All Medical Procedures

During a pelvic exam, a doctor visually and manually assesses a woman's reproductive organs. You might have a pelvic exam as part of your regular checkup, or your doctor may recommend a pelvic exam if you have symptoms such as unusual vaginal discharge or pelvic pain.

A pelvic exam is a relatively short procedure, during which your doctor checks your vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, rectum and pelvis, including your ovaries, for masses, growths or other abnormalities. A Pap test, which screens for cervical cancer, may be performed during a pelvic exam.

Penile implants are devices placed inside the penis to allow men with erectile dysfunction (ED) to get an erection. Penile implants are typically recommended after other treatments for ED fail.

There are two main types of penile implants, semirigid and inflatable. Each type of penile implant works differently and has various pros and cons.

The placement of penile implants requires surgery. Before choosing penile implants, make sure you understand what surgery involves, including possible risks, complications and follow-up care.

A penis pump is one of a few treatment options for the inability to get or maintain an erection sufficient for sex (erectile dysfunction). A penis pump consists of a plastic tube that fits over the penis, a hand or battery-powered pump attached to the tube, and a band that fits around the base of the penis once it is erect (constriction ring).

A penis pump is sometimes called a vacuum pump or a vacuum constriction device. 

Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (nef-roe-lih-THOT-uh-me) is a procedure used to remove kidney stones from the body when they cannot pass on their own. This procedure uses small telescopes and instruments inserted through a small incision in your back to remove the kidney stones.

Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is used most often for larger stones or when other procedures, such as extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy or ureteroscopy, are unsuccessful or not possible.

Peritoneal dialysis (per-ih-tuh-NEE-ul di-AL-uh-sis) is a way to remove waste products from your blood when your kidneys can no longer do the job adequately. During peritoneal dialysis, blood vessels in your abdominal lining (peritoneum) fill in for your kidneys, with the help of a fluid (dialysate) that flows into and out of the peritoneal space.

Peritoneal dialysis differs from hemodialysis, a more commonly used blood-filtering procedure. With peritoneal dialysis, you can give yourself treatments at home, at work or while traveling. You may be able to use fewer medications and eat a less restrictive diet than you can with hemodialysis.

Peritoneal dialysis isn't an option for everyone with kidney failure. You need manual dexterity and the ability to care for yourself at home or a reliable caregiver.

The pillar procedure is minor surgery intended to relieve habitual snoring and treat mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially serious disorder in which breathing is interrupted repeatedly during sleep. Both snoring and obstructive sleep apnea may result from a relaxation of muscles at the back of your throat.

The pillar procedure involves surgically placing small polyester rods in the soft palate. Each implant measures 18 millimeters (mm) in length — slightly less than an inch — and 1.5 mm in diameter. The subsequent healing of tissue around the implants stiffens the soft palate, thereby reducing relaxation and vibration of the tissue.

The pillar procedure is usually done in your doctor's office with local anesthesia.

Polysomnography, also called a sleep study, is a test used to diagnose sleep disorders. Polysomnography records your brain waves, the oxygen level in your blood, heart rate and breathing, as well as eye and leg movements during the study.

Polysomnography usually is done at a sleep disorders unit within a hospital or at a sleep center. You'll be asked to come to the sleep center in the evening for polysomnography so that the test can record your nighttime sleep patterns. Polysomnography is occasionally done during the day to accommodate shift workers who habitually sleep during the day.

In addition to helping diagnose sleep disorders, polysomnography may be used to help adjust your treatment plan if you've already been diagnosed with a sleep disorder.

A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is an imaging test that helps reveal how your tissues and organs are functioning. A PET scan uses a radioactive drug (tracer) to show this activity.

The tracer may be injected, swallowed or inhaled, depending on which organ or tissue is being studied by the PET scan. The tracer collects in areas of your body that have higher levels of chemical activity, which often correspond to areas of disease. On a PET scan, these areas show up as bright spots.

A PET scan is useful in revealing or evaluating several conditions, including some cancers, heart disease and brain disorders.

Premarital counseling is a type of therapy that helps couples prepare for marriage. Premarital counseling can help ensure that you and your partner have a strong, healthy relationship — giving you a better chance for a stable and satisfying marriage. Premarital counseling can also help you identify weaknesses that could become problems during marriage.

A prostate biopsy is a procedure to remove samples of suspicious tissue from the prostate. The prostate is a small, walnut-shaped gland in men that produces fluid that nourishes and transports sperm.

During a prostate biopsy, also called a core needle biopsy, a fine needle is used to collect a number of tissue samples from your prostate gland. A prostate biopsy is performed by a doctor who specializes in the urinary system and men's sex organs (urologist).

Your urologist may recommend a prostate biopsy if results from initial tests, such as a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test or digital rectal exam (DRE), suggest you may have prostate cancer.

Following a prostate biopsy, tissue samples from the prostate biopsy are examined under a microscope for cell abnormalities that are a sign of prostate cancer. If cancer is present, it is evaluated to determine how quickly it's likely to grow and spread and to determine your best treatment options.