Health dictionary - R


Radiologist

Sometimes, doctors use special machines to take pictures of the inside your body. The pictures that they take look very strange, and radiologists help to look at them, so that the doctors can find out what's going on.

Radiography

Making pictures using radioactive materials, like x-rays.

Radiology

The study of making pictures using radioactive materials, like x-rays.

Radiotherapy

Using radioactive materials to treat diseases.

Radius

One the bones in your arm, on the side of your thumb.

Rash

A mark on the skin that is usually red and sore. It may also be itchy. Rashes happen if you’re allergic to something and goes away quite quickly.

Recovery room

Most people are usually 'asleep' during an operation (surgery). It takes a while for you to wake up afterwards. Usually you'll wake up in the Recovery Room, a special room where the nurses will give you extra special care. When you're feeling OK, you'll go back to the ward.

Rectum

The rectum is your bottom hole or your anus as it is sometimes called. It is the lower part of the bowel where you excrete from.  It is also the entrance for the penis, during penetrative sex (for) homosexual males.

Red Blood Cells

Red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to cells around your body.

Reflux

An automatic response to something. For instance, a doctor checks your reflex by hitting a special part of your knee that makes your leg move upwards.

Rehabilitation

The word used to describe the process of returning somebody to full health or fitness.

Relapse

If you’ve had a disease that has gone away for a while, and then it comes back, the doctors will say you’ve had a relapse.

Remission

If you’ve got a disease and it goes away, doctors will say that you’re in remission. It doesn’t mean that you’ve been cured, as the disease could come back (relapse).

Resection

An operation where a section, or all, of a diseased part of your body is removed.

Respiratory system

This consists of your trachea (windpipe), bronchi and lungs. Its job is to take the oxygen out of the air you breathe so it can be absorbed by the body.

Resuscitated

This describes a person who has been successfully revived after they had previously stopped breathing of their heart had failed. This is generally done using cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR, see entry).

Retina

The layer on the back of your eyeball where pictures are converted into nerve signals which your brain understands.

Rheumatologist

This is a special doctor who looks after people who have problems with their joints and limbs.

Rheumatology

The study of joints and diseases that affect them.

Rubella

Another name for german measles, an infectious disease that mainly affects children. Most children are immunised against rubella now, by the MMR jab, but children who have not been immunised are at risk. If a pregnant woman develops rubella, the baby can be born deaf and blind.