When we become injured or sick, it can be troubling, but with support and medicine we can treat ourselves and our symptoms. However, when a woman is pregnant and becomes sick or injured, there are more lives than hers to consider during treatment. There are lists of activities and products that pregnant woman have to avoid but should medical imaging be one of these? We are going to discuss the precautions and protections in place to help keep both mommy and baby healthy.
The first thing that probably comes to mind when considering the danger of medical imaging while pregnant is radioactive substances and procedures that utilize this kind of medicine. And when we think of radioactive medical procedures, the first that come to mind are X-rays, CTs and PET-CT scans. All of these procedures do have a radioactive element but before expectant mothers become worried, there are safety guidelines for their benefit.
Expectant mothers should not be barred from accessing potentially life-saving imaging procedures. As such, medical imaging equipment manufacturers and researchers work hard to give the best quality equipment along with the safest for all potential patients. Being the oldest form of medical imaging technology, X-rays have been used by pregnant women since their invention. Having your X-rays performed at a facility like Doctors Imaging in Metairie means that your doctor and our radiologists will seek alternatives to radiation and if unavoidable, to reduce the dosage of radiation exposure. As the rule with all medical procedures, if you think that you might be pregnant, be sure to let your doctor or the radiology technician know.
Other procedures that cause mothers to worry are CT scans and MRIs. CT scans do use X-ray combined with computer technology in order to compose images for medical use. Once again, pregnant women should discuss with their doctor whether CT medical imaging is really needed.
The other procedure we hear the most concern about from expectant mother is having an MRI performed. We love to dispel this fear because MRIs are the safest procedure for pregnant women! Having an MRI during pregnancy is safe because MRIs, or magnetic resonance imaging, only uses the magnetic mechanic components along with radio frequencies in order to map the interior of the body. There is absolutely no radioactive components for mothers to worry about and the detail that can be gleaned from MRIs during pregnancy is both valuable and necessary. At Doctors Imaging, our 3T MRI machine is the most powerful MRI in clinical use and for the women that have problems with claustrophobia and need their MRI performed, we also have an open MRI at our facilities.
We don’t recommend that pregnant or breastfeeding mothers have a PET-CT scan. PET or positron emission tensor imaging CT scans use nuclear medicine in order to highlight differences between healthy and diseased tissue in the body and brain. Because the radioactive drug is administered directly into the body it can be harmful for baby. Physicians will find another diagnostic method for these cases.
We are committed to keeping both mommy and baby as comfortable and healthy as possible at Doctors Imaging. If you have more questions about X-rays, CT scans or MRI during pregnancy, please feel free to call our offices in Metairie at 504-833-8111, Monday through Friday or visit our Services Page for more information.