There are many hospitals and clinics that offer radiology services to residents of San Antonio and the surrounding areas. But only Concord Imaging prides itself on building close relationships with our patients and their doctors. At our imaging center, our respect for our patients is inherent in all that we do-from our beautifully designed, serene waiting area to our separate, private Women’s Imaging area.
When you arrive at our imaging center, a radiologist will welcome you and help you feel at ease with your imaging exam. If you have any questions or concerns, please allow us to address them. Our radiologists emphasize the importance of involving the patient directly in his or her own care and collaborating closely with the patient’s doctor to facilitate the administration of appropriate medical services. Many of our patients return to our imaging center for subsequent exams because of our personal touch and commitment to quality. But we’re also an affordable choice. We understand that high premiums can be an obstacle to quality healthcare and we’re determined to resolve this problem by offering low rates to our valued patients.
If you’re a woman who is 40 years or older, or younger with a high risk of breast cancer, then your doctor will likely refer you to an imaging center for a mammogram. Mammograms use X-ray technology to create images of the internal structures of the breasts for the purpose of identifying abnormalities that may indicate breast cancer. Mammograms have long been considered to be the gold standard of early breast cancer detection and in recent years the technology has undergone some updates. If you’ve been referred to an imaging center for a mammogram, consider looking for a provider that offers 3D mammograms near San Antonio.
Understanding the Technology
A radiologist can perform a 3D mammogram at the same appointment as a 2D mammogram. To produce 3D images, the X-ray arm sweeps over the breast to take images from multiple angles. This information is transmitted to a computer, which produces 3D images in one millimeter “slices.” These thin slices allow the radiologist to scrutinize the breast tissue at different depths and multiple angles. This technology is FDA-approved. It does involve a slightly higher dose of radiation than 2D mammography alone. However, the test only takes a few seconds longer than 2D mammography.
Improving Detection Rates
Although this technology is still new, it’s already being hailed as a major innovation in the fight against breast cancer . More studies are needed to allow healthcare providers to assess the long-term outcomes. However, the preliminary research indicates that 3D mammography improves the detection rates of breast cancer. This means that more women can get the cancer treatments they need as early as possible. Early breast cancer treatment is associated with a higher survival rate. It also lends itself to tissue-sparing cancer treatments. For instance, a woman may be able to have a lumpectomy instead of a mastectomy.
Another advantage of 3D mammography is that it appears to reduce callback rates. A callback occurs when the radiologist identifies a suspicious area on the mammogram and needs to call the patient back for additional testing. Callbacks can be needlessly frightening for women and they can lead to invasive tests such as biopsies.
Radiology plays a central role in diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. Doctors rely on radiology centers near San Antonio to conduct imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI scans, mammograms, and many other medical imaging exams. When you watch this video, you’ll get a basic overview of the many ways radiology affects healthcare around the world.
This radiologist explains that radiology is a specialty branch of medicine that can be used on an inpatient, outpatient, or emergent basis. Doctors rely on radiology exams to explore the cause of symptoms, confirm diagnoses, conduct treatment planning, and monitor the body’s response to treatment. Some medical imaging exams, like X-rays and mammograms, use radiation. Others, like ultrasounds, do not. If you’re expecting to have a medical imaging test performed, your doctor or radiology technologist can help you learn what to expect from the exam.
Your doctor may refer you to an imaging center for a positron emission tomography (PET) scan. This is a type of diagnostic imaging study that allows your doctor to study diseases and bodily responses. When you make an appointment for your PET scan at the San Antonio-area facility, you may hear the term “nuclear medicine.” Nuclear medicine is a specialized branch of radiology that involves the use of very small amounts of radioactive material. This may sound unsettling; however, you can rest assured that your PET scan will be painless.
What PET Scans Are Used For
You may be referred to a radiologist for a PET scan for a variety of reasons. PET scans play a central role in diagnosing and staging cancer. They can also be used to assess how effectively a particular treatment is killing cancer cells. PET scans can allow for the evaluation of heart and brain function, and they can help doctors assess the flow of blood to the heart. A doctor may order a PET scan when a patient has suffered a heart attack or is suspected of having brain tumors. It is even possible to use data from PET scans to pinpoint the early changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
How PET Scans Work
First, the radiologist injects radioactive glucose into the patient . This is also known as a radiotracer. This substance gives off radioactive emissions, which are detected by the imaging device. The data are translated into images for evaluation. PET scans may sometimes be combined with computed tomography (CT) scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. This practice is referred to as image fusion. By combining information from two exams, patients may benefit from more accurate diagnoses.
What Happens During the Test
The imaging center provides patients with PET scan prep instructions. You’ll need to disclose your health information, such as whether you’re pregnant, could be pregnant, or are breastfeeding. Provided you are not a diabetic, you’ll be asked to consume nothing but water for several hours before the appointment. During the test, you’ll lie comfortably on an exam table as the radiotracer is injected. After about an hour, you’ll be moved into the scanner. A PET scan takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete.
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