If your doctor has recommended that you undergo a PET scan in San Antonio , you may be wondering how PET scan technology works. A PET scan is a full body medical imaging scan that allows your doctor to quickly and safely diagnose and treat medical conditions. Your doctor may want you to get both a PET scan and a CT scan on the same day to provide him with the most information possible.
Watch this video for an inside look at PET scan technology. If you understand how and why PET scans are performed, you may not feel as nervous when you head to your medical imaging center.
If you have a medical condition that requires you to undergo repeated doctor’s visits and medical imaging in San Antonio , your medical bills may quickly become very high. Luckily, you are afforded certain rights as a patient that allow you to make financially conservative decisions about any healthcare services you need that aren’t covered by your insurance company. Here are some easy ways that you can manage your medical costs.
Be Proactive in Researching Medical Procedures and Costs
As a patient, you have many resources available to you that allow you to research the cost of any medical procedure that your doctor recommends. For instance, private medical imaging facilities offer low-cost PET scans and CT scans that are often significantly cheaper than those offered by a hospital, yet are the same, if not better, in quality.
Investigate All of Your Health Insurance Options
If you have a chronic or long-term medical condition, you should consider using more than one type of insurance to cover your medical costs. You can purchase supplementary insurance or co-insurance to help you cover the costs of prescriptions, medical imaging procedures, and doctor’s visits. If you are employed, find out if your employer offers a health savings account or flexible spending account; both of these allow you to deposit pre-tax income to pay for medical expenses. If you don’t have insurance or are not employed, find out if you are eligible for Medicaid or the Affordable Care Act.
Don’t Be Afraid to Question the Purpose of Medical Procedures
The medical procedures that your doctor recommends should have a significant medical purpose, and be absolutely necessary to aid him in diagnosing or treating your medical condition. Unfortunately, doctors sometimes refer patients for procedures that may have a cheaper and equal medical alternative, or aren’t completely necessary. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor to explain the medical necessity of any medical procedure that he recommends.
PET scans and CT scans, or Positron Emission Tomography and Computed Tomography scans, are necessary in the diagnosis and treatment of complex diseases such as cancer. Your physician can use these advanced methods of digital imaging to diagnose the severity of the disease, see how far it has progressed, and develop the most effective and comprehensive treatment plan possible. If your physician has recommended a CT scan or PET scan in San Antonio , keep reading to learn more about this technology.
How PET Scans Work
Before your PET scan or CT scan, you’ll be injected with radioactive glucose. Cancer cells are highly metabolic, and will rapidly synthesize this glucose. The PET scanner or CT scanner will provide your physician with information about the location of abnormally high levels of radioactive glucose throughout the body. High levels indicate the presence of cancer cells.
Why PET Scans Are So Effective for Cancer
Cancer causes your body’s cells to multiply even when new cells are not needed. These extra cells form into a tumor, which can be harmless, or cancerous. Cancerous tumors invade and destroy the tissues around them. Cancer cells can metastasize, or break away from the organs they’re attached to and travel throughout the body. Without medical imaging, cancer cells can be difficult to pinpoint, and it’s nearly impossible to determine whether cancer cells have spread to other areas of the body. PET scans provide physicians with this information.
Information PET Scans Can Provide
After undergoing a PET scan or CT scan, your physician can determine the exact size and location of your tumor. This advanced medical imaging technology provides your physician with enough detail, that he can differentiate between benign and malignant tumors. He will be able to discover if the cancer has spread to other areas of the body. He will use this information to develop the most effective treatment plan for the type, size, location, and progression of your cancer. During treatment, a PET scan or CT scan will allow your physician to monitor your progress.
While you probably have a health insurance policy that covers the cost of medical imaging in San Antonio , you may need to meet your deductible before your insurance company covers your medical costs. Depending upon the amount of your deductible, this may seem daunting. If your deductible is $2,000, for instance, you’ll have to pay the first $2,000 of your medical bills out of pocket.
Because you’ll be paying money from your own pocket regardless, you should try to find the most technologically advanced medical imaging center that offers comprehensive medical images and diagnostic testing at the lowest patient cost possible. You can get the same advanced technology and exceptional service offered at a hospital in a convenient outpatient setting, and you’ll likely be paying far less money.
It’s also to your benefit to find a medical imaging center that has the best negotiated medical rates with your insurance company. One private medical imaging center may have negotiated a rate with your insurance company of $500 for an MRI, while another may offer the same (or lesser) quality diagnostic scan for $1,000 or more. Typically, large hospital-affiliated centers are much more expensive. You are the one paying for the imaging tests, so you should decide where you have them performed.
If you’re in need of diagnostic medical imaging, your physician may recommend digital radiography, a form of radiology in San Antonio that utilizes digital X-rays. Radiology is a highly valuable field that allows physicians to discover and evaluate medical issues that can’t be seen via other forms of diagnostic testing, such as blood tests or physical exams. Your physician may also use radiology and digital medical images to develop the most effective treatment plan for your condition.
Watch this video to learn more about the importance of radiology, digital radiography, and medical imaging in diagnostics. Radiology can be used to diagnose and treat a variety of illnesses, diseases, and injuries.
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