Will the x-ray technologist see anything wrong with my x-rays?
The technologists are not qualified to read your x-rays. When they check them, it is to make sure the quality is good enough for the radiologist to interpret them.
Is CT an x-ray?
Yes. A CT scan is made up of a series of x-rays which are processed by a computer to produce cross-sectional pictures of the body. These cross-sectional images allow one to look at the inside of the body just as one would look at the inside of a loaf of bread by slicing it. A CT scan is thus made up of a series of slices.
Why do I have to drink so much of this "stuff"?
Prior to most CT scans of the abdomen and pelvis, it is important to drink an oral contrast agent which contains dilute barium. This contrast agent helps the radiologist identify the gastrointestinal tract (stomach, small and large bowel), detect abnormalities of these organs, and to separate these structures from other structures within the abdomen.
A screening mammogram is performed on women with no symptoms to detect abnormalities of the breasts. Four x-ray pictures, two of each breast are taken on a dedicated x-ray machine.
A diagnostic mammogram is performed on women who have a breast problem or symptom, such as a lump, nipple discharge or breast pain or as a follow up to an abnormal screening mammogram. The x-rays taken vary and are dedicated to the particular finding or problem. The length of the exam varies. Depending on the findings of the diagnostic mammogram a breast ultrasound may follow.
I have had many negative mammograms in the past. Is it necessary to keep having them?
Since the risk of breast cancer increases with age, it is important to keep having mammograms. If a cancer is found, it is best to find it early when the chance for a cure is highest. Studies have shown that a mammogram every year is the best test we have to catch breast cancer early.
Is it going to hurt?
Compression of the breasts is necessary for a good mammogram. It allows the radiologist, the doctor who reads the mammogram, to see the normal breast tissue better and to detect an abnormality.
Compression also lowers the radiation dose to the breasts. Women who have very tender breasts may experience discomfort. To reduce this discomfort, schedule your mammogram one week after your period when the breasts are typically not as tender. MOI uses special pads that greatly reduce the discomfort.
I have metal in my body from prior surgery. Can I have an MRI?
Most people who have metal in their body after surgery can have an MRI. For example, patients with hip or knee replacements can have an MRI 6 weeks after surgery. Other implanted devices require less time after surgery. Certain devices can never go into the MRI machine. Heart pacemakers, and some implanted pumps and nerve stimulators cannot go in the MRI scanner.
Some brain aneurysm clips (particularly older ones) cannot go into the scanner. If you have had any prior surgery, you must let the technologist know prior to the scan. Also, if there is any chance there may be metal in any part of your body from a prior injury or from grinding metal, please inform the technologist prior to the scan.
Do I really have to hold still?
Yes. An MRI exam is composed of a series of images. Each series takes 3 to 5 minutes. Any movement during this time causes the pictures to be "blurry" and limits the radiologist's ability to interpret the study. Also, we focus the exam on a specific part of the body. If you move, the area we are focusing on may no longer be in the proper position.
I'm claustrophobic. How far do I go into the scanner?
In order to get the best pictures possible, the part of the body being studied, has to be in the middle of the scanner. Thus, if you are having a brain MRI, your head will have to be in the middle of the scanner. If you are having an ankle MRI, your ankle will be in the scanner, but your head will not.
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