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.