Common Radiology Test & Services

 

WHAT IS MAMMOGRAPHY?

Mammography is a specific type of imaging that uses a low-dose x-ray system for examination of the breasts.  It plays a central part in early detection of breast cancer because it can show changes in the breast up to two years before a patient or physician can feel them.

Current guidelines from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the American Cancer Society (ACS), the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) recommend screening mammography every year for women, beginning at age 40.

On the day of the test…

  • Inform your doctor of any prior surgeries, hormone use and family or personal history of breast cancer.
  • Do not schedule your mammogram for the week before your period if your breasts are usually tender during this time. The best time is one week following your period.
  • Please wear comfortable clothing while coming for the test.
  • Please do not bring valuables such as jewelry and credit cards.
  • Do not wear deodorant, talcum powder or lotion under your arms or on your breasts on the day of the exam. These can appear on the x-ray film as calcium spots.
  • Describe any breast symptoms or problems to the technologist performing the exam.
  • Please bring any old mammograms, if you have, for the comparative study with the previous one(s).
  • Your Mammography is performed by a registered technician.
  • The images will be interpreted by a board-certified radiologist.

How is the test performed?

A specially qualified radiologic technologist will position you to image your breast.  The breast is first placed on a special platform and compressed with a paddle.  The technologist will go behind a glass shield while making the x-ray exposure, which will send a beam of x-rays through the breast to the film behind the plate, thus exposing the film.

You will be asked to change positions slightly between images.  The routine views are a top-to-bottom view and a side view.  The process is repeated for the other breast.  The examination process should take about half an hour.  When the mammography is completed you will be asked to wait until the technologist examines the images to determine if more are needed.

After the test…

You will be able to resume your usual activities.  Date and time for the collection of the report shall be communicated to you.  Your physician will discuss the test results with you.

Are there any risks associated with the test?

You will feel pressure on the breast as it is squeezed by the compressor.  Some women with sensitive breasts may experience discomfort.  If this is the case, schedule the procedure when your breasts are least tender.

The technologist will apply compression in gradations.  Be sure to inform the technologist if pain occurs as compression is increased.  If discomfort is significant, less compression will be used.

 

WHAT IS ULTRASOUND?

Ultrasound is used to create images of soft tissue structures, such as the gall bladder, liver, heart, kidney, female reproductive organs– and even of babies still in the womb.  Ultrasound can also detect blockages in the blood vessels.

This helps the physician to find out the reasons for pain, swelling or any kind of infection in the body.

How is the test performed?

You will be asked to lie down and a clear water based conducting gel is applied over the abdomen to help with the transmission of sound waves.  The ultrasound transducer (a hand held probe) is then moved over the abdomen.  You may be asked to hold your breath for short periods of time during the procedure.  There may be varying degrees of discomfort from pressure as the transducer is moved from one area to another.  The gel will be wiped off your skin after the test.  The whole examination takes usually less than 30 minutes except pregnancy scans (especially with multiple pregnancies).

Transvaginal ultrasound involves the insertion of the transducer, a long probe, covered with a condom and a sterile lubricant that is inserted into the vagina. The probe will then be moved within the vaginal cavity to scan the pelvic structures.

In Transrectal Ultrasound a protective cover is placed over the transducer lubricated and then placed into the rectum to obtain the images of the prostarte gland.

Doppler ultrasonography helps to detect moving blood cells or other moving structures and measure their speed and direction of movement.  It helps in evaluating blood flow through the major arteries and veins of the arms, legs and neck.

On the day of the test…

Preparation for the Test

ULTRASOUND PREPARATION REQUIRED
Whole / Upper Abdomen 6-8 hrs fasting.  Bladder to be full and can drink water / coconut water.
Pelvis / Lower Abdomen or Pregnancy / KUB Fasting not required.  Bladder to be full.  Can eat or drink.
Chest, Breast, Neck, Thyroid, Brain, TRUS, Scrotum, Color Doppler Transplant / Fetal / Upper or Lower Limb No preparation.
Color Doppler Renal Fasting required.  Should avoid gaseous food for one day.


Failure to follow the above preparation will result in delays or possible cancellation of your examination.

  • Please wear comfortable clothing while coming for the test.
  • Please do not bring valuables such as jewelry and credit cards.
  • Your ultrasound test is performed by a registered diagnostic sonographer.
  • The ultrasound images will be interpreted by a board-certified radiologist.
  • You may be asked to change into a hospital gown.
  • The guidelines as per the MOH shall be adhered to in totality.

After the test…

You will be able to resume your usual activities.  Date and time for the collection of the report shall be communicated to you.  Your physician will discuss the test results with you.

Are there any risks associated with the test?

There may be little discomfort.  No harmful radiations exposure is involved.