All Medical Procedures

Dermabrasion is a skin-resurfacing procedure that uses a rapidly rotating device to sand the outer layers of skin. After dermabrasion, the skin that grows back is usually smoother and younger looking.

Dermabrasion can decrease the appearance of fine facial lines and improve the look of scars, such as those caused by acne. Dermabrasion can be done alone or in combination with other cosmetic procedures.

During dermabrasion, your skin will be numbed with anesthetics. You might also have the option of taking a sedative or using general anesthesia, depending on the extent of your treatment.

Skin treated with dermabrasion will be sensitive and bright pink for several weeks. The pinkness will likely take about three months to fade.

The diaphragm is a birth control (contraceptive) device that helps prevent sperm from entering the uterus. The diaphragm is a small, reusable rubber or silicone cup with a flexible rim that covers the cervix.

Before sex, the diaphragm is inserted deep into the vagina so that part of the rim fits snugly behind the pubic bone. The diaphragm is most effective at preventing pregnancy when used with spermicide.

Dilation and curettage (D&C) is a procedure to remove tissue from inside your uterus. Doctors perform dilation and curettage to diagnose and treat certain uterine conditions — such as heavy bleeding — or to clear the uterine lining after a miscarriage or abortion.

In a dilation and curettage — sometimes spelled "dilatation" and curettage — your doctor uses small instruments or a medication to open (dilate) your cervix — the lower, narrow part of your uterus. Your doctor then uses a surgical instrument called a curette to remove uterine tissue. Curettes used in a D&C can be sharp or use suction.

A discogram, or diskogram, is a test used to evaluate back pain. A discogram may help your doctor determine if an abnormal disk in your spine is causing your back pain.

Spinal disks look a little like jelly doughnuts, with a tough outer layer and a gel-like substance inside. Disks act as cushions between the bones in your spine.

During a discogram, dye is injected into the soft center of the disk. The injection itself sometimes reproduces your back pain. Several disks may be injected to try to pinpoint the cause of your back pain.

The dye also moves into any cracks in the disk's exterior, which can then be seen on an X-ray or CT scan. However, disks that show signs of wear and tear don't always cause symptoms, so the usefulness of a discogram is controversial.

Diskectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the damaged portion of a herniated disk in your spine. A herniated disk can irritate or compress nearby nerves and cause pain, numbness or weakness. These symptoms can affect your neck or back or may radiate down your arms or legs.

Diskectomy works best on radiating symptoms. It's less helpful for actual back pain or neck pain. Most people who have back pain or neck pain find relief with more-conservative treatments, such as pain medications or physical therapy.

Your doctor may suggest diskectomy if conservative, nonsurgical treatments haven't worked or if your symptoms worsen. There are several ways to perform a diskectomy. Many surgeons now prefer minimally invasive diskectomy, which uses small incisions and a tiny video camera for viewing.

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test that detects electrical activity in your brain using small, flat metal discs (electrodes) attached to your scalp. Your brain cells communicate via electrical impulses and are active all the time, even when you're asleep. This activity shows up as wavy lines on an EEG recording.

An EEG is one of the main diagnostic tests for epilepsy. An EEG may also play a role in diagnosing other brain disorders.

Ear tubes (tympanostomy tubes, ventilation tubes, pressure equalization tubes) are tiny cylinders, usually made of plastic or metal, that are surgically inserted into the eardrum. An ear tube creates an airway that ventilates the middle ear and prevents the accumulation of fluids behind the eardrum.

Ear tubes are often recommended for children who have persistent fluid buildup behind the eardrum, especially if the condition causes hearing loss and affects speech development. Your child's doctor may also recommend ear tubes if your child gets frequent ear infections.

Most ear tubes fall out within six to 12 months, and the holes heal shut on their own. Some tubes need to be removed, and some holes may need to be closed surgically.

An echocardiogram uses sound waves to produce images of your heart. This commonly used test allows your doctor to see how your heart is beating and pumping blood. Your doctor can use the images from an echocardiogram to identify various abnormalities in the heart muscle and valves.

Depending on what information your doctor needs, you may have one of several types of echocardiograms. Each type of echocardiogram has few risks involved.

Egg freezing, also known as mature oocyte cryopreservation, is a method used to preserve a woman's reproductive potential.

Eggs are harvested from your ovaries, frozen unfertilized and stored for later use. A frozen egg can be thawed, combined with sperm in a lab and implanted in your uterus (in vitro fertilization).

However, only a small portion of eggs that are frozen, thawed and implanted result in the birth of a baby. Egg freezing can also be expensive.

Your doctor can help you understand how egg freezing works, the potential risks and whether this method of fertility preservation is right for you.

An electrocardiogram is used to monitor your heart. Each beat of your heart is triggered by an electrical impulse normally generated from special cells in the upper right chamber of your heart. An electrocardiogram — also called an ECG or EKG — records these electrical signals as they travel through your heart. Your doctor can use an electrocardiogram to look for patterns among these heartbeats and rhythms to diagnose various heart conditions.

An electrocardiogram is a noninvasive, painless test. The results of your electrocardiogram will likely be reported the same day it's performed, and your doctor will discuss them with you at your next appointment.