All Medical Procedures

Focused ultrasound surgery is a noninvasive treatment option for uterine fibroids — noncancerous growths of the uterus. A pelvic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan is typically performed before treatment to determine whether you're a good candidate for focused ultrasound surgery.

Focused ultrasound surgery — also called magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound surgery or focused ultrasound ablation — is performed while you're inside an MRI scanner equipped with a high-energy ultrasound transducer for treatment.

The images give your doctor the precise location of the uterine fibroids and the locations of nearby structures to be avoided, such as the bowel and bladder. While the MRI monitors the targeted fibroid and surrounding structures, the ultrasound transducer focuses sound waves into the fibroid to heat and destroy small areas of fibroid tissue.

Not widely available, focused ultrasound surgery typically is done at specialized clinics.

A forceps delivery is a type of operative vaginal delivery. It's sometimes needed in the course of vaginal childbirth.

In a forceps delivery, a health care provider applies forceps — an instrument shaped like a pair of large spoons or salad tongs — to the baby's head to help guide the baby out of the birth canal. This is typically done during a contraction while the mother pushes.

Your health care provider might recommend a forceps delivery during the second stage of labor — when you're pushing — if labor isn't progressing or the baby's safety depends on an immediate delivery.

A forceps delivery poses a risk of injury for both mother and baby. If a forceps delivery fails, a cesarean delivery (C-section) might be needed.

Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a type of radiation therapy used to treat tumors and other abnormalities in the brain.

In Gamma Knife radiosurgery, specialized equipment focuses close to 200 tiny beams of radiation on a tumor or other target. Although each beam has very little effect on the brain tissue it passes through, a strong dose of radiation is delivered to the site where all the beams meet.

The precision of Gamma Knife radiosurgery results in minimal damage to healthy tissues surrounding the target. In some cases, Gamma Knife radiosurgery may have a lower risk of side effects compared with other types of radiation therapy. Also, Gamma Knife radiosurgery is often a safer option than is traditional brain surgery.

Gamma Knife radiosurgery is usually a one-time therapy completed in a single day.

Gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgeries make changes to your digestive system to help you lose weight by limiting how much you can eat or by reducing the absorption of nutrients, or both. Gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgeries are done when diet and exercise haven't worked or when you have serious health problems because of your weight.

There are many types of weight-loss surgery, known collectively as bariatric surgery. Gastric bypass is one of the most common types of bariatric surgery in the United States. Many surgeons prefer gastric bypass surgery because it generally has fewer complications than do other weight-loss surgeries.

Still, all forms of weight-loss surgery, including gastric bypass, are major procedures that can pose serious risks and side effects. Also, you must make permanent healthy changes to your diet and get regular exercise to help ensure the long-term success of bariatric surgery.

Gene therapy is a treatment that involves altering the genes inside your body's cells to stop disease.

Genes contain your DNA — the code that controls much of your body's form and function, from making you grow taller to regulating your body systems. Genes that don't work properly can cause disease.

Gene therapy replaces a faulty gene or adds a new gene in an attempt to cure disease or improve your body's ability to fight disease. Gene therapy holds promise for treating a wide range of diseases, including cancer, cystic fibrosis, heart disease, diabetes, hemophilia and AIDS.

Researchers are still studying how and when to use gene therapy. Currently, in the United States, gene therapy is available only as part of a clinical trial.

General anesthesia makes you both unconscious and unable to feel pain during medical procedures. General anesthesia is commonly produced by a combination of intravenous drugs and inhaled gasses (anesthetics).

The "sleep" you experience under general anesthesia is different from regular sleep. The anesthetized brain doesn't respond to pain signals or surgical manipulations.

An anesthesiologist is a specially trained doctor who specializes in all types of anesthesia, including general anesthesia. After you're asleep (unconscious), your body's vital functions are monitored and your breathing is assisted and controlled.

In many hospitals, an anesthesiologist and another team member, a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), work together throughout your procedure to carry out these tasks.

Genetic testing involves examining your DNA, the chemical database that carries instructions for your body's functions. Genetic testing can reveal changes or alterations in your genes that may cause illness or disease.

Although genetic testing can provide important information for diagnosing, treating and preventing illness, there are limitations. For example, if you're a healthy person, a positive result from genetic testing doesn't always mean you will develop a disease. On the other hand, in some situations, a negative result doesn't guarantee that you won't have a certain disorder.

Talking to your doctor or a genetic counselor about what you will do with the results is an important step in the process of genetic testing.

The glucose challenge test measures your body's response to sugar (glucose). The glucose challenge test is done during pregnancy to screen for gestational diabetes — diabetes that develops during pregnancy.

The glucose challenge test is done in two steps. First you drink a sugary solution. One hour later, your blood sugar level is measured. The results of the glucose challenge test indicate whether you might have gestational diabetes.

If the test results are above normal, you'll need to have further testing to determine the diagnosis.

The glucose tolerance test, also known as the oral glucose tolerance test, measures your body's response to sugar (glucose). The glucose tolerance test can be used to screen for type 2 diabetes. More commonly, a modified version of the glucose tolerance test is used to diagnose gestational diabetes — a type of diabetes that develops only during pregnancy.

Group B streptococcus — also called group B strep — is a common bacterium often carried in the intestines or lower genital tract. Although group B strep is usually harmless in adults, it can cause complications during pregnancy and serious illness in newborns. If you're pregnant, your health care provider will likely recommend a group B strep test during the third trimester.

During a group B strep test, your health care provider will swab your vagina and rectum and send the samples to a lab for testing. In some cases, you might be given instructions on how to collect the samples yourself. Because you can test positive at certain times and negative at other times, you'll need to repeat the group B strep test each time you're pregnant.

If the group B strep test is negative, no action is needed. If the group B strep test is positive, you'll be given antibiotics during labor to prevent group B strep disease in your baby.