Advanced medical imaging has revolutionized health care over the last three decades. Where once physicians were limited in their ability to see into the human body, diagnostic imaging now allows doctors to utilize high-resolution images of both hard and soft tissues to analyze health conditions and determine proper courses of action for patient well-being. Modern medical imaging includes a wide range of machines and methods used in medical centers in Suffolk County, NY, such as MRIs, CT scans, PET scans, and nuclear medicine.
Many doctors routinely refer patients to a medical diagnostic imaging center in Suffolk County, NY, to get a clearer picture of health risks and conditions. Read on to learn more about the different kinds of imaging tools doctors have at their disposal and how they are used in the field of modern medicine.
One of the oldest forms of medical diagnostic imaging still in use today, an X-ray continues to be useful for diagnosing and treating conditions that impact the skeletal system and some other rigid tissues. For example, broken bones can be pinpointed using X-ray images. It can also be used to diagnose some conditions that aren’t part of the skeletal system, such as pneumonia or pleurisy. The X-ray is a widely available diagnostic tool that can be found in medical centers and doctors’ offices alike.
An MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, device uses magnetic fields and radio waves to create images of soft tissues in the body. It can be used to detect muscle tears and ligament sprains as well as conditions affecting the internal organs. MRIs are also used to locate tumors in the body or damaged areas of the spinal cord. MRIs provide an invaluable and versatile diagnostic tool that is widely available to patients and doctors. Since it uses magnetism and radio waves to create 3-D, cross-sectional images, there is no ionizing radiation used as is the case with X-rays and CT scans.
A CT, or computerized tomography, scan is a radiological device that can produce cross-sectional, 3-D images of the body for use in detecting conditions in hard and soft tissues. The CT scan is an advanced form of X-ray that uses a thin beam and images captured from multiple angles to create a comprehensive image that can dissected in many ways. It can be used in emergency circumstances to diagnose internal trauma and can also be used to detect conditions such as cancer and heart disease.
A PET, or positron emission tomography, scan is a type of diagnostic imaging that requires the use of a radioactive dye for creating detailed images. Those dyes, called tracers, are ingested or injected into the body. When detected by a PET scanner, they demonstrate the function of your organs and body system. They can detect areas of disease in tissue, the amount of oxygen in the blood, and how your body metabolizes substances like sugar. They are commonly used to diagnose diseases such as cancer, heart disease, or neurological disorders.
Ultrasound, sometimes called sonography, uses sound waves to create images in situations where exposure to ionizing radiation may be dangerous and unwarranted or the cost of using an MRI may be unjustified. For example, the most common use of ultrasound imaging is during pregnancy. It can create images of the fetus that can be used to determine sex and proper development. Ultrasounds are also used for other reasons as well, such as to guide needle biopsy procedures.
No matter what condition you may experience, there is a diagnostic imaging tool that your physicians can use to determine your condition and begin providing you with treatment. For more information on the use of diagnostic imaging in medicine, visit Peconic Bay Medical Center.