Sunday, November 9, 2008

Preparing Yourself for the Different Types of Medical Imaging

With the advances in medical technology and clinical workstations over the past few years, a simple X-ray is no longer the only way for health professionals to take a look inside your body. Anymore there are many different ways for doctors to take a peek within you. Some of the more common methods include CT scans, DICOM viewers, X-rays, and MRI's.

These methods are known as medical imaging. In the majority of medical facilities, patients will be sent to the Medical Imaging Department for any of these everyday procedures such as a mammography workstation. As a matter of fact, most Americans at some point have experienced one or more of these diagnostic tools. Because of this it isn't a bad idea to understand what they entail. It's also a good decision to properly prepare for the different procedures. The last thing you want is to expect a CT scan but to set up instead for a DICOM viewer.

Types of Procedures

X-ray is the granddaddy of medical imaging. In this traditional method, X-rays are passed through your body with an image appearing on photographic film. The more common uses of X-rays include determining whether or not someone has broken bones. These images, while on film, can still be transferred to a DICOM web viewer or clinical workstations.

CT scans, also referred to as "cat scans", use the same technology as an X-ray but in a three dimensional way. This form of imaging offers doctors the chance to view not just a frontal view of an organ but also an inner, outer, and view within. These images can also be formatted for viewing on a DICOM viewer or a mammography workstation.

MRI, magnetic resonance imaging, implements a magnet to align hydrogen atoms within the human body, allowing them to receive a frequency of radio waves. The body sends back this radio signal to the MRI machine which converts them into detailed images of the body part in question. These can be viewed upon a DICOM web viewer or a simple DICOM viewer.

Preparing for the Medical Imaging

Never wear jewelry for your medical imaging. Leave your rings, watches, necklaces and bracelets at home. They cause problems with the technology. You don't want to cause any problems later on for your doctor as he is looking over the images on a dicom viewer. You would prefer a trouble free diagnosis.

All your questions should be answered before the test begins. Patients undergoing medical imaging procedures should be aware of what to expect from dicom viewers. Ask how long the test will take and if more than one test might be required for it to properly display on the DICOM web viewer.

About the Author

Jonathon Blocker writes about the DICOM web viewer. With installations at over 450 imaging centers and hospitals; Dicom Solutions is one of the leading distributors in the medical imaging industry.

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