Word of the Week: Non-Invasive

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Alex Dos Diaz / Verywell

Each week, Verywell explains a term from health, medicine, science, or technology.

How to say itNon-invasive (non-in-VAY-siv)

What it means: Not going inside or not spreading.

Where it comes from: From Latin, non = not and invādere, "to go into."

A photo of a white person's hands on two x-rays.


Where you might see or hear it: If you have to have a test, your provider might tell you that it is non-invasive. This means that you do not need to have anything put inside your body. There also won't be any needles used or cuts made.

An example of a non-invasive test is a simple X-ray to look at your bones.

When you might want to use it: If you have a heart condition, your doctor might want you to wear a device called a Holter monitor for a day or two. While it looks a bit unusual with all the wires, a Holter monitor is a noninvasive way to check on your heart.

If your loved ones are a bit worried when they see you wearing it, you could reassure them by explaining that it doesn't hurt. The device is measuring your heart through electrodes that are placed on your skin with a sticker. You did not need to have any injections or cuts.

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