If you’ve been referred to Concord Imaging Center in San Antonio for nuclear medicine, you probably have some questions about what to expect. This kind of medical imaging test might sound intimidating, but in reality, it is virtually painless and involves no more radiation than a typical X-ray.
When you go in for a nuclear medicine imaging test, you will receive an injection of a radiopharmaceutical substance. The needle prick is the only part of the test that causes even mild discomfort. After the injection, you will wait a specified amount of time for the substance to travel to organs that are being tested. When it is time for the scan, you will be asked to remain still so that the images are as clear as possible. Depending on the reason for your test, the scan will take between 20 and 45 minutes. After your test, any small amount of radiation in your body will be expelled through urine and stool for up to a few days after the scan.
Concord Imaging in San Antonio performs 3D mammograms on women of varying ages. The age at which you’ll have your first mammogram depends on your doctor’s recommendations. Your doctor will consider the current guidelines and your individual risk factors, such as your age. Of course, if you or your doctor detect potential signs of breast cancer, such as a lump in your breast or underarm area, then you should visit the imaging center to have a diagnostic mammogram right away, regardless of your age.
Otherwise, the American Cancer Society recommends that women ages 45 to 54 receive a screening mammogram annually, but women ages 40 to 44 should have the option to get annual exams if they wish. At age 55, women may choose to have mammograms yearly or every 2 years. As long as women are in good overall health and are expected to live a decade or longer, they can continue receiving these screening tests. Your personalized screening recommendations, as designed by your doctor, may vary depending on whether you’re a cancer survivor, whether you have a family history of breast cancer, and whether you have certain lifestyle risk factors of breast cancer.
Computed tomography, or CT scans , use x-rays to develop highly detailed, cross-sectional images of the body. Compared to conventional x-rays, CT scans can depict soft tissues, bones, blood vessels, and organs with impressive clarity. Before you get a CT scan in San Antonio, call the imaging center and ask whether there is anything you should do to prepare for your appointment.
CT imaging is painless and safe.
CT scans, also called CAT scans, are non-invasive tests that don’t cause any pain. Some patients need to receive contrast material before the scan begins. If the contrast dye is given intravenously, you’ll feel a slight pinch when the needle is inserted. The discomfort is only temporary. Radiology specialists are committed to maintaining the highest standards of patient safety. There is always a slight risk associated with any type of radiation, but CT scans are widely considered safe. However, if you’re receiving contrast dye, the technologist will need to know about reactions to previous contrast dye injections, allergies to medications or shellfish, diabetes, or asthma, or conditions that affect the kidneys, heart, or thyroid.
It’s important to remain as still as possible.
Once the CT technologist positions you on the exam table, he or she will go into a separate room to begin the exam. At this point, you must remain as still as you can, since even slight movements can cause the images to be blurry. If the technologist needs to image your chest or abdomen, you’ll likely be asked to hold your breath for brief periods of time.
Special considerations apply to expecting and breastfeeding mothers.
Since CT scans use x-ray technology, it is not safe to have these exams during pregnancy. Instead, the doctor will likely request an ultrasound, which uses sound waves and doesn’t harm the unborn baby. Always let the staff know if you’re pregnant, or if there’s a possibility that you might be pregnant. If you’re breastfeeding, you can receive a CT scan. However, you’ll be unable to breastfeed for 24 hours afterward if you receive contrast dye material. You can pump and store extra breast milk in anticipation of this waiting period. To maintain your milk production, you can continue to pump breast milk during the 24-hour period. However, you’ll need to discard it instead of feeding it to your baby.
Concord Imaging in San Antonio is proud to provide compassionate services to patients throughout our community. We are a freestanding imaging center that is committed to making our state-of-the-art technology accessible and affordable. Even if you do have health insurance, affordability is a key factor when choosing an imaging center. Many health insurance plans feature high deductibles, which means you could end up all or most of the cost of an exam out of pocket.
Concord Imaging is different. We’re able to offer low-cost CAT scans and PET scans, thanks to our low contracted rates with our patients’ insurance carriers. Remember that even if your physician refers you to a different imaging center, you have the right to request a referral to us instead. Our affordability is just one reason why so many patients in San Antonio choose our imaging center. Our entire staff is firmly dedicated to giving each patient the best possible care. You’ll find that it truly does make a difference to have diagnostic testing done by courteous, caring staff within a pleasant ambience.
Positron emission tomography (PET) scanners are based on incredibly complex technology. Before you head over to the radiology center near San Antonio for your PET brain scan , take a few minutes to watch this featured video. It explains that the nuclear medicine technologist will inject a specially prepared, radioactive tracer material into your bloodstream before the test. Then, your exam table will slide into the PET scanner.
This video explains that the radioactive atoms inside the tracer give off positrons, which are subatomic particles. When a positron strikes an electron, the particles destroy each other and release energy as gamma rays that travel in opposite directions out of the patient. The PET scanner detects the gamma rays and calculates the exact position of the tracer. The results allow the radiologist to examine a precise, 3D image of the bodily structure.
Positron emission tomography (PET) scans are sophisticated medical exams that allow radiologists to capture detailed information about the function of the organs and tissues. If you’re expecting an upcoming visit to an imaging center in San Antonio for a PET scan , it’s a good idea to learn a little bit about what you can expect. Additionally, you should call the imaging center ahead of time to find out how you should prepare for your appointment.
You may be asked to avoid strenuous exercise for a couple of days and to avoid eating for a few hours prior to your appointment at the imaging center. You should inform the radiologist about your underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes, prior allergic reactions, recent hospitalizations or illnesses, or claustrophobia. Let the radiology professional know if you’re pregnant, could be pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
Upon your arrival, you’ll be asked to change into a hospital gown. You’ll receive an injection of a radioactive drug or radiopharmaceutical. Most often, PET scans involve the use of FDG. This is a form of glucose or sugar that is radioactive. The amount of glucose that is used is not sufficient to cause any sort of problems for diabetic patients. The slight pinprick you’ll feel when the injection is administered is the only discomfort that occurs during a PET scan.
After receiving the injection, you’ll be asked to rest for a period of time. This gives the glucose some time to work its way through your body. Then, you’ll be positioned on a padded, moveable exam table. This table slides into the PET scanner. You’ll be asked to remain as still as possible during the test, which typically takes about 30 minutes. Some patients undergo a CT scan combined with a PET scan.
You can return to your usual activities after you leave the imaging center. The radiopharmaceutical is eliminated from your body relatively quickly, but you’ll be asked to drink plenty of water to help flush it out.
Medical imaging is an incredibly valuable tool that physicians can use to diagnose and monitor diseases. Nuclear medicine , a form of imaging, gives doctors a real-time look at how various organs are working. If your physician refers you for nuclear medicine in San Antonio, watch this video to learn about the value of this form of medical imaging.
Nuclear medicine gives physicians a view of how various organs process normal substances and indicates areas of abnormal functioning. Through nuclear medicine imaging, your physician can diagnose a range of conditions, including many types of cancer, and evaluate the effectiveness of any treatment you are currently undergoing. This information helps him or her make an informed decision about your treatment plan to give you the best possible care.
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.
Do you have an upcoming appointment for nuclear medicine in San Antonio ? Nuclear medicine is a specialized type of medical imaging that allows doctors to measure the way your body is processing substances to identify abnormal activity. Patients undergoing nuclear medicine tests are exposed to the same amount of radiation as they would be during a standard X-ray.
During a nuclear medicine test, you will receive a small dose of a radioactive substance by mouth or intravenously. This substance collects in your organs. Next, a gamma camera is used to create medical images by detecting energy emitted by the radioactive substance. Through these medical images, your doctor will be able to determine if your organs are functioning effectively. Sometimes, it may be necessary to take a series of images to see how the organ being evaluated functions over an extended period. Nuclear medicine tests are painless and can usually be completed within 45 minutes.
Nuclear medicine is a form of medical imaging that uses radiology and radiography to diagnose and treat various illnesses and diseases. These medical imaging procedures require the use of a radioactive substance, or tracer, to convey information to doctors about the function of the organs, tissues, and bones. If your doctor has recommended that you undergo a PET scan or other diagnostic procedure that utilizes nuclear medicine in San Antonio , keep reading for some helpful information.
What Are the Benefits of Nuclear Medicine?
Medical imaging that uses nuclear medicine provides unique information to doctors that is often not available using other forms of medical imaging. This includes details about the function and structure of the body. Nuclear medicine is relatively low-cost, highly precise, and is much less invasive and risky than exploratory surgery. Nuclear medicine medical imaging can help doctors diagnose and treat illnesses and diseases much more quickly, often before symptoms even appear.
How Is Nuclear Medicine Commonly Used?
Doctors, radiologists, and medical imaging specialists use nuclear medicine to gain information and insight about the structure and function of the body’s organs, bones, and tissues. Among many other things, it can be used to detect cancer, determine the malignancy of a tumor, detect illnesses, detect disease, investigate abnormalities, and identify inflammation or infection. Your doctor may recommend a PET scan or nuclear medicine medical imaging of your heart, lungs, bones, brain, or other systems for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.
What Equipment Is Used?
Nuclear medicine utilizes special cameras and medical imaging devices. It requires the use of a PET scanner, or positron emission tomography scanner. A PET scanner looks similar to an MRI scanner or CT scanner, and it records the signals from the tracer. It also requires the use of a gamma camera, and a single-photon emission-computed tomography, or SPECT. These cameras detect radioactive energy from the tracer and convert the data into an image. A computer displays 3-D images, allowing them to be interpreted by a doctor, radiologist, or medical imaging specialist.
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