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.