Health information

Resources for patients and their families about conditions, treatments and procedures.

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A

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) open repair surgery

An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a life-threatening swelling in the aorta (the main artery in the body). It can be repaired with surgery to replace the weak section of the aorta with a piece of manmade tubing (a graft).

Achilles tendinopathy

Managing pain caused by Achilles tendinopathy and exercises to strengthen the tendon that connects the back of the lower part of your leg muscles to the heel bone.

Anaesthetic

Anaesthesia stops you from feeling pain during an operation, procedure or treatment. Find out about local, regional and general anaesthetics.

Anal fissure treatment

Overview of treatment for anal fissures, which are small cracks or tears in the skin of your anus (where poo leaves your bottom). 

Anal fistula treatment

An anal fistula is a tunnel that develops between the bowel and the skin of the anus (bottom) which is treated with surgery.

Appendicectomy (surgery to remove the appendix)

Appendicectomy is surgery to treat appendicitis, when your appendix has become inflamed, infected or ruptured.

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B

Biobanking tissue for research

Information about how we collect extra samples of tissue and bodily fluids for research to diagnose, prevent and treat conditions. 

Blood clots and deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

Understand and lower your risk of blood clots and DVT if you have a lower limb plaster cast, splint or walker boot.

Bone grafting for dental implants

You might need bone graft surgery before having dental implants if you do not have enough bone in your jaw for dental implants to be put in.

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C

Cancer care and support

Personalised cancer care is designed to meet your needs and focus on what matters to you, giving you the care and support you need to live as well as possible during and after treatment.

Cardiac (heart) MRI

Cardiac (heart) MRI scans use strong magnetic fields and radiowaves to produce detailed pictures of inside your body.  

Chest drain

A chest drain lets fluid or air leave your body and helps your breathing. Read more about having a chest drain and looking after it. 

Cochlear implant

Videos about the assessment process for cochlear implants from the hearing implant centre.

Colonic transit study

This test looks at how your large bowel (colon) is working using X-rays after swallowing some capsules. It can be used to diagnose conditions. 

Colonoscopy diet advice and bowel preparation

Instructions to prepare for your colonoscopy, including medicines, diet and bowel preparation from 4 days before your appointment.

Colorectal cancer follow-up after treatment

Personalised follow-up (sometimes called PFU) is how we support you after cancer treatment. Our aim is to give you the care and support that are important to you.

Contrast injection leak (extravasation)

This information explains what happens, and what you should do, if the contrast dye injection you had for an MRI or CT scan leaks under your skin. This is called extravasation.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and malnutrition

Signs of malnutrition and how to make sure you get the nutrients you need, including what you can do if you're at higher risk.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) recovery

A guide to help you recover from coronavirus (COVID-19) and manage the symptoms that are affecting you.

Critical care and communicating with your family member

If your relative is in critical care, they might find it hard to communicate for different reasons but there are ways to help you communicate with your relative. 

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D

Daily tasks using one hand

Advice on how to do everyday activities using only one hand including personal care, washing, dressing, eating and cooking.

Delirium (sudden confusion)

Delirium can be treated at hospital or managed at home. This condition can be frightening for the person and their loved ones. It's important to know the signs and understand what can help.

Dental day surgery under general anaesthetic

How to prepare for dental day surgery under general anaesthetic and understanding what happens afterwards.

Dental implants

Dental implants are long-lasting artificial replacements for your tooth roots to help support dentures, crowns (caps) or bridges. 

Dental surgery and recovery

Dental surgery can cause symptoms including pain, bleeding and swelling. You can avoid infection by looking after your mouth after surgery. 

Direct oral anticoagulants

DOACs thin your blood to treat atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism. They can be used instead of warfarin but, as they are taken as a fixed dose, you do not need regular blood tests.

Discharge medicines service

This free service links you to your community pharmacist so you can talk to them about medicines and take them confidently at home.

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E

ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangio pancreatogram)

An ERCP is used to diagnose and treat problems with the biliary system. Find out more about what an ERCP is and how it is carried out. 

Expressing your breast milk

How to express breastmilk for your baby who is premature or sick using your hand or a pump.

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F

Fit note

How to get a fit note from your hospital doctor as an inpatient or outpatient.

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G

Gastroscopy

A gastroscopy is when we examine the upper part of your digestive system to diagnose or monitor conditions.

Glued wounds

Instructions for looking after a wound that has been glued. 

Grazax hay fever treatment

We might recommend Grazax tablets if you are severely allergic to grass pollen. You need to start treatment before the grass pollen season.

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H

Hand therapy activity list

Light, medium and heavy activities that will help your therapist to explain what you can or cannot do after an injury or surgery.

Head injury

Symptoms to look out for if someone has had a head injury and information about recovering.

Hepatitis B vaccination for kidney patients

Information about the hepatitis B vaccination for people at increased risk of getting hepatitus B from their kidney condition.

Hepatitis testing in the emergency department (A&E)

A hepatitis test is offered to all people who need a blood test in the emergency department.

Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS)

A guide for living with HS and coping with the emotional and practical effects. It includes how to manage difficult thoughts and feelings.

HIV tests in the emergency department and urgent care

If you need a blood test while you are in A&E then we'll look for HIV infection in your blood in line with NICE guidance.

Homecare medicines service

Certain medicines prescribed by the hospital can be delivered to you. Find out more about registering for this service, delivery, storing medicines and going abroad.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is medicine used to treat menopausal symptoms. Find information on how HRT is taken, the side effects and the risks.

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I

Indwelling pleural catheter (IPC)

An IPC is a small, soft and flexible tube put into your chest to remove fluid from around your lungs to help with breathlessness.

IVF treatment

This guide will help you to understand the different stages of IVF treatment, including medicines, risks and side effects, egg collection, fertilisation and embryo transfer.

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J

Jaw (orthognathic) surgery

Surgery can correct any imbalance between the upper and lower jaw and allow people to bite their teeth together.

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K

Kidney stone pain (renal colic)

Information for people who have been in the emergency department (A&E) for pain from kidney stones (renal colic).

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L

Labour and birth

Pain relief options in labour including gas and air, diamorphine, epidural and PCA pump.

Lithotripsy treatment for kidney stones

Lithotripsy uses shock waves to treat kidney stones that can be found in your kidney or ureter.

Low back pain

How to manage low back pain and associated stress or anxiety using physiotherapy, exercises and relaxation.

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M

Mandibular repositioning appliance (MRA)

A mandibular repositioning appliance (MRA) is a dental appliance you wear while you sleep. It can help to treat snoring and sleep apnoea.

Medicines questions you can ask

Questions about your medicines you can ask the doctor, nurse or pharmacist including how and when to take them, side effects and what they do.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)

How MBSR can help you manage your long-term condition and symptoms.

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N

Needle phobia and overcoming your fear

How to use relaxation, applied tension technique and a fear ladder to help you overcome the fear of needles and injections.

NHS services

NHS and public services for refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants.

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O

Opioid pain management clinic

How our clinic can help with high-dose opioid medicines and management of long-term (chronic) pain.

Oralvac Compact immunotherapy for allergies

Oralvac® Compact are drops put under your tongue for severe allergies, and can also be used if your current medicine doesn't control your symptoms very well.

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P

Paracetamol poisoning treatment

Acetylcysteine treatment (using SNAP) for paracetamol poisoning and overdose.

PEP emergency medicines for exposure to HIV

How and when to take post-exposure prophylaxis (or PEP) medicines if you might have been exposed to HIV, to prevent you from getting the virus.

Pleural biopsy

A pleural biopsy is a procedure that takes a sample of the pleura, using a special needle. Read more about having a pleural biopsy. 

Pleurodesis using a chest drain

Pleurodesis seals the space between your lungs and chest wall to stop fluid collecting. Read more about having pleurodesis. 

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R

Rectal prolapse and perineal repair

Symptoms of a rectal prolapse, and the risks and benefits of perineal repair surgery.

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S

Sculptra treatment for people with lipoatrophy and HIV

HIV can cause you to lose fat from your face (facial lipoatrophy). Sculptra is the brand name of a treatment we use to restore volume to your face using injections. 

Sedation for dental treatment

Sedation is medicine that helps you relax. It is sometimes used during dental treatments to keep you calm. Find out more about sedation and dental treatment. 

Sedation in the emergency department

Guidance after having sedation medicines to help you relax.

SeHCAT study

A SeHCAT scan looks at how well your body absorbs bile salts to digest fats and get rid of toxins in the body, if you have recurring diarrhoea or bile acid malabsorption (BAM).

Self-administration of medicines in hospital

You or your carer can be responsible for administering your own medicines while you're staying in hospital, if we agree it's safe for you. 

Skin biopsy

Biopsies are used for diagnosis by taking a small sample of skin under local anaesthetic so it can be looked at under the microscope.

Steri-Strips

Instructions to help your wound heal if Steri-Strips have been used.

Stitches

How to look after stitches (sutures).

Surgical wounds and preventing infections

Preventing surgical wound infection by being aware of the signs, looking after your wound and keeping your hands clean.

Suspected scaphoid injury advice

Instructions to manage your suspected scaphoid injury if you have been seen in the emergency department and are going to have an MRI scan.

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T

TAVI for aortic stenosis

If you have aortic stenosis, a transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) procedure uses an artificial valve to replace the narrowed one in your heart under local anaesthetic.

Testosterone for low sex drive in the menopause

Testosterone can be used for low sex drive in the menopause at the same time as HRT, and can be particularly helpful for people who have gone through early menopause.

Thoracocentesis (pleural aspiration or pleural tap)

Thoracocentesis is a procedure to remove fluid from the space between your lungs and chest wall (pleural space). Find out more about having this procedure. 

Tilt table test

We do a tilt table test to find why you might feel dizzy or light-headed, or lose consciousness. We check if your symptoms are connected to changes in your heart beat or blood pressure. The test might include a neck massage called a carotid sinus massage.

Treatment planning for seriously ill patients

If you have a long-term (or chronic) condition, it's important to think about what happens if treatment is not successful. You can share your feelings with your close family, friends and healthcare team.

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U

Unlicensed medicines

Unlicensed medicines are not officially approved for your condition, but your doctor can prescribe them if they feel that this is safe. 

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W

Wisdom teeth

Removing wisdom teeth for treating infection, tooth decay, gum disease, and cysts.

Wrist sprains or strains

Information if you have been seen in the emergency department for a sprained or strained wrist.

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X

Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP)

XP is a rare, lifelong genetic (inherited) condition. It means that your body cannot repair skin damage caused by ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from sunlight.

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