EXAMINATION IN HOSPITAL A – Z
A – D
Angiography Angiography is a test that uses an injection of a liquid dye to make the arteries easily visible on X-rays.
Amniocentesis Amniocentesis is one of several diagnostic tests that can be carried out during pregnancy. It is used to detect any possible chromosome abnormalities in the unborn child that may cause Down’s syndrome or other congenital problems.
In amniocentesis, a sample of the amniotic fluid that surrounds the foetus is removed and analysed. This test is performed from week 15 of the pregnancy onwards.
Anaesthetic An anaesthetic is used to temporarily reduce or take away sensation, usually so that otherwise painful procedures or surgery can be performed.
There are two types of anaesthetics:
• general, which make the patient unconscious.
• local, which numb the part of the body that would otherwise feel pain.
Arthroscopy An arthroscopy is a type of test to see inside a joint. An arthroscope is a telescope that can be inserted into the joints, enabling the doctor to see directly inside the area.
Biopsy A biopsy is the removal of a sample of tissue from the body for examination. The tissue will be examined under a microscope to assist in diagnosis. Therefore, only very small samples are needed.
Blood pressure measurement
Bone densitometry scans (general) A bone densitometry scan is a special type of X-ray test used to measure the calcium content of the bone, usually in the lumbar region (the lower back) and the hips. The examination is also called a DEXA-scan, QDR-scan or BMD (bone mineral density) measurement.
Bone density scans (osteoporosis) Bone scans measure the amount of bone in a particular site of the body, usually the lower part of the spine, the hip, the forearm or the heel.
Cervical smear test (Pap test) The cervical smear test is designed to detect pre-cancerous changes in the cervix (neck of the womb). Pre-cancerous changes (properly called cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia, or CIN for short) are common in all age groups and cause no symptoms. This means that women will not be aware of CIN unless they have a smear test.
Colonoscopy (examination of the colon)
CT scan (computerised tomography scan)
Cystoscopy A cystoscopy is a telescopic inspection of the bladder and the urethra, which is the passageway that takes the urine to the outside.
E – L
ERCP (scan of pancreas and bile ducts) ERCP stands for endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography. It is an X-ray examination of the pancreatic and bile ducts, which are injected with a dye beforehand to make them show up. The bile ducts drain bile from the liver while the pancreatic duct drains pancreatic juice from the pancreas. Both open into the first part of the small intestine (the duodenum).
Gastrointestinal cancer screening
Gastroscopy (examination of the gullet and stomach)
Lactose tolerance test A lactose tolerance test measures how well the body breaks down milk sugar (lactose) in the intestines.
Laparoscopy (examination of the abdomen and pelvis) Radiological (X-ray) and ultrasound examinations are able to diagnose many conditions within the abdomen and pelvis but do have their limitations.
Under certain circumstances a clearer picture of the appearance of the abdomen and pelvis is required.
A laparoscopy enables the surgeon or gynaecologist to directly view the organs of the abdomen and pelvis.
M – S
Mammography Mamma is Latin for breast and mammography is a type of breast X-ray that uses only a limited amount of radiation. It can identify breast cancer in its early stages.
Microscopy and culture
MRI scan (magnetic resonance imaging scan) MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a fairly new technique that has been used since the beginning of the 1980s.
The MRI scan uses magnetic and radio waves, meaning that there is no exposure to X-rays or any other damaging forms of radiation.
Otoscopy (ear examination) Otoscopy is an examination that involves looking into the ear with an instrument called an otoscope (or auriscope).
Patch testing for skin allergies Patch testing is a way of identifying whether a substance that comes in contact with the skin is causing inflammation of the skin (contact dermatitis).
There are two types of contact dermatitis: irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis.
Sigmoidoscopy (examining the rectum) Sigmoidoscopy is an examination used to look inside the lower part of the bowel.
The examination itself doesn’t hurt, but it can be followed by discomfort similar to that which follows intestinal colic. This is because it’s necessary for the doctor to blow a small amount of air into the intestine in order to see inside it clearly.
T – Z
• Ultrasound scans
• Ultrasound scans during pregnancy
• Urine tests
Urodynamics Urodynamics is the investigation of the function of the lower urinary tract – the bladder and urethra – using physical measurements, such as urine pressure and flow rate as well as clinical assessment.
Urography (pyelography) Urography is an X-ray examination used to check the kidneys and the tubes that drain them (ureters).
A special dye is used to reveal any differences between the kidneys, or other abnormalities. The examination may also be used to look at the size and shape of the bladder. It is often called an intravenous urogram or IVU.
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Examinations and tests A – Z