All Medical Procedures

A creatinine test reveals important information about your kidneys.

Creatinine is a chemical waste product that's produced by your muscle metabolism and to a smaller extent by eating meat. Healthy kidneys filter creatinine and other waste products from your blood. The filtered waste products leave your body in your urine.

If your kidneys aren't functioning properly, an increased level of creatinine may accumulate in your blood. A serum creatinine test measures the level of creatinine in your blood and gives you an estimate of how well your kidneys filter (glomerular filtration rate). A creatinine urine test can measure creatinine in your urine.

Cryotherapy for prostate cancer freezes prostate tissue, causing cancer cells to die. As a minimally invasive procedure, cryotherapy for prostate cancer is sometimes used as an alternative to surgical removal of the prostate gland (prostatectomy).

In the past, cryotherapy for prostate cancer was associated with significantly higher levels of long-term side effects than were other prostate cancer treatments. Advances in the technology of cryotherapy for prostate cancer have reduced these side effects. Most men, however, still experience long-term sexual dysfunction following cryotherapy for prostate cancer.

Cryotherapy for prostate cancer is most often used in men who have early-stage prostate cancer. But cryotherapy for prostate cancer may also be a treatment option in some men whose prostate cancer has returned following other treatments.

Cystoscopy (sis-TOS-kuh-pee) is a procedure used to see inside your urinary bladder and urethra — the tube that carries urine from your bladder to the outside of your body. During a cystoscopy procedure, your doctor uses a hollow tube (cystoscope) equipped with a lens to carefully examine the lining of your bladder and your urethra. The cystoscope is inserted into your urethra and slowly advanced into your bladder.

Your doctor may perform the cystoscopy in a testing room, using a local anesthetic jelly to numb your urethra. Or your doctor may perform cystoscopy as an outpatient procedure, using sedation. Another option is to do the cystoscopy in the hospital while under general anesthesia. The type of cystoscopy you'll have depends on the reason for your procedure.

Your doctor may use cytochrome P450 tests (CYP450 tests) to help determine how your body processes (metabolizes) a drug. Our bodies contain numerous P450 enzymes to process medications. Because of inherited (genetic) traits which cause variations in these enzymes, medications affect each person differently.

The P450 enzyme with the most variation in different people is the 2D6, which processes many antidepressants and antipsychotic medications. By checking your DNA for certain gene variations, cytochrome P450 tests can offer clues about how your body may respond to a particular antidepressant. Other cytochrome P450 tests are available for other enzymes.

Cytochrome P450 and other genetic tests (genotyping tests) are becoming more common as doctors try to understand why antidepressants help some people and not others. While their use might be increasing, there are limitations.

Deep brain stimulation involves implanting electrodes within certain areas of your brain. These electrodes produce electrical impulses that regulate abnormal impulses. Or, the electrical impulses can affect certain cells and chemicals within the brain. The amount of stimulation in deep brain stimulation is controlled by a pacemaker-like device placed under the skin in your upper chest. A wire that travels under your skin connects this device to the electrodes in your brain.

Deep brain stimulation is used to treat a number of neurological conditions, such as:

  • Essential tremor
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Dystonia

Deep brain stimulation is also being studied as a treatment for epilepsy, cluster headaches, Tourette syndrome, chronic pain and major depression. Many candidates for deep brain stimulation are participants in clinical trials.

Dental braces are wire-based appliances that orthodontists use to correct crowded and misaligned teeth or jaws. Many people who need dental braces get them during their early teenage years. However, adults also may benefit from wearing braces. The goal of dental braces is to properly align your teeth and jaws to produce an even bite and pleasing smile.

For teens or adults who need minor corrections, an alternative to fixed braces is a series of clear, customized, removable appliances called aligners or "invisible braces." Clear aligners may be more expensive than fixed braces, but may have a more acceptable appearance to some adults. However, many people need fixed braces to appropriately correct their dental problem.

Modern materials and technologies make the experience of having dental braces much more comfortable than in the past.

Regular dental exams are an important part of preventive health care.

During a dental exam, the dentist or hygienist will clean your teeth and check for cavities and gum disease. The dentist or hygienist will also evaluate your risk of developing other oral health problems, as well as check your face, neck and mouth for abnormalities. A dental exam might also include dental X-rays (radiographs) or other diagnostic procedures.

During a dental exam, the dentist or hygienist will likely discuss your diet and oral hygiene habits and might demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques. Other topics for discussion might include lifestyle factors that can affect oral health and possible cosmetic improvements to your teeth.

Regular dental exams are an important part of preventive health care.

During a dental exam for children, the dentist or hygienist will clean your child's teeth and evaluate your child's risk of tooth decay. A dental exam for children might include application of various protective measures — such as sealants or fluoride treatments — to reduce the risk of decay. A dental exam for children might also include dental X-rays (radiographs) or other diagnostic procedures.

During a dental exam for children, the dentist or hygienist will likely discuss your child's diet and oral hygiene habits and demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques. Other topics for discussion during a dental exam for children might include preventing oral injuries or, for adolescents, the health risks associated with tobacco, substance abuse and oral piercings.

Dental implant surgery is a procedure that replaces tooth roots with metal, screw-like posts and replaces damaged or missing teeth with artificial teeth that look and function much like real ones. Dental implant surgery can offer a welcome alternative to dentures or bridgework that doesn't fit well.

How dental implant surgery is performed depends on the type of implant and the condition of your jawbone. But all dental implant surgery occurs in stages and may involve several procedures. The major benefit of implants is solid support for your new teeth — a process that requires the bone to heal tightly around the implant. Because this healing requires time, the process can take many months.

Depo-Provera is a well-known brand name for medroxyprogesterone, a contraceptive injection for women that contains the hormone progestin. Depo-Provera is given as an injection once every three months. Depo-Provera typically suppresses ovulation, keeping your ovaries from releasing an egg. Depo-Provera also thickens cervical mucus to keep sperm from reaching the egg.

Medroxyprogesterone acetate is also available in a lower dosage. This version is called Depo-SubQ Provera 104. While Depo-Provera is injected deep into the muscle, Depo-SubQ Provera 104 is injected just beneath the skin.

Depo-Provera and Depo-SubQ Provera 104 have similar benefits and risks. To use Depo-Provera or Depo-SubQ Provera 104, you'll need to visit your doctor or other health care provider.