Radiology deals with the use of ionizing and nonionizing radiations for diagnosis and treatment of diseases. It is the study of images in the body.
Some of the radiology procedures include:
X-rays are waves of electromagnetic energy. X-rays are the most common and widely employed diagnostic imaging technique. X-rays produce a still picture of bones and organs. X-rays are especially useful in the detection of pathology of the skeletal system, but are also useful for detecting some disease processes in soft tissue. X-rays emitted from the instrument are blocked by dense tissues such as bone and these portions appear white on the image. Metal and special dye used to focus areas of the body will also appear white.
Computed Tomography Scan
A computed tomography (CT) scan is an imaging method that uses a combination of X-rays and special computers to create detailed pictures of the body's tissues and the internal organs. It is a special kind of X-ray machine uses a series of X-ray beams to build up images of the body in slices. The CT scanner is particularly good at testing for bleeding in the brain, for aneurysms, brain tumors and brain damage. A CT Scan can study all parts of the body, such as the chest, abdomen, pelvis, leg, or an arm. It can also study blood vessels, bones and the spinal cord.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scan
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan is an imaging technique that uses a magnetic field, radiofrequency waves and a computer to produce detailed images of internal body structures. This test may be used to diagnose abnormal growths and tumors, blood flow, blood vessels, lymph nodes and organ function. Combining MRIs with other imaging methods can often help the doctor make a more definitive diagnosis. Magnetic resonance images taken after a special dye (contrast) administered into the body may provide additional information about the blood vessels.
Ultrasound imaging is a common diagnostic medical procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce dynamic images (sonograms) of organs, tissues, or blood flow inside the body. It is possible to perform both diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, using ultrasound to guide interventional procedures. This technique typically uses a hand-held probe (called a transducer) that is placed directly on and moved over the body. A water-based gel is used to couple the ultrasound between the transducer and patient. Ultrasonography is used in the treatments for cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, gynecology, obstetrics, ophthalmology, urology, musculoskeletal, tendons, muscles, nerves, and bone surfaces.
Interventional radiology is the technique of diagnosing and treating certain medical conditions using minimally invasive procedures under the guidance of imaging techniques. Interventional radiology procedure can be alternative to the surgical treatment for many conditions and requires minimal hospital stay.
Before the interventional radiology procedure your surgeon may order routine blood tests. You may be suggested not to eat or drink at the night before the day of procedure. You should inform your doctor if you are allergic to dye or any contrast material used in the procedure. Premedications are necessary if you have earlier incidences of allergy to iodine or contrast medium.
Patients with diabetes should not use Glucophage (metformin) for 48 hours after the procedure.
Advantages of interventional radiology
The advantages of interventional radiology are:
- A short hospital stay
- Minimal pain
- Short recovery time
- Does not require general anesthesia
- Less expensive compared to traditional surgery
Some of the common interventional radiological procedures include:
Arthrography is a procedure in which a contrast medium is directly injected into the joint and a series of images are obtained. The contrast medium enhances the image quality, which otherwise is not easily visualized, and helps in better identification of the abnormality or injury. The procedure is performed under a sterile technique and a local anesthesia. The procedure usually causes minimal discomfort and enables the surgeon to diagnose problems within the shoulder, hip, wrist, elbow and ankle joint that appears on the X-ray image.
Arthrography may be advised in patients with a painful and stiff joint, joint injury, rotator cuff tears in the shoulder, baker's cyst behind the knee, meniscus tears, and ligament problems in the wrist.
A bone scan is an imaging test that detects areas of increased or decreased bone metabolism. Bone Scans assist in identifying tumors, infection, or fractures. A radioactive material is injected into a vein, usually in the arm, where it is transported by the bloodstream to the bones.
A bone scan is used to identify abnormalities involving the bone and may include arthritis, bone tumors, fractures, bone infection (osteomyelitis), degenerative disorders, metabolic disorders, and cancer.