Radiology and medical imaging are intertwined in medical diagnostics. Radiology is a branch of medicine that uses radiant energy in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Practitioners of radiology are called radiologists, and they utilize imaging technology in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.
Medical imaging is a technology which is used by radiologists, particularly for diagnostic purposes. Although the word “radiology” sounds like it involves radiation, that is not always the case – for example, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and ultrasound do not use radiation in their medical imaging technologies.
A radiographer is a medical professional who performs the scanning on patients. Radiologists are medical doctors who interpret the results of the medical imaging and pass along their findings to the physicians who ordered the tests. Radiologists can also determine the effectiveness of treatment by monitoring the results of further tests once treatment has been administered.
Types of Diagnostic Radiology and Medical Imaging
The most common medical imaging technologies used by radiologists are the following:
- X-ray – This technology uses low-dose radiation and a specialized plate to produce images of inside the body, especially the bones and joints. This is the most frequently used medical imaging technology thanks to its quick results and relatively inexpensive cost. Digital X-rays use less radiation and are employed for the same purposes.
- Computerized tomography (CT) scan – This utilizes X-ray technology to take pictures of every angle of your body. A CT scan provides 3-D, highly detailed information which is useful not just for diagnosis but also for planning and monitoring treatment. A CT scan can detect bone and muscle disorders, masses, tumors, injuries, and internal bleeding.
- Magnetic resonance imaging – MRI utilizes a large, powerful magnet and radiofrequency waves to create 3-D images of organs and tissues inside your body. An MRI can detect tumors, injuries, lesions, and infections. One attractive benefit of this type of medical imaging technology is that MRI uses no radiation.
- Mammography – This uses low-dose radiation to detect breast cancer in its early stages. Digital mammography requires a much lower radiation dose to produce high-quality images of breast tissue.
- Nuclear Medicine – This type of medical imaging uses radioactive tracers injected into a vein in order to produce images of the internal organs and structures. Nuclear medicine is used to diagnose some cancers, gastrointestinal issues, and endocrine disorders.
- Ultrasound – This technology produces live, real-time pictures onto a computer screen as the radiographer, or technician, moves the ultrasound probe around the area of the body in question. Like MRI, ultrasound uses no radiation – which is why it is so often used for pregnant women in looking at their baby in utero.
Medical Imaging Center in Palm Beach County
Since 1980, our medical team here at Independent Imaging has provided diagnostic imaging for patients across Palm Beach County. Our fellowship-trained radiologists and radiology technicians are skilled at getting the results your doctor needs so you can be diagnosed accurately. Our imaging centers are fully accredited by the American College of Radiology, and we follow strict guidelines in all of our procedures.
To schedule a screening test at Independent Imaging, call us today at (561) 795-5558 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to serving you.