Ultrasound uses sound waves and not radiation. Ultrasound has been used for more than 80 years, and there is no proven risk to either Mother or Baby.
Ultrasound in pregnancy can be used from a foetal age of 6 weeks; and is used to demonstrate the foetus (such as size, gestational age and anatomy) and the position of the placenta in the uterus.
Hamilton Radiology takes care to provide quality ultrasound equipment, and minimize ultrasound examination time and number of ultrasound examinations required during pregnancy.
CT or computerized tomography is an examination using X-rays that allows detailed cross sectional images of body areas. The scanner (see CT Section) has a table lying through a large metal "doughnut" . The bed will move until the area to be examined lies inside the circle. The images taken by the CT are entered into a sophisticated computer system from where the technologist can select images for printing. Some areas may not be seen clearly without the assistance of contrast material, which can be taken orally or via an injection.
Contrast agents are materials used to show areas where there is little differentiation of soft tissue areas. The most frequently used contrast agents are barium (taken mixed with water) and iodine-based media. Patients who have a history of allergies, asthma or previous reaction to a contrast media should discuss this with their Doctor, and when making the appointment at Hamilton Radiology.
MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. MRI uses a magnetic field and a sophisticated computer system to give detailed images of the body. It is used widely for soft tissue areas such as your brain, tendons and muscles and spine.
You may visit the Midland MRI website for more detailed information.
An x-ray, is the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging.
X-ray images are created by passing controlled amounts of radiation through the body. The radiation exiting from the body strikes a digial x-ray plate capturing this energy, the image is detected with a light camera and an image created with the aid of computer software.
X-ray imaging is the fastest and easiest way for a Doctor to view and assess broken bones and other skeletal abnormalities. At least two films are taken of a bone, and often three films if the problem is around a joint (knee, elbow, or wrist). X-rays are also taken of the Chest and Abdomen.
You may be asked to change into a gown before your examination. Clothing free of zips, buttons can often be x-rayed through.
You will also be asked to remove jewellery, glasses, and any metal objects that could obscure the images, since those show up on x-ray.
Women should always inform their doctor or the medical imaging technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.
The technologist positions the patient, places a flat image plate under the table or directly under the area of the body to be imaged. Depending on the body site, imaging can be performed standing, sitting or lying down.
The technologist goes to a small adjacent room and asks the patient to hold very still without breathing for a few seconds.
The radiographic equipment is activated, sending a beam of x-rays through the body to expose the film. The technologist then repositions the patient for another view, and the process is repeated. Usually, an x-ray examination takes less than 15 minutes.
When the x-rays are completed you will be asked to wait a short time until the technologist reviews the images to determine if more are needed.
In most cases, x-ray imaging is painless. Sometimes, to get a clear image of an injury such as a possible fracture, you may be asked to hold an uncomfortable position for a short time. Any movement could blur the image and make it necessary to repeat the procedure to get a useful, clear picture.
A radiologist, who is a specialist doctor experienced in bone x-ray and other radiology examinations, will analyze the images and send a written report with his or her interpretation to the patient's referring doctor.