All Medical Procedures

A rheumatoid factor test measures the amount of rheumatoid factor in your blood. Rheumatoid factors are proteins produced by your immune system that can attack healthy tissue in your body.

High levels of rheumatoid factor in the blood are most often associated with autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren's syndrome. But rheumatoid factor may be detected in some healthy people, and people with autoimmune diseases sometimes have normal levels of rheumatoid factor.

Rhinoplasty (RIE-no-plas-tee), also referred to as nose surgery, is a surgery that changes the shape of the nose. The motivation for rhinoplasty may be to change the appearance of the nose, its function or both.

When planning rhinoplasty, your surgeon considers your features, the skin on your nose and what you would like to change. The upper portion of the structure of the nose is bone, and the lower portion is cartilage. Rhinoplasty can modify bone, cartilage, skin or all three. Talk with your surgeon about whether rhinoplasty is appropriate for you and what it can achieve.

The rhythm method, also called the calendar method or the calendar rhythm method, is a form of natural family planning.

To use the rhythm method, you track your menstrual history to predict when you'll ovulate. This helps you determine when you're most likely to conceive.

If you're hoping to get pregnant, you can use the rhythm method to determine the best days to have sex. Similarly, if you're hoping to avoid pregnancy, you can use the rhythm method to determine which days to avoid unprotected sex.

Using the rhythm method for birth control requires careful record keeping and diligence. If you don't want to conceive, you and your partner must avoid having sex or use a barrier method of contraception during your fertile days each month.

A single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) scan lets your doctor analyze the function of some of your internal organs. A SPECT scan is a type of nuclear imaging test, which means it uses a radioactive substance and a special camera to create 3-D pictures.

While imaging tests like X-rays can show what the structures inside your body look like, a SPECT scan produces images that show how your organs work. For instance, a SPECT scan can show how blood flows to your heart or what areas of your brain are more active or less active.

Sclerotherapy effectively treats varicose and spider veins. It's often considered the treatment of choice for small varicose veins. Sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution directly into the vein. The sclerotherapy solution causes the vein to scar and collapse, forcing blood to reroute through healthier veins. The collapsed vein is reabsorbed into local tissue and eventually fades.

After sclerotherapy, treated veins tend to fade within a few weeks, although occasionally it may take up to a month to see the full results. In some instances, several sclerotherapy treatments may be needed.

Sed rate, or erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), is a blood test that can reveal inflammatory activity in your body. A sed rate test isn't a stand-alone diagnostic tool, but it may help your doctor diagnose or monitor the progress of an inflammatory disease.

When your blood is placed in a tall, thin tube, red blood cells (erythrocytes) gradually settle to the bottom. Inflammation can cause the cells to clump together. Because these clumps of cells are denser than individual cells, they settle to the bottom more quickly.

The sed rate test measures the distance red blood cells fall in a test tube in one hour. The farther the red blood cells have descended, the greater the inflammatory response of your immune system.

Sentinel node biopsy is a surgical procedure used to determine if cancer has spread beyond a primary tumor into your lymphatic system. Sentinel node biopsy is used most commonly in evaluating breast cancer and melanoma.

The sentinel nodes are the first few lymph nodes into which a tumor drains. Sentinel node biopsy involves injecting a tracer material that helps the surgeon locate the sentinel nodes during surgery. The sentinel nodes are removed and analyzed in a laboratory. If the sentinel nodes are free of cancer, then cancer isn't likely to have spread and removing additional lymph nodes is unnecessary.

If, after sentinel node biopsy, evaluation of the sentinel nodes reveals cancer, then you'll likely need additional lymph nodes removed for your doctor to determine how far the cancer has spread.

Septoplasty (SEP-toe-plas-tee) is a surgical procedure to correct a deviated nasal septum — a displacement of the bone and cartilage that divides your two nostrils. During septoplasty, your nasal septum is straightened and repositioned in the middle of your nose. This may require your surgeon to cut and remove parts of your septum before reinserting them in the proper position.

When planning septoplasty, your surgeon considers your symptoms — such as breathing difficulties — and the physical structure and features of your nose. Talk with your surgeon about what septoplasty can achieve for you.

Sex therapy is a type of psychotherapy — a general term for treating mental health problems by talking with a mental health provider. Through sex therapy, you can address concerns about sexual function, sexual feelings and intimacy — either in individual therapy or in joint therapy with your partner. Sex therapy can be effective for adults of any age, sex or sexual orientation.

Certified sex therapists do not have sexual contact with clients, in the office or anywhere else. Sexual coaching that involves physical contact is not part of mainstream sex therapy.

Sex therapy is usually short term, with a limited number of sessions. The treatment plan depends on the concerns to be addressed.

A skin biopsy removes cells or skin samples from the surface of your body. The sample taken from a skin biopsy is examined to provide information about your medical condition. A doctor uses a skin biopsy to diagnose or rule out certain skin conditions and diseases.

Three main types of skin biopsies are:

  • Shave biopsy. A doctor uses a tool similar to a razor to remove a small section of the top layers of skin (epidermis and a portion of the dermis).
  • Punch biopsy. A doctor uses a circular tool to remove a small section of skin including deeper layers (epidermis, dermis and superficial fat).
  • Excisional biopsy. A doctor uses a small knife (scalpel) to remove an entire lump or an area of abnormal skin, including a portion of normal skin down to or through the fatty layer of skin.