Radiopharmaceuticals are oral or injectable forms of radiation that are sometimes used during medical imaging tests. If you are referred for a PET scan in San Antonio , a radiopharmaceutical will be administered before your test. The dose of radiation is low and is safe for most people. Before your test, your doctor will weigh the risk of the test versus the benefits of having it, so you can feel confident that taking the radiopharmaceutical is worthwhile. Here are the facts you need to know about the use of radiopharmaceuticals during medical imaging.
Radiopharmaceuticals leave your body quickly.
During a PET scan, you will take a form of radiopharmaceutical called FDG. FDG is a form of glucose that is radioactive. It is highly controlled and tested for safety and has a half-life of about 110 minutes. As a result, the body expels it quickly. The majority of the FDG completely decomposes in the body, and the rest is removed through urine. Unlike some forms of radioactive medicine, there is no need to be sequestered from your family to protect them from radiation. Approximately 90% of the FDG will be gone from your body before you leave the testing center.
The radiopharmaceutical is absorbed by the organ being tested.
During a PET scan, the radiopharmaceutical that is administered is absorbed by the organ your doctor wants to examine. This makes the organ easier to see and helps to highlight any abnormalities. If you have cancer, using a radiopharmaceutical also allows your doctor to see if a tumor is active, rather than just seeing the structure of it, as you can on other imaging tests.
Some patients cannot use radiopharmaceuticals.
In some cases, allergies prevent patients from being able to use radiopharmaceuticals. You may also not be able to use them during breastfeeding or if you are on medications that could trigger a dangerous interaction. Typically, radiopharmaceuticals are safe during pregnancy, but your doctor will make the decision based on your specific health needs.
If your doctor refers you for a CT scan in San Antonio , you may be wondering what to expect. This medical imaging test can be useful in diagnosing a number of bone and soft tissue issues and may also be used to track the effectiveness of a treatment you are already receiving.
Watch this video to learn more about CT scan technology. CTs use the same technology as X-rays, but rather than taking an image from one direction, they create cross-sectional images. During a CT, the staff at the imaging center will position you on a table so that the X-ray beam can effectively reach the part of the body being evaluated, and the table will slide into a tube that lets the beam move in a circle, taking images from a variety of angles. Generally, the entire process takes about 30 minutes.
Mammograms can be lifesaving for women, but the imaging center you choose matters. At Concord Imaging, we combine cutting-edge technology and cost-effective pricing to give women the access to the most accurate mammography possible. If you are considering where to schedule your next mammogram, here are some of the reasons you should choose Concord Imaging in San Antonio.
Concord Imaging was the first provider in Bexar County to offer digital mammography. We use the Hologic Selenia Dimensions 3D Mammography system, which utilizes the most recent advancedtomographic images. This means that tissue overlap, which can hide abnormalities in less advanced imaging systems, is eliminated, so that you get the most accurate results possible. Using 3D technology, combined with the enhancement of digital imaging, also reduces the risk of false positive results and helps prevent needless biopsies and stress. Using this system, we strive to find breast cancer in its earliest stages, so that treatment is less invasive and more effective.
If you are referred to an imaging center in San Antonio , then you may need contrast materials for your test. Contrast material—sometimes referred to as contrast agents—is used during some X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and ultrasounds. Here are the answers to some of the questions patients frequently have about contrast materials.
How do contrast materials work?
Contrast materials change the way tissue or other structures in the body appear during an imaging test, so that they are easier for the radiologist to view. The way the contrast interacts with the subject of the imaging test helps to highlight abnormalities so that your doctor can diagnose a medical condition or can track the effectiveness of treatment you are already receiving. Contrast materials can be taken orally, intravenously, or rectally. The test you are having will determine the way the contrast is administered.
Do contrast materials cause side effects?
For most people, contrast materials are safe and cause few side effects. In some cases, patients have an allergy to a substance used in the contrast and may experience a reaction. At the imaging center, you will be asked questions about your allergies to try to avoid this kind of interaction. Some patients experience minor nausea after using contrast materials, but any side effects are typically short-lived and mild.
How should I prepare for taking contrast material?
The kind of preparation that is necessary for your imaging test and contrast material depends on the test you are having. In some instances, no preparation is necessary at all. In other instances, you may be asked to avoid eating and drinking for a certain period of time, or, in the case of contrast material that is used rectally, to perform an enema before your test. Your doctor or the staff at the imaging center will give you specific preparation instructions before your test. Be sure to follow them closely to avoid the need to reschedule your test.
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