• Bookmark and Share


Achilles tendon rupture
A tendon is a tissue that connects a muscle to bone. An Achilles tendon rupture is when the Achilles tendon is torn. This is the most frequently...

Acute sinusitis
Sinusitis is inflammation of the linings of the sinuses that surround the nose. Common symptoms include a tender face and a blocked nose. It's...

Anal fistula repair
An anal fistula is a connection (opening) between the skin around the anus and the rectum.

Aortic aneursym
Endovascular repair (EVAR) re-lines the part of the blood vessel where you have an aortic aneurysm, to prevent it from bursting (rupturing). It's...

Aortic aneursym - open surgery
Open surgery is the standard type of surgery carried out to repair an aneurysm in the aorta (the largest blood vessel in the body) to prevent it...


Baby weaning
Weaning is the process of gradually introducing solid foods to your baby in order to meet their growing nutritional needs.

Back surgery
Back surgery is usually done to relieve pressure on one or more nerves in your spine (backbone).

Beta thalassaemia
Thalassaemia is the name for a group of blood disorders which includes alpha and beta thalassaemia. These conditions are very different. This...

Bile duct cancer
Bile duct cancer is rare. Around 600 people in the UK are diagnosed with bile duct cancer each year. It's more common in Chile, Japan and Northern...

Bone cancer
There are many types of bone cancer, although they are all very rare. In the UK, about 500 people get bone cancer every year.

Breast cancer
Breast cancer is an area of tissue that has an abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells (tumour). It can either be malignant (cancerous) or benign...

Breast lump investigation
This fact sheet is for people planning to have a breast lump investigated or who would like information about the triple breast assessment.

Bunion surgery
A bunion is a lump of bone on the knuckle of your big toe. It can become inflamed and make walking difficult. Bunion surgery involves removing the...


Cancer staging and grading
Cancer is caused by the cells of the body changing so that they grow in an uncontrolled way. This factsheet is to help you understand how doctors...

Cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects movement, posture and co-ordination. It usually becomes noticeable during the first two years of a...

Childhood immunisation
This factsheet is for parents who would like information about vaccinations for their child in the UK. Advice in other countries may be different.

Chronic pancreatitis
Chronic pancreatitis is when your pancreas is irreversibly damaged - this stops it functioning properly. You will need to take medicines for the...

Chronic sinusitis
Chronic sinusitis is inflammation of the linings of the sinuses that surround the nose that lasts a long time or keeps coming back. It's caused by...

Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection
Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) is a bacterium. It belongs to the same family that includes the bacteria that cause the illnesses tetanus and...

Coeliac disease
Coeliac disease is a condition of the small bowel (intestine) that can cause serious illness if it's left untreated for a long time.

Cold sores (oral herpes)
Oral herpes is a very common mouth infection caused by the Herpes simplex virus (HSV). It causes small, fluid-filled blisters to develop around the...

Colour blindness
Colour blindness refers to a range of conditions that are characterised by an inability to see certain colours.

Common pregnancy symptoms
This factsheet is for women who are pregnant, or who would like information about the symptoms of pregnancy.

Common vaginal infections
Vaginal infections occur when bacteria, fungi or viruses grow in and around the vaginal area.

Coronary heart disease
In the UK, more people die from coronary heart disease (CHD) than from any other cause.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a very rare disease that causes severe brain damage.

Croup is the common name for laryngotracheitis. This is when the voice box (larynx), trachea (windpipe) and airways from the lungs (bronchi) become...

Cystitis is an infection of the bladder that is most common in women. Around one in six women get cystitis each year. Children and men can also get...


Dengue fever
Dengue fever is a viral illness transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. It occurs in many tropical countries and can affect people from the UK who are...

Depression is a condition in which you may have low mood, a loss of interest in everyday activities, feelings of low self-worth, a lack of energy...

Down's syndrome
People with Down's syndrome have an extra chromosome in some or all of their body's cells, resulting in certain physical characteristics and some...


An echocardiogram is a painless procedure that uses ultrasound to produce a moving 'real-time' image of the inside of your heart.

About ECGs Preparing for your test About the test Getting your results What are the risks? Further information Sources Related topics...

Epidural in childbirth
Epidural analgesia stops you feeling pain without putting you to sleep. It's usually given at the start of a vaginal delivery (childbirth).

Epidurals for surgery and pain relief
This factsheet is for people who are planning to have an epidural to provide anaesthesia for surgery, and/or to control pain afterwards, or who...

Eye cancer
Cancer of the eye is rare in the UK. Around 350 people get eye cancer each year. It's usually treated with surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy.


Femoral hernia
A femoral hernia occurs when tissue (often consisting of fatty tissue or part of the bowel) pushes into the femoral canal.


Gallbladder cancer
Gallbladder cancer is rare. Around 500 people in the UK are diagnosed with gallbladder cancer each year.


Hand, foot and mouth disease
Hand, foot and mouth disease is a mild infection caused by a virus. It causes spots or blisters to appear on your hands, your feet and/or in your...

Hodgkin's lymphoma
In the UK, Hodgkin's lymphoma accounts for less than one in every 100 cancers diagnosed. It's one of the most common cancers in teenagers, but it...

Hormonal contraception
Hormonal methods of contraception are very reliable, and are fully reversible once treatment is stopped.

Human papillomavirus
HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI), causing genital warts.

Huntington's disease
Huntington's disease is an inherited disorder that causes the degeneration of brain cells. This results in a progressive loss of the control of...


Impaired fasting glycaemia
This factsheet is for people whose blood test has shown a marginally high fasting glucose (blood sugar) level or who would like information about...

Impetigo is a skin infection caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes.


Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is a condition that affects children. There are three main types and it can affect both boys and girls of any age.


Laryngeal cancer
In the UK, about 1,800 men and 375 women are diagnosed with laryngeal cancer each year.

Long-sightedness is known medically as hyperopia or hypermetropia. Another name for it is far-sightedness.

Low blood pressure
There is no set figure at which blood pressure is said to be low, as this can vary from person to person.


Meningitis and septicaemia in adults
Meningitis is an infection of the meninges - the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord.

Meningitis and septicaemia in children
Meningitis is an infection of the meninges - the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord.

Mouth cancer
Nearly 5,000 people are diagnosed with mouth (oral) cancer every year in the UK. Most of these people are over the age of 40, and it affects more...

Myasthenia gravis
Myasthenia gravis is a condition that makes your muscles tire easily.


Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
In the UK, NHL accounts for about four in every 100 cancers diagnosed. It's more common in people who are over 50. Around 10,000 people are...


Overactive thyroid
Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is too active and produces an excess of thyroid hormones. This makes the body's functions speed up...


Peripheral arterial disease
In peripheral arterial disease, your arteries (the blood vessels carrying blood from your heart to the rest of your body) become narrowed,...

Preparing for pregnancy
This factsheet is for women who are planning to have a baby, or for anyone who would like information on how to prepare for pregnancy. It also...

Pregnancy: what to expect
This factsheet is for women who would like information about how their body will change during pregnancy.

Pulmonary embolism
A pulmonary embolism is a blockage in one of the blood vessels in your lungs. It can be fatal if the obstruction is very large and blocks the main...

Pyelonephritis (kidney infection)
Pylonephritis is an infection of one or both of your kidneys. Anyone can get it but it's most common in women.

Pyloric stenosis
Pyloric stenosis usually develops in babies in the first couple of months after they are born.


Routine care during your pregnancy
Antenatal care means how your health, and the health of your baby, is monitored before your baby is born (antenatal means before birth).

Rubella (German measles)
Rubella is a mild viral infection which can cause complications and birth defects in unborn babies. It's also sometimes called German measles.


Scabies is an itchy rash caused by the human scabies mite. It is spread easily through close physical contact.

The medical term for short-sightedness is myopia. This means that you can't focus on distant objects, which makes them look blurred.

Sickle cell anaemia
Sickle cell anaemia, also known as sickle cell disorder, is an inherited blood condition where your red blood cells are crescent shaped and behave...

Stoma care
A stoma is an artificial opening on your abdomen to collect waste (either faeces or urine).

Stomach cancer
In the UK, stomach, or gastric, cancer is the seventh most common cancer.

Stress in the workplace
Working can provide our lives with structure, purpose, satisfaction, self-esteem and financial income. However, the workplace can also be a cause...

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that often has no symptoms.

Swine flu
The World Health Organisation has declared swine flu a global pandemic. In this medical guide you can find out more about diagnosis, medicines and...


Tetanus is an infection which is caused by bacteria. It affects the brain and nervous system causing spasms and convulsions which can be life...

Thoracic aortic aneurysm
Thoracic aortic aneurysm is the dilation (widening or bulging) of the aorta in the thorax (chest).

Travel sickness
Travel or motion sickness describes the nausea, vomiting or dizziness that some people get when travelling.


Ulcerative colitis
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that affects about one in every 500 people in the UK.

Umbilical hernia in children
Umbilical hernia is when the belly button pops outwards due to a weakness in the muscles in or around the belly button.

Umbilical hernia repair in adults
Umbilical hernia is when the belly button pops outwards due to a weakness in the muscles in or around the belly button.

Underactive thyroid
Hypothyroidism occurs when your thyroid gland doesn't make enough thyroid hormones. This slows down your body's metabolism, leading to symptoms...


Womb cancer
About 6,000 women develop womb cancer in the UK every year. It's most common between the ages of 50 and 64.

Wrinkle treatments
Wrinkles are folds or creases in the skin. There are many wrinkle treatments available and only the most common are discussed here.