Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Medical imaging is a non-invasive process that allows physicians to diagnose injuries and diseases throughout the anatomical structures of your body, or rule them out.

According to Janet Cegnar, a Radiologist at the Intermountain Medical Imaging, medical imaging tests have revolutionized the way evaluations, and assessments are carried out in the medical field. Now, physicians can leverage the imaging technology to:

  • Get a better view of blood vessels, organs, bones and tissues
  • Establish whether surgery is the suitable treatment option or not
  • Guide in the treatment of fractures and other joint replacement options
  • Guide medical procedures that involve placement of stents, catheters, along with other devices inside the body.
  • Identify tumors for treatment, as well as blood clots and other blockages

In this article, we discuss the types of medical imaging procedures and their importance.

  1. X-ray imaging

This creates images of the inside of the body; the pictures highlight the parts of your body in varying shades of white and black because tissues absorb different amounts of radiation. Fats, along with other soft tissues look gray because they absorb fewer X-rays while lungs appear black because air absorbs the least. Bones look white as calcium absorbs the most X-rays.

What they do best

X-ray imaging can be used for wide-ranging procedures, like looking for pneumonia, broken bones or breast cancer. X-rays are affordable, easy to use, and are readily available globally.

  1. Ultrasound Imaging

This procedure uses sound waves to create images of the inside of your body. Also referred to as sonography or ultrasound scanning, ultrasound imaging involves the use of gel (put on the skin) and a probe (small transducer). Sound waves produced by the probe pass through the gel before getting into your body. It’s these sound waves that produce real-time images which show the blood flow in the blood vessels, and the structure and movement of the internal organs of your body.

What they do best

Ultrasound imaging can help diagnose a range of conditions as well as to examine organ damage after an illness. Physicians use the procedure to evaluate symptoms like infections, swelling or pain in the kidneys, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, heart, blood vessels, brain in infants, thyroid glands, ovaries, uterus, unborn child, hips in infants and scrotum.

  1. CT scan imaging

This procedure lets physician view the inside of the body just as they would inside of a loaf of bread that’s sliced. CT scan takes images of slices of the body, allowing doctors to observe the specific areas.

What they do best

Physicians use the procedure to evaluate the spine, chest, abdomen, neck, sinuses, pelvis and brain along with visualizing subtle anomalies that may not be clear on X-ray test.

Other than the processes mentioned above, ultrasound can also be used to analyze a spectrum of heart conditions like congestive heart failure, valve problems and to examine damage following a heart attack.

  1. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRI uses strong radio waves and magnetic field to produce detail pictures of tissues and organs within the body. The device looks like a large tube with space inside where the patient slides in while lying on a table.

What they do best

MRI is used to give high detailed images of the body and is often applied to screen anomalies of the spinal cord and brain, cysts, tumors, liver diseases, breast cancer, pelvic pain, uterine anomalies, back and knee abnormalities, etc.

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