What's the word when doctors, whilst treating or investigating one condition, stumble across another? For example patient has a heart attack and during treatment it is discovered he has cancer.
- Incidental findings are previously undiagnosed medical or psychiatric conditions that are discovered unintentionally and are unrelated to the current medical or psychiatric condition which is being treated or for which tests are being performed.
My GP (general practitioner; family doctor) mentioned the following today:
A mass or lesion noted during examination performed for other reasons.
It is common medical slang in imaging and radiology for when the patient complains of, say, an abdominal problem but during imaging a little spot is noticed outside of the abdomen.
May I suggest an underlying condition as in, "The patient was relived to learn that she was free to undergo her elective plastic surgery as no underlying conditions were discovered during the pre-op tests the hospital carried out to determine her fitness for surgery",
underlying condition: "Real but not immediately obvious." (dictionary.cambridge.org)