Nuclear medicine testing uses a radioactive material to see how the body is processing substances in order to find areas of abnormal processes. Before you undergo a nuclear medicine procedure, your imaging center in San Antonio will give you instructions to help you prepare for your test.
In most cases, there is no special preparation required for nuclear medicine tests. However, the location that is being studied will determine the kind of preparation you need to complete. For instance, if your doctor wants to study your gall bladder, your medical imaging team may ask you to avoid eating before the test so that there are no obstructions. In other cases, you may need to drink extra water before arriving at the imaging center. Generally, you can take all of your medications as normal, but if you have diabetes, alert your imaging center, particularly if you are asked to skip a meal, so that your blood glucose levels can be managed accordingly.
MRI scans are not painful, but many patients still dread the thought of them. Because MRIs generally involve lying completely still on a table that slides into an imaging machine, patients can be overwhelmed by fears of claustrophobia. Fortunately, there are many steps anxious patients to calm their nerves when they are scheduled for an MRI scan in San Antonio . Follow this advice to make your MRI, or any medical imaging test, as comfortable as possible.
Tell the MRI Team
If you are nervous about your MRI, be sure the medical imaging team is aware of your fears. They can answer any questions you have and go slowly to be sure you are as comfortable as possible during each step of the scan. Any time you have a concern during the MRI, use the intercom to communicate with the technologist. Many people find that simply hearing someone’s voice and feeling that connection to someone outside of the machine makes them feel calm. Keep in mind that your technologist is there for your comfort and peace of mind. He or she will reposition you if you are uncomfortable, and if you simply can’t complete the test, the technician will gladly help you out of the machine.
Distraction can be a powerful tool when you’re fearful about your MRI. Many MRI operators offer headphones so you can listen to music during the test. Take advantage of the headphones to block the sound of the machine and to take your mind off the small space. Try to close your eyes and concentrate on the songs instead of the test to get your mind off your fear.
Be Kind to Yourself
Many people are fearful of MRI tests, so if you are feeling anxious, you’re not alone. Don’t compound your stress by trying to ignore your feelings or berating yourself for your anxieties. Ask for as much help you as you need and go as slowly as you need to avoid introducing unnecessary stress for yourself into the process.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Computed Tomography scans, or MRIs and CT scans, are both medical imaging tests used for diagnostic purposes and to evaluate the effectiveness of treatments. Although they may seem similar, these two tests are actually very different and cannot be used interchangeably. When your doctor refers you to radiology in San Antonio , how does he or she determine which test is best for you? Here are the factors he or she will consider.
The condition you have or your suspected diagnosis will play a major role in helping your doctor choose between an MRI and CT scan for your imaging tests. For instance, if your doctor suspects you have a problem that involves your muscles or bones or that you have a blood clot or bleeding on the brain, a CT scan is usually the preferred imaging test. On the other hand, injuries that involve ligaments or tendons and spinal cord disorders are just a few of the conditions that are more easily identified on an MRI. In some cases, your doctor will order the imaging test he or she believes will give be most useful and then order a different test if the first one doesn’t produce sufficient answers.
Structure To Be Imaged
The structure that your doctor wants to see also impacts the kind of imaging test you receive. CT scans are particularly effective when your doctor wants a closer look at your bones, though tissue and organs are also visible. MRI scans are generally better for seeing soft tissue and organs in great detail. It is easier to see differences in healthy tissue and abnormal tissue using MRI imaging. Your doctor will determine which kind of scan will produce the best imagines of the structure he or she is trying to see.
In rare cases, patients may be unable to have a certain kind of imaging test. For instance, someone may have an allergy to contrast dye or be unable to be exposed to the radiation of a CT scan. In these cases, your doctor will choose the safest test for you.
A positive emission tomography scan, or PET scan, is a useful tool for cancer diagnosis and treatment planning. PET scans give your doctor a picture of how the tissues in your body are working and what they look like, so that abnormal areas are easily seen. If you are scheduled for a PET scan in San Antonio , watch this video to learn what to expect.
During a PET scan, you will be given a small amount of radioactive material before undergoing a body scan. The radioactive material will cause cancer cells to appear differently on the images than healthy cells. Using this information, your doctor can see cancerous cells, diagnose the stage of your cancer, and determine how well you cancer treatment is working. A PET scan can be combined with a CT scan or other radiology procedure for the most accurate imaging results.
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