Treating Blocked Leg Arteries

The arteries in your legs and feet can get blocked, just like the arteries in your heart. When this happens, less blood flows to your legs. This is called peripheral artery disease (PAD). Occasionally, if your leg arteries are badly blocked, you may develop foot pain while resting or a sore that won’t heal. In… Read more »

Alzheimer’s Disease Testing

It is normal to forget things as you age. But many older people worry that they are getting Alzheim­er’s disease when they can’t remember things. A new drug, used with a PET scan of the brain, can help diagnose Alzheimer’s. But before getting this scan you should have a complete medical exam. If your exam… Read more »

Lab Tests Before Surgery

If you’re going to have surgery, you may have blood and urine tests first. These tests may be helpful if you have certain health conditions or diseases. For example, if you have a blood-clotting problem, a test can show if you’re at risk of too much bleeding during surgery. But most healthy people don’t need… Read more »

Treating Migraine Headaches

Migraine attacks can last for hours—or even days. They can cause intense pain, nausea, and vomiting. They can make you sensitive to light or noise, and they can affect your life and work. To treat migraines, you may get a prescription for an opioid (narcotic) or a barbiturate (sedative) called butalbital. These are pain medicines…. Read more »

Stress Tests Before Surgery

If you’re having surgery, you may wonder if you need a heart stress test to make sure that it is safe for you to have surgery. You will probably not need the test if you are healthy, active, and feeling well, or if you’re having minor surgery. Here’s why: The tests aren’t useful before minor… Read more »

Imaging Tests for Heart Disease

Imaging stress tests take pictures of the heart while it is working hard. Ultrasound and echocardiography tests take pictures with sound waves. Nuclear cardiology tests use a small amount of a radioactive substance to get pictures. You may need an imaging stress test if you have symptoms of heart disease, like chest pain. Or you… Read more »

Echocardiograms for Heart Valve Disease

Valve disease is caused by a heart valve that does not work properly. A test called an echocardio­gram can show how serious the problem is and if it is getting worse. But if your valve disease is mild, and it is not causing any symptoms, you probably don’t need to have the test every year…. Read more »

Imaging Tests After a Heart Procedure

If you’ve had bypass surgery or a stent inserted to open a blocked artery in your heart, you may wonder if you need regular imaging tests to see how well your treatment is working. Imaging tests take pictures of your heart. Ultra-sound and echocardiography tests take pictures using sound waves. Coronary CT scans use x-rays… Read more »

Stress Tests for Chest Pain

If you have chest pain that suggests you might have heart disease, a test that stresses the heart can help you and your doctor decide how to treat the problem. In some cases, an imaging test that takes pictures of your heart while it is stressed can provide more information. But if you’re at low… Read more »

Heart Imaging Tests Before Surgery

If you’re having surgery, you may wonder if you need an imaging test of your heart to make sure it is safe for you to have the surgery. But if you are not having heart surgery—and you haven’t had a stroke and don’t have a severe heart condition, diabetes, or kidney disease—the imaging tests usually… Read more »

Heart Imaging Tests Before Surgery

If you’re having surgery, you may wonder if you need an imaging test of your heart to make sure it is safe for you to have the surgery. But if you are not having heart surgery and you don’t have symptoms or risk factors for heart disease, the imaging tests usually don’t help. Here’s why: The… Read more »

Stress Tests After Procedures

If you’ve had bypass surgery or a stent inserted to open a blocked artery in your heart, you may wonder if you need a nuclear stress test to see how well your treatment is working. This test takes pictures of your heart while it is being stressed. The test uses a small amount of a… Read more »

Drugs to Prevent Infection During Chemotherapy

If you are being treated for cancer, it’s normal to want to do everything you can to become cancer-free. Many cancer treatments save lives. But most people do not need every treatment there is. The treatment may not be helpful. And the side effects and costs may be greater than the benefits. One treatment is… Read more »

Imaging Tests for Early Prostate Cancer

It is normal to want to do everything you can to treat prostate cancer. But it’s not always a good idea to get all the tests that are available. You may not need them. And the risks from the tests may be greater than the benefits. The information below explains why cancer experts usually do… Read more »

Imaging and Blood Tests in Early Breast Cancer

When you learn that you have breast cancer, it’s normal to want to do everything you can to treat it and be sure it doesn’t come back. But it’s not always a good idea to get all the tests that are available. You may not need them. And the risks may be greater than the… Read more »