When it comes to medical imaging tests, radiation-based technologies are not the only option. There are a variety of alternative procedures that don't involve ionizing radiation, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound. Interventional radiologists are doctors who use images such as computed tomography, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, and fluoroscopy to help guide procedures. These images are useful for the doctor when inserting catheters, cables, and other small instruments into the body, allowing for smaller incisions (cuts).It is important to note that very low doses of radiation exposure during imaging procedures carry potential short- and long-term risks.
During the procedure, a protective lead shield will often be placed to prevent other areas of the body that don't need imaging from being exposed to radiation. Ionizing radiation can damage cellular DNA, but in the low amounts used in each diagnostic imaging procedure, cells can normally repair themselves.
Medical imagingprocedures deliver beams of X-rays, a form of ionizing radiation, to a specific part of the body and create a digital image or film that shows the internal structures of that area, such as bones, tissues, and organs. To ensure that you are not exposed to more radiation than is necessary in diagnostic imaging studies, it is important to keep a record of diagnostic imaging procedures and make sure that every healthcare provider or specialist you see receives the results. These procedures only deliver radiation to the area that needs imaging, protecting all other parts of the body, and they should always use the least amount of radiation needed to create a good quality image (called “as low as possible”, ALARA).
You and your healthcare provider will select the best type of imaging procedure for your situation and ensure that the potential health benefits outweigh the possible risks of the procedure. Johns Hopkins Medicine offers a wide variety of imaging tests, including breast imaging, bone density scans (DEXA), positron emission tomography (PET) scans, ultrasounds and wellness exams. X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation that can penetrate or pass through the human body and produce shadow-shaped images of bones and some organs. Doctors consider medical records, tests, other test results, and radiation dose when deciding on a research method. An MRI scanner is a highly specialized machine and may not be available in some imaging centers or in the emergency rooms of other hospitals. Healthcare providers can use these images to make diagnoses, find out what's causing your health problem, or sometimes to guide treatment. In conclusion, there are alternatives to using radiation-based technologies for performing medical imaging tests.
It is important to keep track of all diagnostic imaging procedures and make sure that every healthcare provider or specialist you see receives the results. The best type of imaging procedure should be selected based on your situation and ensure that the potential health benefits outweigh the possible risks of the procedure.