Memphis Physicians Radiological Group

X-Ray

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General diagnostic exams may be ordered by your physician to diagnose conditions in the chest, bone, sinuses, skull, or spine. It is the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging. X-ray is the fastest and easiest way for a physician to view and assess broken bones. It can also be used to diagnose and monitor the progression of degenerative diseases.

Ultrasound

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An ultrasound produces sound waves that pass into the body and sends echoes back to produce images of the internal structures of the body. These sound waves are not harmful to the body or a fetus. Ultrasound can also show internal motion such as blood flowing through the veins and the heart beating. The sound waves are produced from a microphone like device that the technologist moves over the area to be examined.

The following is an explanation of a typical exam. Exams may differ based on what your physician has ordered. You will lie down on an examination table. A water-based gel is applied to the skin over the area to be examined to block any air between the skin and transducer, as well as to eliminate friction on the skin. There are ultrasound procedures that require placing the transducer inside the body to get a closer view of the area being studied.

Preparations may be revised or altered at any time. Please confirm specific preparations for your study upon scheduling your examination.

Nuclear Medicine

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Safe and Painless Imaging Techniques

Nuclear Medicine is a radiological field that uses safe and painless techniques to image the body and treat disease. Nuclear Medicine techniques can make it possible to gather information on the function and structure of the organs that may otherwise require surgical intervention or other tests. Nuclear medicine is commonly used to measure or detect hyperthyroidism, heart function, orthopedic injuries, blood clots in the lungs, and liver, and gall bladder functions.

Nuclear Medicine uses very small doses of radioactive materials to diagnose and treat disease. These materials are attracted to specific organs, bones, or tissues, producing emissions that are then detected by a special type of camera. This camera then transforms these emissions into images that can be read and interpreted by the radiologist.

The amount of radioactive materials introduced into the body is small and is eliminated quickly from the body. The amount of radiation is comparable to that of a traditional x-ray. If you are pregnant or think you may be, you should tell your physician before undergoing any radiological procedure.

Preparations may be revised or altered at any time. Please confirm specific preparations for your study upon scheduling your examination.

Fluoroscopy

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Fluoroscopy is a form of diagnostic radiology that enables the radiologist, with the aid of a contrast agent, to visualize the organ or area of concern via the x-ray. This contrast agent allows the image to be viewed clearly on a television monitor or screen. The contrast agents may be introduced into the body through injection, swallowing, or an enema.

Fluoroscopy tests consist of a series of images taken by a radiologist, and maybe followed by a series of images taken by the technologist.

There may be special preparations required for a fluoroscopy procedure and this will be discussed with the patient when the examination is scheduled. Preparations may be revised or altered at any time. Please confirm specific preparations for your study upon scheduling your examination.

MRI

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MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. It is a diagnostic imaging test that uses strong magnet and radio frequency waves to produce images of internal organs and structures. MRI is a non-invasive procedure, however, your physician may request a contrast agent be used to better visualize organs or structures. If this is requested, you will receive an injection of the contrast agent during your examination.

It is essential that the patient alert the technologist if they have a pacemaker, surgical clips, metal objects, or prosthesis. The technologist will determine, with the help of the radiologist, if the examination should be performed.

The technologist will position you on the exam table and move the table into the magnet. You will hear a knocking sound that occurs when the images are being acquired. The length of time you will be on the table depends on the type of study you are having.

Preparations may be revised or altered at any time. Please confirm specific preparations for your study upon scheduling your examination.

Mammogram

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Mammography is a specific type of imaging that uses a low-dose x-ray system to examine breasts. A mammography exam, called a mammogram, is used to aid in the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women. Mammograms are used as a screening tool to detect early breast cancer in women experiencing no symptoms and to detect and diagnose breast disease in women experiencing symptoms such as a lump, pain or nipple discharge.

Digital (computerized) mammography is similar to standard mammography in that x-rays are used to produce detailed images of the breast. Digital mammography uses essentially the same mammography system as conventional mammography, but the system is equipped with a digital receptor and a computer instead of a film cassette. This results in shorter examination times and significantly improved patient comfort and convenience since the time the patient must remain still is much shorter.

In standard mammography, images are recorded on film using an x-ray cassette. The film is viewed by the radiologist using a “light box”. With digital mammography, the breast image is captured using a special electronic x-ray detector, which converts the image into a digital picture for review on a computer monitor. With digital mammography, the magnification, orientation, brightness, and contrast of the image may be altered after the exam is completed to help the radiologist more clearly see certain areas.

Computer-aided detection (CAD) systems use a digitized mammographic image that can be obtained from either a conventional film mammogram or a digitally acquired mammogram. The computer software then searches for abnormal areas of density, mass, or calcification that may indicate the presence of cancer. The CAD system highlights these areas on the images, alerting the radiologist to the need for further analysis.

Interpretations of mammograms can be difficult because a normal breast can appear differently for each woman. Also, the appearance of an image may be compromised if there is powder or salve on the breasts or if you have undergone breast surgery. Because some breast cancers are hard to visualize, a radiologist may want to compare the image to views from previous examinations. Not all cancers of the breast can be seen on mammography.

Breast implants can also impede accurate mammogram readings because both silicone and saline implants are not transparent on x-rays and can block a clear view of the tissues behind them, especially if the implant has been placed in front of, rather than beneath, the chest muscles Experienced technologists and radiologists know how to carefully compress the breasts to improve the view without rupturing the implant.

While mammography is the best screening tool for breast cancer available today, mammograms do not detect all breast cancers. Also, a small portion of mammograms indicate that a cancer could possibly be present when it is not (called a false-positive result).

CT

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CT stands for Computed Tomography. CT offers detailed information by taking cross-sectional images throughout the body via a helical scanner. CT scan, like conventional x-ray, uses radiation. Depending on the type of exam your physician orders, you may have to drink a flavored liquid before your exam (oral contrast) and/or receive an injection of contrast material. Contrast allows for better visualization of certain organs within the body. Exams take 5 to 20 minutes.

The following is an explanation of a typical exam (exams may differ based on individual patients): You will be lying down on an exam table and a technologist will assist you into a comfortable position for your exam. A contrast medium may be injected at this point. If having a head CT, head may be cradled as the slightest motion may hinder image quality. You will be moved into the CT scanner. The technologist can hear and see you at all times. You may hear low “motorized” sounds. You will be moved out of the CT scanner. The technologist will assist you in getting off the table. Your exams will be interpreted by the radiologist and your physician will receive the results.

Calcium Scoring – EKG leads are placed on the chest, like a normal EKG. The patient is placed into the scanner and an initial scan is taken to set up the machine. A scan is taken through the heart to evaluate for calcium deposits in the arteries around the heart. No contrast is needed for the exam.

Whole Body – The patient is given 2 cups of water to drink for the test before getting on the table. An IV is started in the patients arm. The patient is hooked up to EKG leads for the Calcium Scoring part of the exam and an initial scan is taken to set up the machine. A scan is taken through the heart to evaluate for calcium deposits in the arteries around the heart. No contrast is needed for this part of the exam. The EKG leads are removed and the patient is placed back into the scanner and IV contrast is administered. The scan area includes the neck, chest, abdomen, and pelvis (from the top of the ears through the bladder).

CT Colonoscopy – The patient is given a small injection under the skin of glucagon to help relax the colon 10 minutes prior to the test. The patient is placed on the table and a small tube is inserted into the rectum so that air may be delivered. Air is delivered into the colon to maximize the distention of the intestines for the best visualization. The patient is scanned on their back and then turned onto their stomach for the second part of the exam. No contrast is needed for the exam.

St Francis Hospital Memphis, 5959 Park Ave Memphis, TN 38119

Office: 901-765-3213   Fax: 901-765-1727