Radiology

Radiology is a special branch of medicine which uses x-ray images to better diagnose and treat disease and injury. 

Radiologists use a variety of imaging and techniques to monitor and treat diseases including: general x-ray, dental x-ray, radiography, ultrasound, CT scan, and nuclear medicine (e.g. MRI). 

A promising facet of this branch of medicine is Interventional Radiology, which uses imaging technologies to perform minimally invasive medical procedures to treat conditions such as: varicose veins, peripheral artery diseases and deep vein thrombosis.

What is a Radiologist?

A Radiologist is a medical doctor who has has specialized training in diagnosis and treatment methods utilizing medical imaging. Radiologists have the knowledge to interpret and clearly explain a patient’s medical condition through the images gathered during examinations (e.g. CT scans, x-rays and mammograms).

Radiologists assist other doctors in diagnosing and treating an illness or injury. They can judge when an imaging test is required, answer questions about an illness or injury and determine when an imaging test is unlikely to be helpful.

When considering an imaging test the radiologist weighs up the risks and benefits associated with each one and evaluates which test/s would be most beneficial and in which order.

Radiologists produce written reports for referring doctors to explain test results.

What happens during a procedure?

During a radio-graphic procedure, an x-ray beam passes through the patient’s body. A percentage of the x-ray is absorbed by the internal structure being examined, with the remainder being transmitted to a detector, for the image to be stored for later evaluation by a Radiologist. 

Types of Radiology

Radiography is the preferred technique in examinations and procedures which require a record of a static images.

Some of the procedures which require radiology include:

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Dental examination

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Verification of correct placement of surgical markers prior to an operation

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Mammography

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Orthopedic evaluation

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Fluoroscopy

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Chiropractic evaluation.

Radiology has many different applications for different diagnostic and treatment purposes.

It can be divided into two major categories – diagnostic radiology and interventional radiology.

Diagnostic Radiology

Diagnostic radiology assists radiologists in determining the precise cause of an illness or injury, and helps them pinpoint its exact location.

Diagnostic radiology enables radiologists to view your internal structures. Physicians who specialize in the interpretation of these images are referred to as Diagnostic Radiologists. Using these images allows diagnostic radiologists to diagnose the cause of symptoms, monitor how your body responds to treatment and screen for different illnesses (e.g. cancer and heart disease).

The most common diagnostic radiology exams include:

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CT scan

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Fluoroscopy

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MRI scan

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Mammogram

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Nuclear medicine (e.g. bone scan and thyroid scan)

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X-Ray

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PET scan

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Ultrasound.

Interventional Radiology

Interventional radiology is an independent specialty which uses minimally invasive procedures to diagnose and treat disease.

Interventional radiology utilises imaging technology to help guide procedures  including:

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CT scan

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Ultrasound

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MRI scan and

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Fluoroscopy.

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