When your doctor refers you for medical imaging tests, you may be hesitant to have the procedure because of the expense. Even with your insurance coverage, co-pays and deductibles can make medical imaging a prohibitively expensive process. Fortunately, help is available from Concord Imaging. At our imaging center in San Antonio, we offer CT scans and other imaging tests at a lower cost than other providers. Here is what you need to know.
At Concord Imaging, we don’t think that price tags should interfere with people’s health. That is why we are proud to offer CT scans at our imaging center at a cost that is lower than that of most hospitals and other medical facilities. In addition to your affordable costs, we offer same-day scheduling, courteous staff support, and the highest-possible quality imaging procedures. When you are referred for medical imaging, from CT scans to MRIs, choose Concord Imaging, so you can get the healthcare you need without the cost compromising your care.
If you’ve been referred to an imaging center in San Antonio to have a thyroid uptake and scan, your doctor might suspect that you have an overactive thyroid, thyroid cancer, or other abnormalities of the thyroid gland. This test is a type of nuclear medicine , which means it relies on the introduction of a radioactive material into the body. Nuclear medicine imaging scans tend to require more preparation than other types of radiology exams.
Before the Scan
You may need to have blood tests performed in the days leading up to your appointment at the imaging center. These tests will measure the level of thyroid hormone in your body. You might be asked to refrain from eating for several hours prior to having the scan. If you have diabetes, be sure to ask if these instructions need to be modified. It’s advisable to leave metallic accessories such as jewelry at home on the day of your appointment. These items can interfere with the test. You should also inform the technologist of your medical history, especially whether you are pregnant, could be pregnant, or are breastfeeding. Let the provider know if you’ve had another test with contrast material performed recently, have any allergies, or are taking medications or supplements. Make a note of any substances you consume that contain iodine, such as kelp, seaweed, multivitamins, or cough syrup.
During the Exam
To perform a thyroid scan, the radiologist will first inject the radiotracer and then position you on the exam table. A gamma camera will take images of your thyroid gland from multiple angles. It’s important to hold still during this time. For a thyroid uptake, you’ll be asked to swallow radioactive iodine in a capsule or a liquid. This substance may be ingested several hours to 24 hours before the test. For this test, you’ll sit comfortably in a chair as the probe is positioned over your neck to take the images. Some patients may be asked to return to the imaging center at intervals of four, six, and 24 hours after ingesting the radiotracer.
After the Appointment
Most patients can resume their normal activities immediately. It’s important to follow any additional instructions your provider might give you. Drink plenty of water during the rest of the day to help flush the radiotracer out of your body.
Radiologists in San Antonio routinely take X-rays to look for many different health problems, including bone fractures, blood clots, and tumors. If you have concerns about the safety of X-rays , feel free to discuss them with a radiology specialist at the imaging center. You may be reassured to know that X-rays help diagnose more cases of cancer than they cause. In addition, the amount of radiation used in modern X-rays is minimal.
You can learn more about X-rays by watching this informative video. You’ll learn how X-rays were first discovered and how they were initially used for an incredible range of purposes, including non-medical activities. Fortunately, modern radiologists know a great deal more about using X-rays safely.
The gallbladder is a small sac that stores bile, which the digestive system uses to break down fats. The gallbladder can be affected by various medical problems. Some of the most common are gallstones and inflammation. When patients experience possible symptoms of gallbladder problems, such as severe upper abdominal pain, they may be referred to an imaging center in San Antonio for diagnostic testing. The radiology specialist might perform more than one diagnostic imaging test for the doctor to review.
Patients may be asked to have an abdominal X-ray if the doctor suspects that gallstones may be causing the symptoms. X-rays use a small amount of radiation to produce images of the internal structures. In some cases, the radiology specialist may introduce a contrast dye into the patient’s body to produce clearer images. Unfortunately, X-rays cannot assist with the diagnosis of all types of gallstones—only those that contain calcium. Calcium-containing gallstones are black pigment stones and brown pigment stones, which may be found in the gallbladder and the bile duct, respectively.
Due to the limitations of X-rays in diagnosing gallstones, patients are more likely asked to have an ultrasound exam. Unfortunately, this exam also has its limitations; it isn’t as able to clearly detect gallbladder inflammation. To perform an ultrasound, the technologist will ask the patient to lie on an exam table. A water-based gel is applied to the skin over the area of the body that needs to be examined. A transducer, which is a handheld device, is passed over the skin. The transducer emits sound waves into the body. As the sound waves bounce back, they are analyzed and used to produce real-time images.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
This imaging scan can be helpful in diagnosing gallstones in the bile duct, particularly large gallstones. Patients might also have an MRI if they are suspected of having biliary tract cancer. MRIs do not use radiation. Instead, this exam uses a powerful magnetic field and radio waves to create clear medical images. Since patients will lie within the magnetic field during the exam, it’s imperative that they inform the technologist if they have any metal objects in their bodies. These might include pacemakers, shrapnel, surgical screws, and implants.
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