Diagnostic imaging is an integral part of medical care. It helps diagnose conditions and treat ailments. However, it can be quite a complex process that can cause confusion and anxiety in some patients. Here are the top five things radiologists wish you knew, so you get the best imaging experience possible.
1. Prepare Properly For the Procedure
Depending on the type of diagnostic imaging study, you might be given instructions regarding fasting or bowel preparation a day or hours before the procedure. Being aware of your pregnancy status and the presence of implanted devices, such as pacemakers, must also be considered before getting an imaging test.
You should also prepare right before the study itself. It’s best to wear loose clothing without metallic accents. Be sure to leave valuable jewelry at home and let your physician know if there are metal implants or other devices in your body. Metal can interfere with an imaging machine’s functioning, especially for MRIs. Wearing deodorant or antiperspirant might also interfere with particular diagnostic images, such as mammograms.
Before the test, you’ll need to remove hearing aids, dentures, wigs, underwire bras, and other miscellaneous items. You may contact your doctor or imaging center for a list of things that need to be removed or can be kept on during the imaging test.
2. Be Thoroughly Informed About Your Healthcare
In order to provide an accurate and tailored interpretation of your imaging results, radiologists will need to see the complete picture of your healthcare journey. As such, you should thoroughly discuss your medical history with your radiologist, including previous conditions that may affect the imaging, such as prior surgeries and imaging findings.
It would be best to inform them of the medications you are currently taking. Most physicians and healthcare providers ask about these before the examination, so make sure you have a list of the medications on the day of your imaging appointment.
3. Radiation From Diagnostic Imaging Won’t Harm You
While it’s true that there are dangers with overexposure to radiation, the radiation used in diagnostic imaging procedures is kept to a minimum. The use of radiation following the ALARA guidelines (as low as reasonably achievable) is too little to cause medical problems. Accredited radiology centers are also inspected regularly to ensure they follow such guidelines.
So if you’re worried about radiation, you can trust that radiologists take procedures very seriously, and there are proper safeguards in place to protect you. Also, some imaging tests do not use radiation at all, such as MRIs and ultrasound.
If you still have concerns about radiation, talk with your doctor or healthcare provider, so they can clear up any misconceptions and confusion you might have about imaging.
4. Discuss Your Imaging Study Results With Your Doctor
Once the imaging test results are out, the radiologist will read them, transcribe the results, and send a report to your doctor. This process usually takes 24 to 48 hours. Your doctor will be the one to discuss these results with you and determine the next steps. You don’t usually meet the radiologist unless they need to clarify any questions that your doctor cannot answer.
5. Be Aware That You Might Need A Follow-Up Test
Your first encounter with medical imaging might not be your last. Follow-up studies are often needed to monitor your condition according to your treatment plan. It’ll help your doctor determine the next steps for your medical care.
Follow-up studies are most common with CT scans for lung cancer screening, mammograms for breast cancer screening, and MRIs for evaluating skeletal or abdominal abnormalities.
Expert Radiologists In The Bronx, NY
Knowing what to expect when getting a diagnostic imaging study will make the process smoother and more manageable. You’ll also be able to clear up concerns regarding the imaging to prepare yourself better. Being proactive with your healthcare will ensure better results, and your radiologist will appreciate it if you’re involved in the process.
Here at Starling Diagnostics, we take pride in our highly efficient, quality services centered on providing prompt and compassionate care for our patients. We offer a wide range of advanced radiology technology and techniques designed to support the most comprehensive analysis of neurological, musculoskeletal, and women’s health care issues. Our board-certified imaging doctors are committed to providing accurate results and treatment in a timely manner.
If you have questions about our radiology services or would like to schedule an appointment, contact us today at (718) 319-1610 or fill out our convenient online appointment request form. We look forward to serving you!