Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves, and a computer to produce detailed pictures of your body. It is usually the best choice for evaluating the body for injuries, tumors, and degenerative disorders.
Tell your doctor about any of your health problems, recent surgeries, or allergies and whether there’s a possibility you are pregnant.
The magnetic field is not harmful but may cause some medical devices, such as cardiac pacemakers, to malfunction. Smaller metallic items in your body, like aneurysm clips, may even move. Most orthopedic implants pose no risk, but you should always tell the technologist if you have any devices or metal in your body.
Unless you are told otherwise, take your regular medications as usual. Leave jewelry at home and wear loose, comfortable clothing. You may be asked to wear a gown. If you have claustrophobia or anxiety, you may want to ask your doctor for a mild sedative prior to the exam.
Computerized Tomography (CAT Scan) imaging is a simple and safe exam. The scanner takes a series of pictures and can detect many conditions that do not show up on conventional X-rays. Some CT scans need radiographic dye that is injected or given by mouth to enhance the images by outlining blood vessels or showing organs of the body.
Tell your doctor if there is a possibility you are pregnant and discuss any recent illnesses, medical conditions, medications you’re taking, and allergies. You will be instructed not to eat or drink anything for a few hours beforehand. If you have a known allergy to contrast material, your doctor may prescribe medications to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction. These medications must be taken 12 hours prior to your exam. Leave jewelry at home and wear loose, comfortable clothing. You may be asked to wear a gown.
Breast tomosynthesis (3D Mammography) is an advanced form of mammography, a specific type of breast imaging that uses low-dose x-rays to detect cancer early when it is most treatable. Breast tomosynthesis is not yet available in all imaging facilities.
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Tell your technologist about any breast symptoms or problems, prior surgeries, hormone use, whether you have a family or personal history of breast cancer, and if there’s a possibility you are pregnant.
Ultrasound imaging of the breast uses sound waves to produce pictures of the internal structures of the breast. It is primarily used to help diagnose breast lumps or other abnormalities your doctor may have found during a physical exam, mammogram, or breast MRI. Ultrasound is safe, noninvasive, and does not use radiation.
Ultrasound imaging uses sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body. It is used to help diagnose the causes of pain, swelling and infection in the body’s internal organs and to examine a baby in pregnant women and the brain and hips in infants. It is also used to help guide biopsies, diagnose heart conditions, and assess damage after a heart attack. Ultrasound is safe, noninvasive, and does not use ionizing radiation.
This procedure usually requires little to no special preparation. Your doctor will instruct you on how to prepare, including whether you should refrain from eating or drinking beforehand. Leave jewelry at home and wear loose, comfortable clothing. You may be asked to wear a gown.
Bone densitometry, also called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, DEXA or DXA, uses a very small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body (usually the lower (or lumbar) spine and hips) to measure bone loss. It is commonly used to diagnose osteoporosis, to assess an individual’s risk for developing osteoporotic fractures. DXA is simple, quick and noninvasive. It’s also the most commonly used and the most standard method for diagnosing osteoporosis.
Digital X-ray or radiography uses a very small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the body’s internal structures. X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging. They are often used to help diagnosed fractured bones, look for injury or infection and to locate foreign objects in soft tissue. Some x-ray exams may use an iodine-based contrast material or barium to help improve the visibility of specific organs, blood vessels, tissues or bone.
This exam requires little to no special preparation. Tell your doctor and the technologist if there is any possibility you are pregnant. Leave jewelry at home and wear loose, comfortable clothing. You may be asked to wear a gown.