Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to produce detailed pictures of the body’s internal structures that are clearer, more detailed and more likely in some instances to identify and accurately characterize disease than other imaging methods. It is used to evaluate the body for a variety of conditions, including tumors and diseases of the liver, heart, and bowel. It may also be used to monitor an unborn child in the womb. MRI is noninvasive and does not use ionizing radiation.
Computed tomography (CT) is a diagnostic imaging test used to create detailed cross sectional images of internal organs, bones, soft tissue and blood vessels. CT scanning is often the best method for detecting many different cancers since the images allow your doctor to confirm the presence of a tumor and determine its size and location. CT is fast, painless, noninvasive and accurate. In emergency cases, it can reveal internal injuries and bleeding quickly enough to help save lives.
Ultrasound imaging uses a transducer or probe to generate sound waves and produce pictures of the body’s internal structures. Ultrasound is often used to help diagnose unexplained pain, swelling and infection. It may also be used to provide imaging guidance to needle biopsies or to see and evaluate conditions related to blood flow. It’s also the preferred imaging method for monitoring a pregnant woman and her unborn child. It does not use ionizing radiation, has no known harmful effects, and provides a clear picture of soft tissues that don’t show up well on x-ray images.
Mammography is a specific type of breast imaging that uses low-dose x-rays to detect cancer early – before women experience symptoms – when it is most treatable. Frequently, additional exams are also used, including ultrasound and MRI to assist in the task of screening and early diagnosis of breast diseases.
Using imaging guidance, including X-ray, CT scan and Ultrasound, our radiologists can perform minimally invasive procedures that frequently replace or assist the alternatives of major surgery. Many times, the way the physicians perform the procedure is through a tiny skin nick about the size of the hole at the end of a pen. Procedures are performed that can diagnose or treat a myriad of conditions, from bleeding to uterine fibroids to cancer.
X-ray 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 blood vessels, GI tract,fistulas and sinuses.
Bone mineral densitometry, also called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry or DEXA, uses a very small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body (usually the lower spine and hips) to measure bone loss. It is commonly used to diagnose osteoporosis and to assess an individual’s risk for developing fractures. DEXA is simple, quick and noninvasive. It’s also the most accurate method for diagnosing osteoporosis.
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