PROCEDURES AT RPM
Our doctors are skilled in performing a wide range of investigations and procedures. If you have a query about a particular investigation or procedure being done, please discuss this with our friendly receptionists who will book you in with the most appropriate doctor for your request.
An electrocardiogram or ECG is a non-invasive way of measuring the electrical activity of the heart. It is done if your doctor is concerned about how your heart is functioning, or prior to the commencement of some medications.
INGROWN TOE NAILS
Ingrown toe nails can cause pain, swelling and infection. Our doctors have experience and expertise in performing wedge resections to prevent recurrences.
For those who are iron deficient, and who do not tolerate iron supplements orally – iron infusions are regularly performed. We see many patients who are deficient in iron at Royal Park Medical. Read on to learn more about iron, why so many of us are deficient and the ways that your health professional can help you improve your iron levels.
What is iron?
Iron is one of the essential minerals your body needs to function properly. It is needed to produce haemoglobin and myoglobin – proteins that help supply oxygen from your lungs to your body. If you don’t have enough iron, your body can’t make enough of these proteins. This can ultimately affect red blood cell production, leading to iron deficiency anaemia. This is the most common type of anaemia, where your body does not have enough red blood cells.
Where is iron found?
Iron is found naturally in many foods we eat. Other food products have been fortified with iron. Iron-rich foods include:
- Red meat
- Legumes including lentils and chickpeas
- Green leafy vegetables such as spinach
- Fortified breads and breakfast cereals
Your body absorbs iron better when eaten with a source of vitamin C (for examples oranges, tomatoes and red capsicum).
What are the symptoms of iron deficiency?
Some people may not have any symptoms of deficiency, particularly if it has been long-standing. Others however may report;
- Shortness of breathe
- May appear pale
- May experience recurrent infections
- Restless legs
- Craving non-food products such as ice or dirt
What causes iron deficiency?
Iron deficiency can be caused by many factors. It is something we sometimes see in people who are vegetarians or vegans, or those who have limited iron intake for other reasons. It can result from issues relating to absorbing iron in our gastrointestinal tract including conditions like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. It is also something that can occur after weight loss surgery. Blood loss for any reason is another cause of iron deficiency and this includes menstruation and blood donation. Pregnancy and breast feeding are two further common reasons of iron deficiency as there are higher iron demands at these times. Your health professional will take a detailed history from you to determine the causes(s) of iron deficiency as this helps us to coordinate a plan to replenish iron stores and to ensure they remain high.
How is iron deficiency identified?
Your doctor can arrange a blood test that measures your level of iron as well as a full blood count to see how many red bloods cells you have.
How is iron replaced?
Depending on the cause of iron deficiency, your doctor will discuss a variety of options with you. Your health professional may recommend eating a diet high in iron rich foods. Alternatively, or additionally, an iron supplement may be recommended for you to complement a dietary change. Iron supplements should be taken on an empty stomach, with vitamin C. They should not be consumed with calcium, milk/other dairy, caffeine or antacids to improve their likelihood of absorption.
Iron supplementation can cause unwanted side effects including constipation, nausea and tummy upset. It can often cause your stool (poo) to turn black. Iron supplementation should be directed by your health professional and the duration of treatment varies from patient to patient depending on response but also underlying cause of deficiency. It can often take several weeks-months to feel the effects of iron supplementation.
Some people do not tolerate the side effects of oral iron supplementation. Others may have a clinical need to increase their levels quickly (for instance before a surgery) or they may have underlying absorptive conditions such as coeliac disease, or inflammatory bowel disease which may impact capacity to absorb oral iron. For these patients, an iron infusion may be a good option to consider.
What is intravenous iron?
Intravenous or IV iron is a way of delivering iron directly into a vein. It involves a short procedure in our clinic under the supervision of a doctor. The side effects of an infusion are usually minimal but can include;
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Itchy rash
- Strange taste temporarily in your mouth
In the days following an infusion, some people can feel aches and pains throughout their body. These are usually mild and self-limiting. Anaphylaxis is a very rare reaction, that can occur in response to an iron infusion which is usually immediate and would be managed by your health professional.
At Royal Park Medical, our staff are highly experienced at providing iron infusions. Your health professional can discuss any concerns and answer any questions that you might have regarding an infusion.
We also warmly welcome patients from other clinics for iron infusions if they have been recommended by your regular GP (but are not offered by your regular clinic). In such instances, please call our reception team and they can advise of the next steps including how to send us your blood tests and how to coordinate an appointment.
LONG ACTING CONTRACEPTIVES (LARCS)
Implanon, Mirena and Copper IUD are available for insertion. For further information about LARCs – see our Women’s Health section.
Pathology services are co-located with RPM and are provided by Dorevitch. They are open Monday –Friday from 8.30am-4.30pm. Saturdays 8.30am-11.30am. They are not open on public holidays. Appointments are not required. Pathology can be directly accessed from Brougham Street, near the entrance of the car park.
Q fever vaccination is required in some occupations. People who work with or near animals such as cattle, sheep and goats are at most risk. This risk is higher in workplaces such as abattoirs that process animal products. People working in high risk areas should be tested for Q fever and vaccinated if appropriate. This involves an initial appointment where a skin prick test and blood test will be conducted, and follow up one week later for results. People who test positive for either the blood test or skin prick test are not suitable to receive vaccination – as this suggests they have either had the infection previously, or have had immunisation. Those that are negative will be vaccinated.
SKIN EXCISIONS & BIOPSIES
Concerning moles and other skin lesions, sebaceous cysts and lipomas – to name a few can be excised at RPM. Sometimes a biopsy is taken to assess if a mole is a concern or to help diagnose a rash.
Spirometry is a special breathing test that helps your doctor diagnose conditions like asthma and emphysema. It is also used to help assess how well medications are managing a lung condition. Spirometry is non-invasive and pain free. It is not recommended in children <8 as testing may not result in reproducible or reliable studies. It is important not to use any puffer medications for 4 hours prior to your test, for accurate testing. Spirometry is not currently available at Royal Park Medical as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic however your GP can refer you for spirometry if required, locally.
This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professional. The authors have made considerable effort to ensure the information is accurate, up to date and easy to understand. Royal Park Medical accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading, or the success of any treatment regimen.