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Radiology Services

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X-Ray

X-rays are useful for imaging bones, lungs and abdomen.  X-ray imaging is carried out using low dose levels of radiation to produce an image on a special detector (imaging plate). Specially trained radiographers perform x-rays using the lowest amount of radiation possible to produce diagnostic images.

Preparing for an x-ray

In most instances no preparation is required. However, jewellery and any metal on clothing (such as, zippers or clips) may need to be removed prior to x-ray. Radiographers will position you in certain angles to produce the request images. Some breathing instructions may also be given.

Getting your results

Upon completing your exam you may leave the radiology department. Radiologists will study the x-rays and report their findings to your referring doctor.

Fluoroscopy

Fluoroscopy imaging uses ‘live’ x-ray imaging to image movement through the body. This often involves the use of a contrast agent to image regions of the Gastro Intestinal Tract or Gentio-Urinary Tract.

Preparing for a Fluoroscopy procedure

Upon scheduling your fluoroscopy procedure you will be given particular instructions by our scheduling team. Some fluoroscopy procedures may involve fasting or use of laxatives. This should be discussed with your referring doctor as it may impact any current medications you may be taking.

Before imaging the radiologist will discuss the procedure with you and explain what will be expected of you during the examination. A radiographer or nurse will also be present to help you.

Getting your results

The radiologist may discuss their findings with you upon completing the examination. However, they will give the recorded images a closer examination before completing their report which will be given to your referring doctor. You may need to contact or make an appointment with your referring doctor to discuss the final results.

Bone Densitometry / DEXA scanning

Bone densitometry or DEXA scanning uses a low dose radiation beam to measure the density of bones within the body.  These measurements give an indication as to whether there may be any loss of bone density (known as Osteopenia or Osteoporosis depending on severity).

Preparing for a DEXA scan

When scheduling your DEXA appointment you will be given instructions to prepare for your scan. If you are taking calcium medication you may need to stop taking this medication for a short period prior to the scan.   On the day of your scan it is advisable to wear loose, comfortable clothing with the least amount of zips or metal clips.

Getting your results

Using special values obtained during the scan the radiologist will determine whether or not you have a normal bone density, a decrease in bone density (Osteopenia) or major decrease in bone density (Osteoporosis). The radiographer doing your scan can not give you the results at the time of scanning. All DEXA scans are reported by a radiologist within the department before the results are given to your referring clinician.

Interventional radiology

Interventional procedures are carried out as part of a diagnosis or treatment plan in many patients. These examinations are carried out in the Interventional Radiology suite by the radiology team, consisting of a radiologist, nurses, radiographers and health care assistants (HCAs).

Preparing for an Interventional Radiology procedure

Numerous procedures are performed in this area and the preparation may be different for each one. In preparation for your procedure you will be contacted by a member of the scheduling team who will provide information regarding your procedure and how you will need to prepare. 

Mammography

Mammography is a specialist area dealing with imaging of the breast tissue. Specially trained radiographers undertake the imaging, providing care and consideration for each patient. Using low dose x-rays and a special detector (imaging plate) images are formed of the breast tissue. This can help in the potentially diagnosing breast cancers or other diseases.

Preparing for your mammogram

You will be advised of any preparation needed by the scheduling team upon making your appointment. It is important on the day of the mammogram to not wear antiperspirant or deodorant as this can appear on the mammogram images. 

Getting your results

Upon completion of your mammogram a radiologist specialised in mammography will report upon the images. This report is then sent to your referring doctor.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound is a special imaging technique produced using high frequency sound waves. Commonly associated with imaging during pregnancy (obstetric sonography), ultrasound is also excellent for visualising soft tissue structures throughout the body.

Preparing for your ultrasound scan

While making your appointment you will be given instructions on how to best prepare for your scan. During your scan a gel will be applied to the area being imaged, this aids with the imaging process. This gel is harmless and is easily wiped off afterwards. With particular scans it is common to be asked fast and drink plenty of water prior to coming for your scan, as a full bladder assists in the imaging process. It is advisable to wear comfortable clothing.

Getting your results

Following your scan a radiologist will report upon the images obtained during the scan. This report is then sent to your reporting doctor.

Computed Tomography (CT)

CT uses x-ray imaging that rotates around the body to produce a detailed cross section image of the body tissues. CT is excellent at visualising bone, soft tissue organs and blood vessels and so is used in diagnosis and planning treatments. CT radiographers are trained to ensure the lowest radiation dose is provided while not compromising image quality.

Preparing for your CT scan

As various examinations are carried out in CT our scheduling team will advise you how to best prepare for your particular scan. It is advisable to wear loose, comfortable clothing with the least amount of metal zippers or clips.

In preparation for abdominal CT scans you may be required to fast prior to your arrival to the CT department.  It is also common to have a drink containing a contrast dye when imaging this area as it is excellent at highlighting the digestive tract through the abdomen.

Some examinations require the use of an intravenous (IV) contrast agent to help with diagnosis. In certain patient groups (patient’s over 60 years old or those with a history of renal problems) it is routine to get bloods done prior to scanning if none have been recently performed.  Further to this, the CT radiographer will ask you to complete a questionnaire to ensure your safety while using this IV contrast agent.

Getting your results

Images obtained during your scan are carefully studied and reported on by our radiologist team. This report is then sent to your referring doctor you will discuss your results with you.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce finely detailed images of the body. MRI is excellent at imaging the brain, cardiovascular system, the musculoskeletal system and soft tissue organs of the body. It is very useful for the diagnosis and planning of treatments. MRI scans can last for 20 – 30 minutes which some patients may find difficult; however, the radiographer can communicate with you to help.

Preparing for your MRI scan

Upon your arrival to the Radiology Department the MRI radiographer will get you to complete a safety questionnaire as MRI is carried out with the use of magnets it is essential to ensure your safety. MRI can’t be used on patients who have a pacemaker or heart valve replacements. In some cases it can’t be used with patients who have recent surgery, implants, history of metal shavings in the eye.

If you have a history of metal work or metal shavings in your eyes you may be sent for an x-ray of the eyes prior to scanning.

During your scan you will be provided with ear plugs as the MRI scanner can be quite loud. You may also be given headphones to allow you to listen to music or the radio during the scan.

Getting your results

Following your scan your images will be reported upon by a radiologist. This report is sent to your referring doctor you will discuss your results with you.

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine is a specialised area of imaging using radioactive materials. A small amount of a radioactive material is given to the patient via injection, inhalation or in tablet form. This radioactive material is then detected using a special ‘gamma camera’ which produces images of the area of interest.

Preparing for your scan

Upon scheduling your appointment you will be given instructions on how to best prepare for your scan. You may need to fast depending on the scan you are being referred for.  You will be advised to wear comfortable clothing as you may need to lie on the imaging table for a period of time.

You will be advised that following your scan a small amount of radioactivity will remain in your body for a short period of time. During this time it is important to drink plenty of water, this helps in flushing the radioactivity out of your system. You may also need to keep a distance from pregnant or breastfeeding women and small children.

Getting your results

Following your scan a radiologist specialised in nuclear medicine will report on your images in detail. This report is then sent to your referring doctor you will discuss their findings with you.

Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography (PETCT)

PET CT combines the imaging of a PET and a CT scanner, giving detailed images of the physiology and anatomy of the body. Part of this scan requires a patient to be injected with a small amount of a radioactive material called Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG). The movement of the FDG around the body is then monitored during the scan, highlight areas of interest. These areas are known as ‘hot spots’.

Preparing for your scan

Prior to your scan our scheduling team will contact you with the necessary information for your scan. You will be asked to wear comfortable clothing to the scan with the least amount of zips/clips as possible as they can appear on the scan. This scan also requires that you fast for a period of time.

Upon arriving to the PET CT department you will have your blood sugar tested. A high blood sugar can cause the FDG material to move too quickly around the body. In this case we will try to lower the blood sugar by providing you with water and going for a short walk before retesting it.

Following the injection of FDG into the body you will be asked to relax in a cubicle for an hour to allow the FDG to move around the body. At the appropriate time you will be taken in for your scan which can take from 20 – 30 minutes.

You will be advised that following your scan a small amount of radioactivity will remain in your body for a short period of time. During this time it is important to drink plenty of water, this helps in flushing the radioactivity out of your system. You may also need to keep a distance from pregnant or breastfeeding women and small children.

Getting your results

The images obtained during your scan are reported upon by our radiologists. This report is then sent to your referring doctor who will discuss the results with you.