All Medical Procedures

Open simple prostatectomy is a surgery used to relieve urinary symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate, a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Open simple prostatectomy is generally recommended for men who have severe urinary symptoms and very enlarged prostates. The surgery does not remove the entire prostate, as is done in a prostate cancer operation, but removes just the obstructive part of the prostate that blocks the flow of urine.

During open simple prostatectomy, the part of your prostate blocking urine flow is removed through a cut (incision) below your navel. It may be done by making several smaller incisions in the abdomen through a technique called laparoscopy or with the assistance of a robot to accomplish the same thing.

Oral cancer screening is an examination performed by a dentist or doctor to look for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions in your mouth.

The goal of oral cancer screening is to identify mouth cancer early, when there is a greater chance for a cure.

Most dentists perform an examination of your mouth during a routine dental visit to screen for oral cancer. Some dentists may use additional tests to aid in identifying areas of abnormal cells in your mouth.

Medical organizations disagree on whether healthy people without risk factors for mouth cancer need oral cancer screening. No single oral exam or oral cancer screening test is proved to reduce the risk of dying of oral cancer. Still, you and your dentist may decide that an oral exam or a special test is right for you based on your risk factors.

Ortho Evra is a contraceptive patch for women that contains the hormones estrogen and progestin. To use Ortho Evra, you apply the small patch to your skin once a week for three weeks. On the fourth week, you don't use a patch — which allows menstruation to occur.

Ortho Evra works similarly to combination birth control pills. Ortho Evra prevents pregnancy by releasing hormones into your bloodstream that suppress ovulation, keeping your ovaries from releasing an egg. Ortho Evra also thickens cervical mucus to keep sperm from reaching the egg.

Ortho Evra is the only contraceptive patch that's approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. To use Ortho Evra, you'll need a prescription from your health care provider.

Ortho Evra doesn't offer protection from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Otoplasty — also known as cosmetic ear surgery — is a procedure to change the shape, position or size of the ears.

You might choose to have otoplasty if you're bothered by how far your ears stick out from your head. You might also consider otoplasty if your ear or ears are misshapen due to an injury or birth defect.

Otoplasty can be done at any age after the ears have reached their full size — usually after age 5 — through adulthood.

The PSA test is used primarily to screen for prostate cancer. A PSA test measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in your blood. PSA is a protein produced in the prostate, a small gland that sits below a man's bladder. PSA is mostly found in semen, which also is produced in the prostate. Small amounts of PSA ordinarily circulate in the blood.

The PSA test can detect high levels of PSA that may indicate the presence of prostate cancer. However, many other conditions, such as an enlarged or inflamed prostate, can also increase PSA levels.

There is a lot of conflicting advice about PSA testing. Ultimately, whether you have a PSA test is something you should decide after discussing it with your doctor, considering your risk factors and weighing your personal preferences.

A pacemaker is a small device, about the size of a half dollar piece, that's placed under the skin near your heart to help control your heartbeat. A pacemaker is implanted as part of what's often referred to as "cardiac resynchronization therapy."

People may need a pacemaker for a variety of reasons — mostly due to one of a group of conditions called arrhythmias, in which the heart's rhythm is abnormal.

Normal aging of the heart may disrupt your heart rate, making it beat too slowly. Heart muscle damage resulting from a heart attack is another common cause of disruptions of your heartbeat. Some medications can affect your heart rate as well. For some, genetic conditions cause an abnormal heart rate. Regardless of the underlying cause of an abnormal heart rate, a pacemaker may fix it.

A pacemaker can often be implanted in your chest with a minor surgery. You may need to take some precautions in your daily life after your pacemaker is installed.

A pancreas transplant is a surgical procedure to place a healthy pancreas from a deceased donor into a person whose pancreas no longer functions properly. Almost all pancreas transplants are done to treat type 1 diabetes.

Your pancreas is an organ that lies behind the lower part of your stomach. One of its main functions is to make insulin, a hormone that regulates the absorption of sugar (glucose) into your cells. Type 1 diabetes results when your pancreas can't make enough insulin, causing your blood sugar to rise to dangerous levels.

The side effects of a pancreas transplant can be significant, so a pancreas transplant is typically reserved for those who have serious diabetes complications. A pancreas transplant is often done in conjunction with a kidney transplant.

A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is a procedure to test for cervical cancer in women. A Pap smear involves collecting cells from your cervix — the lower, narrow end of your uterus that's at the top of your vagina.

Detecting cervical cancer early with a Pap smear gives you a greater chance at a cure. A Pap smear can also detect changes in your cervical cells that suggest cancer may develop in the future. Detecting these abnormal cells early with a Pap smear is your first step in halting the possible development of cervical cancer.

ParaGard is an intrauterine device (IUD) that's inserted into the uterus for long-term birth control (contraception). The T-shaped plastic frame has copper wire coiled around the stem and two copper sleeves along the arms that continuously release copper to bathe the lining of the uterus. ParaGard produces an inflammatory reaction in the uterus that is toxic to sperm, which helps prevent fertilization.

ParaGard is the only copper IUD available in the U.S. ParaGard prevents pregnancy for up to 10 years after insertion.

A peak flow meter is a portable, easy-to-use device that measures how well your lungs are working. If you have asthma, your doctor may recommend that you use a peak flow meter to help track your asthma control.

In addition to watching for worsening signs and symptoms, such as wheezing or coughing, you can use a peak flow meter to help you decide when you need to act to keep your asthma under control. Regular use of your peak flow meter can give you time to adjust your medication or take other steps before your symptoms get worse. A peak flow meter can be useful for adults and children as young as preschool age.