This form of diagnostic imaging is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. This type of radiology exam is the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging. Diagnostic imaging with x-rays involves exposing part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of your body.X-rays are commonly taken of the chest and bones. A chest x-ray is often used to evaluate the lungs, heart, and chest wall. Some conditions this can help diagnose are:
Bone x-rays are often performed to help:
An x-ray usually requires no special preparation.
Computed tomography (CT) is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions using cross-sectional images.CT imaging combines special x-ray equipment with computers to produce multiple images of the inside of the body. CT scans of internal organs, bones, soft tissue and blood vessels provide greater clarity and show more details than routine x-ray exams.
CT scans help diagnose problems such as cancers, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, appendicitis, trauma and musculoskeletal disorders. For instance, a CT scan is often the preferred method for diagnosing different types of cancer because the image allows a physician to confirm the presence of a tumor, measure its size and exact location, and determine the extent of the tumor's involvement with other nearby tissue.
Physicians often use a CT imaging examination to:
At Samaritan Hospital ultrasound imaging is performed with state-of-the-art equipment that produces clear images for the radiologist and patient. Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, is a noninvasive test that exposes part of the body to high-frequency sound waves, which produces a picture of the inside of the body.
Unlike x-rays, ultrasound exams do not use ionizing radiation. Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show the structure and movement of internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels.
Ultrasound imaging is a helpful way of examining many of the body's organ tissue. Some examinations are:
At Samaritan, Doppler ultrasound study can be performed as part of an ultrasound examination. Doppler ultrasound is a special technique that evaluates flow through blood vessels, including the body's major arteries and veins in the abdomen, arms, legs and neck.
Doppler ultrasound images can help the physician see and evaluate:
When an ultrasound is performed, the patient often lies face-up on an examination table. The sonographer (ultrasound technologist) must use a clear water-based gel on the area of the body being studied to help the transducer make secure contact with the body. The sonographer will then press the transducer firmly against the skin to see the area from many angles.
Learn how to prepare for an ultrasound exam on our MRI page
Do not eat or drink anything after midnight on the night before the exam. Do not drink carbonated beverages for 24 hours before the exam. Consume a fat-free dinner the night before the exam. Do not smoke or chew gum on the morning of the test.
You should try to have a full bladder at the time of the exam. One hour before the exam, empty your bladder. Then drink 32 ounces of water (no carbonated drinks) in a 15-minute period. You should be done drinking the water 45 minutes before your appointment.
No prep is necessary.