear in the lining of the lower rectum (anal canal) that causes pain during bowel movements. Anal fissures don't lead to more serious problems. Most anal fissures heal with home treatment after a few days or weeks. These are called short-term (acute) anal fissures. If you...

  • Guides through decision to have surgery for ulcerative colitis. Explains symptoms, long-term risks involved with the disease. Discusses common surgery options. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • A sports hernia is an injury of the inguinal area caused by repetitive twisting and turning at high speed. This type of hernia occurs mainly in people who play ice hockey, soccer, or tennis. Although the condition is known as a hernia, in many cases an obvious hernia is not seen. The main symptom is groin pain that may...

  • Discusses blood test that can tell you if you carry rare changed genes that can cause colon cancer, also called colorectal cancer. Covers familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). Looks at colonoscopy screening. Discusses risks. Includes genetic counseling.

  • Discusses infection caused by problems near the crease between the buttocks. Covers symptoms, which include cysts that might drain. Offers home treatment tips. Covers treatment with incision and drainage or removal.

  • Caring for your ostomy is an important part of maintaining your quality of life. You will need to: Empty your pouch as needed. Replace your pouching system as needed (usually every 3 to 7 days). This may include measuring your stoma (the exposed section of intestine) and cutting the barrier to size. Care for your...

  • It takes time to adjust to an ostomy. But you will be able to work, participate in sports and physical activities, be intimate with your partner, and resume your social life after an ostomy. Medicine Most medicine is absorbed in the small intestine. If you have an ostomy, how well a medicine is absorbed depends on...

  • Cystectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of the bladder. It is used to treat bladder cancer that has spread into the bladder wall or to treat cancer that has come back (recurred) following initial treatment. Partial cystectomy is the removal of part of the bladder. It is used to treat cancer that...

  • Resection is another name for any operation that removes tissue or part of an organ. Bowel resection for colorectal cancer, also called partial colectomy, removes the tumor. To make sure that only healthy tissue is left, the doctor removes a small amount of colon or rectum tissue on both sides of the tumor. The goal of...

  • After a surgeon has removed the diseased part of your bowel during an operation called a bowel resection, he or she will then sew the two healthy ends of your bowel back together. Sometimes the bowel tissue needs more time to heal before the reattachment, so a temporary colostomy is needed. Sometimes the entire lower...

  • A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of a woman's uterus. A hysterectomy to remove endometrial cancer usually includes the removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes (bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy). Your doctor may also do a pelvic and para-aortic lymph node biopsy to find out the stage and grade of the cancer. Most...

  • Lymphadenectomy is surgery to remove lymph nodes. A lymphadenectomy, also called lymph node dissection, may be done to examine the pelvic and para-aortic lymph nodes for endometrial cancer cells. The removal and examination of the cancerous lymph nodes will determine the exact stage and grade of the cancer and may...

  • Crohn's disease may cause sores, or ulcers, that tunnel through the intestine and into the surrounding tissue, often around the anus and rectum. These abnormal tunnels, called fistulas, are a common complication of Crohn's disease. They may get infected. Crohn's disease can also cause anal fissures. These are narrow...

  • Briefly discusses diverticular bleeding. Explains what diverticular bleeding is. Looks at causes, and symptoms such as severe rectal bleeding. Covers treatment options. Offers prevention tips, including eating a high-fiber diet.

  • Guides you through decision to have inguinal hernia surgery. Looks at the two types of surgery for treatment. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Print this form and fill in the information if your doctor recommends that you have a surgical procedure. General questions What is the name of the surgical procedure? Why do I need surgery? How soon should surgery take place? What might happen if I delay or avoid the surgery? What results should...

  • Catheters used to manage urinary incontinence include: Standard catheter. This is a thin, flexible, hollow tube that is inserted through the urethra into the bladder and allows the urine to drain out. The standard catheter is used for intermittent self-catheterization. Indwelling Foley...

  • Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) is surgery often used to treat testicular cancer. It is done to remove lymph nodes that may be cancerous from the lower back and pelvis. During the early phases of stage I nonseminoma testicular cancer, it can be very difficult to tell whether these lymph nodes are...

  • Discusses lumpectomy and partial mastectomy, two types of breast-conserving surgery. Covers what is done and what to expect after surgery, including having radiation therapy. Also looks at risks.

  • Discusses breast cancer surgery. Covers simple mastectomy, modified mastectomy, and radical mastectomy. Also discusses preventive mastectomy. Covers what to expect after surgery. Looks at risks. Links to info on breast reconstruction.

  • What is cholecystitis? Cholecystitis is inflammation of the gallbladder, a small organ near the liver that plays a part in digesting food. Normally, fluid called bile passes out of the gallbladder on its way to the small intestine. If the flow of bile is blocked, it builds up inside the gallbladder, causing swelling...

  • What is inflammatory breast cancer? Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare, fast-growing type of breast cancer. It is often called IBC for short. Unlike other breast cancers, this type of cancer may not cause a lump in the breast. So regular breast exams and mammograms often fail to catch it early. Because it grows so...

  • The average woman has a small chance of getting breast cancer and an even smaller chance of getting ovarian cancer. But if someone in your family has had breast or ovarian cancer, your chances of getting those cancers may be higher. And if you have 2 or 3 relatives who have had these cancers, your chances may be even...

  • Guides you through testing and treatment choices if you're at high risk for breast cancer. Covers extra checkups, medicines, and surgery. Lists reasons for and against for each option. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

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