Can I Have an MRI During Pregnancy?

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.

4 Things Your Radiologist Wants You to Know

1. You Cannot Get Cancer from Any Imaging Procedure

Any radiologist could tell you this is not an uncommon concern. It would not seem a smart idea for us to get into a field that promoted or produced cancer in our patients, would it? We would be putting ourselves out of business. There are some sensational articles that claim that medical imaging procedures like CTs and PET-CT scans can lead to cancer but these have never been validated and medical imaging is the best method for diagnosis without incisions or exploratory surgery. In fact, medical imaging is how cancer is uncovered so that it can be treated.

2. Being Informed is the Best Way to Feel Comfortable

We understand that having a medical imaging procedure performed can be a nervous experience, especially if you have never had it done before. However, any radiologist would tell you that the more questions you ask and information you search for, the more you will see that there is nothing to be afraid of. But be sure of where you are getting that research from, there is a lot of misinformation in this field.

3. The Quality of Your Images Depends on the Equipment Used

With every procedure, the goal is to look inside the body’s structures and functions and see if there is anything concerning. With every kind of medical imaging procedure, there are different kinds of equipment and hence, qualities of images. For example, an MRI’s quality of images can differ between open and standard MRI machines. There are different slice capabilities in CT equipment that can effect the quality of the images and interpretations. Whenever you are having a medical imaging procedure, see if you can find out about the equipment that will be used. The best equipment means the best images which means the most accurate diagnosis.

4. The Field of Radiology is Always Changing

Like most medical fields, the field of radiology is an ever-changing one. There are always new advances, discoveries and innovations and we as radiologists have to stay updated. What is the standard today might be totally obsolete by tomorrow. But because of the changing nature of this field, that means constant improvement which we consider a benefit for our patients. At Doctors Imaging in Metairie, our radiologists are committed to bringing the state of the art equipment and the latest innovations in our field like open MRIs, digital X-rays, and our new Concussion Imaging Program that uses qDTI, a very advanced MRI technique.

Have more questions about radiology or having your medical imaging procedure? You can call our offices at 504-833-8111 or use our Request an Appointment page to schedule a consultation.

How Do Broken Bones Heal?

Getting a broken bone is never a fun experience. While the human skeleton is strong, it cannot withstand certain weights, angles and collisions. Most people will have at least one bone breakage in their lifetime, more if they participate in sports or extremist hobbies, but what is happening on the inside of our bodies when a bone is broken? It might not be easy to imagine but the human body’s ability to repair and heal is always a point of fascination for the medical community.

To begin, there are classifications for different kinds of breaks. Some breaks can be fatal such as breaks at the neck vertebrae or in the skull. Others can be so small that they aren’t even recognized. Doctors refer to the breakage of a bone as a “fracture” and organize different fractures by the degree of damage and shape of the break.

First they are classified into three main groups: stress, impact and pathological fractures. Stress fractures occur when the bone has been made to withstand too much pressure. Over time, the bone cannot support the pressure and fractures. This is a common for professional athletes who create intense stress on their body for long periods of time. An impact fracture usually occurs when too much weight or pressure has been placed on a bone, like a car accident or a fall. Pathological fractures occur when a person has a condition that causes weakening of the bones. In these instances, normal or slightly strenuous activities cause the bones to break, conditions like osteoporosis or brittle bone disease can make bones fragile and fractures common.

A “greenstick” fracture is a fracture on one side of the bone but not the other. A “complete” fracture refers to a break of a bone into two pieces. A “hairline” fracture means a small but noticeable break in the bone. A “comminuted” fracture means that the bone has been broken in more than one area or crushed. A “bowing” fracture is something that can only happen to children but it is when the bone bows instead of breaks, it is still incredibly painful. Finally, an “open” or “compound” fracture refers to when the bone has come through the skin and can be seen.

There are also fractures that refer to the shape of the fracture like “oblique” fractures which are diagonal fractures across the bone. “Spiral” fractures refer to a break when both halves of a bone are twisted. What is the most commonly broken bone? The clavicle or collarbones. What is the strongest bone in the body? The femur or leg bone is the strongest as well as the longest.

Depending on the kind of fracture one has or one’s pain tolerance levels, most fractures are typically quite painful. The brain is rushing signals of dopamine to begin repairing the damage and adrenaline to keep one alert through the pain. If a limb bone is broken, keep it elevated. This will stop the blood flow to the break. Next, keep the area as still as possible until medical attention can arrive.

Once at a hospital or a medical imaging facility, doctors will likely use X-rays to determine the kind of fracture that has occurred and to make sure the fracture is posing no other internal risk.

X-rays are the oldest method of medical imaging but they are still necessary for treatment. X-rays use radioactive materials to take images of the skeletal structure of the body. While some facilities may be the using the traditional and outdated forms of X-rays, Doctors Imaging only uses advanced digital X-ray capabilities. This allow Doctors Imaging to have clearer images, in turn helping doctors perform better aftercare and make more accurate diagnosis.

Once the fracture has been identified, the bone may need to be set and casted. For some breaks, setting the bone is painful but not difficult. For shattered or joint breaks, sometimes surgery is necessary because the bones need to be fused with a metal pin, that will be adjusted periodically to help repair the bones to their original state.

If you have more questions about bone fractures and their treatment, please visit our X-ray Service Page. If you need to make an appointment for an X-ray, you can fill our Book an Appointment request or call our offices at 504-833-8111 to speak to a representative of Doctors Imaging.

Do You Have Concussion Symptoms?

Concussions (Mild Traumatic Brain Injury or mTBI) have long been a mysterious and worrying injury for doctors to examine. Concussion symptoms can range anywhere from unconsciousness to memory loss to a slight headache. There are such a range of symptoms that it can be a difficult task for physicians to medically diagnose a concussion.

Concussions are unusual for most people but for athletes, some workers, and extreme sport enthusiasts, a concussion is just part of the territory. The problem with this is that as more research is being done on the long-term effects of concussions on professional athletes, we are learning that these bumps on the noggin can have a much deeper consequence. Any kind of traumatic brain injury is cause for concern but now Doctors Imaging has a beneficial new technology that can help determine the degree of brain injury and nerve damage due to a concussion. It’s called Diffusion Tensor Imaging or DTI/MRI.

Doctors Imaging was the first to introduce New Orleans to a 3.0T MRI and now we have added Diffusion Tensor Imaging to our list of services. Where standard MRIs are well-equipped to obtain useful and comprehensive images of brain tissue, DTI is an advanced form of MRI technology that improves diagnostic practices, particularly in the diagnosis and recovery of concussions.

Where most MRIs can tell if there is tissue damage or bleeding, DTI capabilities are able to explore the possibility of nerve damage in very specific areas of the brain’s white matter. Along with internal bleeding, nerve damage is the primary concern for physicians when dealing with a concussed patient. If you were to look at former football players or boxers, you notice that they have a higher prevalence of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, ALS (Lou Gherig’s Disease) and other neurological disorders as they age, and many believe this is from repeated exposure to head and back trauma. DTI MRIs are able to focus on the connecting circuits of the brain and localize  nerve damage. By recognizing this nerve damage, doctors can keep a close eye on their patient and help them during the recovery from their injury.

One side effect that most doctors are very concerned about when they are seeing a concussed patient is axonal injury. Axonal injury is when a brain injury occurs that causes extensive lesions in the white matter tracts in a widespread or localized area. Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is so worrying because it can be indicative of long-term brain deficiency. DAI occurs in almost half of all concussion cases and now with this kind of advanced MRI technology, doctors will be able to make diagnoses and recoveries easier and more beneficial.

Like other MRIs, DTI does not use radiation, is non-invasive and has extremely high success rates. So if you or someone you know has concussion symptoms, be sure to give Doctors Imaging a call and have your DTI appointment made. If you have more questions or would like to speak to a representative at Doctors Imaging, feel free to call at 504-883-8111.

Advantages of the Newest, Top of the Line Radiology Tools

While the education and knowledge of a physician has is critical, the instruments and equipment he or she uses are just as important. Depending on the field a doctor works within, their instruments of choice may differ. Every doctor has their stethoscopes and thermometers but working in the medical imaging field means that you have access to a variety of different machines and have to decide which will provide the best services to your patients.

For many medical imaging facilities, the machines that are most traditional may seem like a safer route. Patients make the common mistake in believing the only way to get effective medical imaging is to use a hospital’s equipment or facilities. In actuality, you could be paying less for the same results when you go to Radiologist owned private facilities like Doctors Imaging. We accept many different kinds of insurance and have the same, if not better, medical imaging equipment for the patient’s convenience.

Doctors Imaging is committed to providing the most comfortable imaging experience for their visitors. Just take a look at some of our outstanding equipment. Many patients come into Doctors Imaging requiring imaging services and yet they are afraid of possible side effects from the radiation component of the machines. Luckily for those in fear, Doctors Imaging is equipped with the latest in digital imaging innovation. Take for instance, the Siemens Digital X-ray. In previous generations, when an x-ray was performed, the body was exposed to mass amounts of radiation to produce a high quality image of the skeletal structures. Now, with equipment like this, there is less radiation involved. Just clear digital images that can see into the body even better than before.

Or for instance, the Siemens 3T MRI. While MRIs do not use radiation at all, the 3T MRI is the strongest MRI machine on the market for patient usage. 3T are the newest and most powerful MRI machines. The “T” in “3T” shows how strong the image quality is of the machine as MRI machines used by others are usually 1.2T and 1.5T. The high image quality corrects for slight movement from the patient, like breathing, and is performed much faster than previous forms of imaging.

For many patients, it is not the fear of radiation that keeps them from getting recommended imaging procedures, it is the fear that comes from the exams. Many patients are claustrophobic and dislike being closed in, so for them an MRI appointment would be much more difficult than an X-ray exam. For these patients, Doctors Imaging offers the Siemens Open MRI. The open portal to the MRI gives patients a bit more room to breathe and helps to combat that uneasiness. If a patient’s breathing becomes too erratic or they cannot stop nervous movement, then the procedure can take twice as long and only yield a handful of helpful results. But patients who desire an open MRI should be aware that the image quality of open MRIs is much lower than that of traditional MRIs.

If state-of-the-art equipment is what a patient is looking for than they need look no further than Doctors Imaging. As opposed to the ultrasounds of yesteryear, Doctors Imaging has 3D and 4D ultrasound capabilities. Ultrasounds use sound waves and computer technology in order to produce and image in real time. In previous generations, the images were always in black and white, with blurry edges and if the child was not in proper placement, there is little to see of the image. With 3D and 4D ultrasounds, doctors and patients can see into their bodies digitally and the movement of blood or fetuses like never before.

Lastly, the Siemens 64 Slice CT is one of the best the imaging world has to offer. The “64 Slice” is in reference to the number of individual layers the machine can examine in one section of the body. This makes it extremely easy to determine things like blockages, plaque buildup and tumors in their beginning stages.

Our equipment, expertise and knowledge is just as, if not better, than most hospitals and we offer the same capabilities for less. That is what makes Doctors Imaging in Metairie the best suggestion for your imaging needs. If you have other questions about our equipment, practices or methods, please contact our offices at 504-883-8111 or ask us a question online.

Increasing Patient Comfort for Medical Imaging Tests

When people need to have medical imaging, they face a variety of emotions. At Doctors Imaging in Metairie, we understand that having these procedures can make patients nervous, especially when thinking about the possible results. This is why we implement a number of different practices in the hopes of making our patients comfortable and secure in their choice to use Doctors Imaging as their imaging facility.

To begin, the patient that has the most information about the procedure often feels the most confident and relaxed. Technicians and physicians often remark that the patients who are the most nervous are simply reacting to a lack of information.. So before coming in for your exam, be sure to look at the Doctors Imaging frequently asked medical imaging questions for a vast array of interactive information concerning medical imaging devices. What you’ll find throughout our website, or by asking our technicians questions, is experienced knowledge and an eagerness to make our patients feel as prepared and comfortable as possible.

At Doctors Imaging in Metairie, we believe that knowledge is power but we also believe it is our responsibility to make our patients as comfortable as possible while in our care. We have a variety of approaches that we manage, all with the same goal of acquiring the best images possible for physicians but more importantly providing patients with the best experience possible as well.

Some patients will feel uncomfortable during the exam portion of the appointment. Many people have a problem with claustrophobic feelings and this phobia can be elevated during these kind of procedures. During exams like CTs and MRIs, patients are placed into the machine and while they are hardly trapped, the feeling of enclosure can be overwhelming for some. In order to combat this problem, doctors and technicians ask that patients be as honest as possible so that the procedure can be done as efficiently as possible. For example, if a patient is feeling particularly nervous or jumpy, they can fidget or make involuntary movements that can create problems concerning the quality of images.

If you are a patient that has a problem with claustrophobia, you have a few different options. At Doctors Imaging, we can play relaxing music while you are having the exam performed in an effort to keep you calm. Or if the patient has a specific type of music they find relaxing, don’t hesitate to ask your technician to play it. Or bring a CD with you.

Other options for claustrophobic patients would be a change in the medical imaging devices. MRIs are often described as enclosed but luckily, an open or standing MRI has been invented. When using this kind of machinery, patients are not totally enveloped in the machine and many have mentioned that they enjoy this kind of exam in comparison. But before you change the kind of instrument you use, you need to know that the quality of images may decrease. During an MRI exam, the magnet that revolves around the patient gives higher quality images because the magnet is able to make a complete rotation. While the images gained from open MRIs are still viable, they may not be of the same quality as traditional MRIs.

If the patient does not want to change the kind of machine used, they could speak to their doctor or technicians about taking a sedative prior to the exam. It would really be best if your primary care physician prescribed this medication simply because they have a deeper knowledge concerning your medical history and other medications you may be taking.

Other options we have for keeping patients comfortable at Doctors Imaging are bringing family members or friends with you during your exam. They may not be able to hold your hand during the entirety of the exam but for many just knowing that the presence of a familiar face is in the vicinity helps to keep their anxiety at a minimum.

At Doctors Imaging in Metairie, we aim to help give you the best imaging experience possible. Not only because we know that the patients are likely nervous about their procedure but because we are dedicated to giving our patients the best quality images. And we believe this is done by keeping the patient informed and comfortable.

To schedule your medical imaging appointment, please use our online scheduling form or call 504-883-8111.

Is It Safe for my Child to Get an X-Ray or other Imaging Procedure?

Due to the nature of children, injuries both minor and major can arise quite often. Whether kids are playing sports, horsing around or happen to be in some kind of accident situation, when they are hurt, every parent wants to make sure that they provide the best care and attention. When a child’s injuries are serious, it is always recommended to have medical attention. But what if a child needs more than just the usual stitches or band-aid? What if they have broken bones or a serious injury?

When a child’s medical needs go beyond the usual, parents are concerned with any additional trauma that their child may have to experience. Obviously, the first concern of any parent is to heal their child but they also don’t want their child to suffer any side effects or complications. This is why many parents are wary of medical imaging for their children.

For those of an older generation or those who aren’t aware of the amazing advances and progress that the medical imaging field has made, the process can sound a tad frightening. Most parents are worried about the effects radiation from these machines and instruments could cause further harm to their children. A recent article has called upon the medical community to create a more standardized method of medical imaging because the lack of regular protocol has led to many alarmed and confused parents.

Dr. Stephen J. Swensen of the Mayo Clinic reports there is an “overuse and misuse of medical imaging among children” and seeks “an appeal to standardize safe and appropriate imaging of children.” Dr. Swensen applies a “right” kind of approach to children and medical imaging meaning that there is a “right exam” for every case, a “right way” for each procedure and a “right radiation dose” for different sized children. This is not to say that if a child breaks their arm they shouldn’t have an X-ray performed. Or if there is a case of pediatric cancer, then CTs should be the test of choice. But because children are still growing, the problem is in the over-usage of medical imaging especially if a facility is not using digital medical imaging. It’s one of the reason that both our X-Ray and Ultrasound equipment both use digital results.

Dr. Swensen’s proposal is not meant to dissuade parents from using medical imaging to help treat their children or to scold doctors and facilities that perform this procedures on children. On the contrary, the proposal is to simply ask these facilities and physicians to take a more personalized approach to their younger patients. While children can bounce back from injury and sickness better than their adult counterparts, physicians are asked to make sure they are following protocol and doing what they can to protect their child patients from any future harm.

Doctors Imaging in Metairie welcomes children of all ages to have their medical imaging needs performed. Like all of our procedures and instruments for the adult patients, children’s medical imaging exams are calibrated to have the lowest radiation settings to ensure both the best images possible but furthermore, the least amount of radiation exposure possible. In addition to our family-friendly staff, we also have the most up-to-date machinery so parents need not worry about radiation when their children come to Doctors Imaging.

If you have other questions about children and medical imaging, feel free to contact Doctors Imaging in Metairie for answers by calling 504-883-8111 or completing our online form.

Worried About Radiation from Medical Imaging?

Decades ago, the concern surrounding radiation and medical imaging was a valid concern. Since the advent of medical imaging with the invention of X-rays in 1895, the process toward finding the best methods and practices of imaging was a bumpy road. In fact, the reason why the procedure is termed “X” ray is because the physician who invented it, didn’t know what exactly was allowing him to see the silhouette of his bones but titled his discovery paper “New Kind of Rays.” Afterwards, scientists and doctors began to wonder if there were other ways to view the internal structures of the body without invasive means.

Luckily for us, ways of seeing deep into the body without a cut have been discovered. And yet, people are still highly concerned when it comes to possible radiation effects. Along with the inventions that allow doctors to see into the body, there has also been a very large increase in the study of radiology and the harm that can be caused. As such, doctors and medical imaging manufacturers operate in the vein of using the least amount of radiation as possible.

Even though more radiation would bring about better images, doctors and the machines that radiologists use are set to the lowest possible radiation settings. These machines have been carefully tested and calibrated so that the exposure to radiation is the least amount possible while still obtaining a clear and useful image. Patients are also outfitted with a lead apron on their bodies so that only the area that is being examined is what is exposed to the radiation. At Doctors Imaging in Metairie, we love looking out for our patients but we also do the same for our staff. Each member of the Doctors Imaging staff is given a film badge that helps to monitor the radiation signals. Since they are around these machines more often than their patients, the chance of exposure is slightly higher. However, we take every precaution possible to protect our patients and staff the best way we can.

It isn’t just our staff and radiologists providing the protection, our equipment does half the work too. Unlike some hospitals and imaging facilities, Doctors Imaging in Metairie only uses digital X-rays, meaning there is an even more miniscule amount of radiation exposure and the images are clearer than the traditional X-rays. Our ultrasound capabilities are also digitized so patients can see what is being examined with clarity and without the worry of radiation exposure. Many people come into their MRI procedure with questions concerning radiation where we kindly remind them that MRIs only use sound waves, magnets and computer technology to create images. There is no radiation involved when having an MRI performed.

The other procedures that do utilize radiation are CTs and PET-CT scans.  CTs are a combination effort of computer technology combined with X-ray capabilities. While CTs may use a small dose of radiation in order to create images, people come into contact with different forms of radiation on a daily basis. As stated earlier, the settings on all of the machines at Doctors Imaging are made for the lowest possible radiation exposure in order to protect the patient. While a PET-CT scanning machine doesn’t use radiation directly, before having the procedure performed, radiologists will administer a small amount of radioactive drug in order to highlight the difference between healthy and diseased tissue. These are the only procedures that would expose a patient to any radiation and we provide the most thorough protections possible.

If you have worries or concerns regarding radiation effects and your medical imaging procedure, feel free to contact Doctors Imaging at any time and speak to a technicians or representative. We know that the key to a successful imaging procedure is if the patient feels comfortable and knowledgeable.

You can get in touch with our experts by calling 504-883-8111 or by contacting us through this form.

A Look at Doctors Imaging’s Medical Equipment

At Doctors Imaging, we like to provide the best service, staff and equipment along with the best price for our patients. We believe that everyone should have access to these machines so that they can be confident in their treatment plans and knowledgeable about their health conditions.

We have a 3T MRI and we offer an open MRI for the patients that feel uncomfortable or claustrophobic in the traditional MRI. A 3T MRI is the most powerful MRI machine for commercial use today and we are the region’s first freestanding center to offer its capabilities. There are other facilities and hospitals that use the 1.5T MRIs, but at Doctors Imaging, we want the most powerful equipment and since insurance companies usually charge the same price no matter what the equipment is, you can have the best equipment and images for a lower price that you would pay at a hospital.

In addition to our MRI machines, we also offer the 64-slice CT machine, a powerful CT machine with the lowest radiation settings possible. With this machine, 64 different “slices” or pictures of the examined area can be provided to doctors allowing them to see further and deeper into the body so they can give a thorough diagnosis and treatment plan. This machine allows for 68% reduction rate in radiation as opposed to many other CT machines on the market. We understand that radiation exposure is a concern for many of our patients which is why we dedicate ourselves to providing the best and safest care possible.

At Doctors Imaging, we also provide digital X-rays so there is less radiation exposure from this as opposed to the traditional X-ray machines. We also offer 3D and 4D ultrasounds so that expectant mothers as well as medical patients can have the most in-depth and detailed images of their babies and bodies available to them. At our facility we also have the GE PET-CT Fusion which is manufactured by one of the most trusted companies on the market.

We want people to know that if you need a medical imaging procedure, you are not required to go to a hospital. Instead you can come to Doctors Imaging in Metairie and have an immediate appointment, almost no waiting time, fast results and a great affordable price.

Visit our Make an Appointment page or call 504-883-8111 for the best days and times for your imaging procedure.  

Common Radiology Myths Debunked – Facts and Answers

At Doctors Imaging, we’ve heard nearly every question and concern from patients. With the proliferation of information available on the internet, it’s becoming a lot more common for patients to come in with questions about confusing or simply incorrect information they found online. With this post, our goal is to clear up some of that information for you.

When people come in for their medical imaging procedures, they feel a number of different emotions. Fear, insecurity, and anxiety are the most commonly described feelings. Some are afraid of what the results will be, others are afraid of a painful procedure, but many patients find themselves worried about the radiation exposure from the machinery involved in procuring internal images.

Myth #1: Radiation from Medical Imaging is Dangerous

Radiation is an important concern. If you are going to a doctor’s office to see if something is wrong, then you likely don’t want to do anything that could hurt you. Doctors Imaging is just as concerned with your safety and wants you to know that they have every possible safeguard in place to protect you and the technicians that work around these machines everyday.

To begin, you should know that radiation is a common element of everyday life. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, “we are surrounded by naturally-occurring radioactive elements in the soil and stones” and the “radioactive particles we take into our bodies through food and water.” Furthermore, we are composed of radiation in our bones and blood and are exposed through consumer products like aluminized watches and ionized smoke detectors, even airplanes give off bits of radiation. Our body is constantly bombarded by bits of radiation but people are still healthy.

This is because radiation can only have negative effects on the body when you are exposed to large doses in an unsupervised environment. At Doctors Imaging, our technicians are selected for their experience and knowledge as well as their patient care. We are committed to making you feel comfortable with your imaging procedure and keeping you informed by answering all of your questions. We minimize radiation in every way possible. If a procedure is important for your health, you should not hesitate to follow your doctor’s recommendations. But feel free to discuss with your doctor or us as to whether there are good diagnostic alternatives available.

Myth #2: Radiation Will Make me Sick

A common question with any imaging procedure is “Can I get sick from the radiation?” And the answer would be no, it would be very rare to have an adverse reaction from the imaging procedures provided by Doctors Imaging in Metairie. We have state of the art equipment and experienced professionals working in our facility to make sure that your health is constantly protected. All of the imaging machines at Doctors Imaging are programmed to have the lowest possible radiation exposure while still providing the clearest images for the doctor and patients viewing.

At Doctors Imaging, we offer a number of imaging procedures including MRIs, X-rays, CT scans, PET-CT scans, and ultrasounds. The only way to be exposed to radiation would be through X-ray and CT machines. MRI and Ultrasound do not use radiation. While X-rays may expose the body to radiation, it is usually limited to a specific area. In addition, the X-ray machines at Doctors Imaging are digital X-rays, which means that the radiation exposure is significantly reduced. Having digital X-rays provides doctors with better images and gives patients the peace of mind that their medical procedures are safe.

The other common way patients are exposed to radiation is with CT machines. CT stands for computed tomography. CTs use computer software along with X-ray capabilities to create cross-sectional images of the body. By doing this, doctors can see deeper into the body’s soft tissues and blood vessels and have clearer images. As stated earlier, the amount of radiation coded into the machine is at the lowest possible setting to insure that the images produced are still of the best quality.

Myth #3: Open and Closed MRIs produce the same images

Some patients ask our technicians about the difference between open and closed MRIs. Open MRIs are low strength and refer to machines that have a large opening so that patients do not feel as enclosed. While this may be more comfortable for some, the images produced in standard high strength MRIs are superior and preferred. By using advanced high field MRI, the machine creates clearer images. Doctors Imaging offers both MRI machines. Whatever the patient decides is best for them will be respected but if you having an imaging procedure performed, it is recommended that you get the best quality images you can. If you are nervous or claustrophobic about any of our imaging equipment, speak with your doctor or our staff about playing calming music or having a sedative available.

If you’ve heard any other “facts” about Medical Imaging you’d like us to double-check, post a message on our Facebook or tweet at @DoctorsImaging and we’ll answer them next time.