Medical imaging is the technique and process used to create images of the human body (or parts and function thereof) for clinical purposes (medical procedures seeking to reveal, diagnose or examine disease) or medical science (including the study of normal anatomy and physiology).
Although imaging of removed organs and tissues can be performed for medical reasons, such procedures are not usually referred to as medical imaging, but rather are a part of pathology
As a discipline and in its widest sense, it is part of biological imaging and incorporates radiology (in the wider sense), investigative radiological sciences, endoscopy, (medical).
The term noninvasive is a term based on the fact that following medical imaging modalities do not penetrate the skin physically. But on the electromagnetic and radiation level, they are quite invasive. From the high energy photons in X-Ray Computed Tomography, to the 1.5 Tesla coils of an MRI device, these modalities alter the physical and chemical environment of the body in order to obtain data.
Measurement and recording techniques which are not primarily designed to produce images, such as electroencephalography (EEG), and others, but which produce data susceptible to be represented as maps (i.e. containing positional information), can be seen as forms of medical imaging.
Medical imaging is often perceived to designate the set of techniques that noninvasively produce images of the internal aspect of the body. In this restricted sense, medical imaging can be seen as the solution of mathematical inverse problems. This means that cause (the properties of living tissue) is inferred from effect (the observed signal). In the case of ultrasonography the probe consists of ultrasonic pressure waves and echoes inside the tissue show the internal structure. In the case of projection radiography, the probe is X-ray radiation which is absorbed at different rates in different tissue types such as bone, muscle and fat.
Abdominal ultrasound can help doctors to diagnose problems with your liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen and kidneys. Pelvic ultrasound can help doctors to diagnose problems in your lower abdominal and pelvic organs, such as gynaecological or bladder problems. Ultrasound is also used to check fetal development during pregnancy.
Women pelvic ultrasound can help find the cause of pelvic pain, heavy or painful periods or other abnormal vaginal bleeding. The scans can help diagnose cysts in the ovaries and fibroids in the womb, as well as ovarian and womb cancer. It can also be used to look for causes of infertility and may be used for monitoring during some types of fertility treatment.
Sometimes, ultrasound is used to help guide procedures such as needle biopsies. This is when your doctor uses a needle to take a small sample of tissue. The tissue is sent to a laboratory for testing. Your doctor uses ultrasound to see inside your body during the procedure to check the needle is reaching the right tissue. Your doctor may use ultrasound to check for blood clots or narrowing of blood vessels. This is done using a Doppler ultrasound. Doppler ultrasound monitors flow in blood vessels. The procedure is the same as having a standard ultrasound but the pictures are coloured.
Ultrasound scans are usually done by a sonographer, who is a radiographer with special training in ultrasound scans, or a radiologist, who is a doctor trained in imaging techniques.
Preparing For An Ultrasound
Ultrasound scans are usually done as out-patient procedures in Hospital. Please read your appointment letter for instructions on how to prepare for your scan. The instructions will vary depending on your examination.
For some scans you need to fast for eight to 12 hours beforehand, whereas for others, such as kidney or bladder scans, and sometimes pelvic scans, you need to drink water an hour beforehand. A full bladder helps to lift the large bowel out of the pelvis so that your radiologist or sonographer can see your pelvic organs more easily.
What happens during an ultrasound:
The scan usually takes 10 to 15 minutes. You may be asked to wear a gown or take off some of your clothes.
The ultrasound scanner looks a bit like a home computer system. There is a hard-drive, keyboard and a display screen. In addition, there is a sensor that your sonographer holds. The sensor sends out sound waves and picks up the returning echoes. Pictures of the inside of your body are displayed on the screen. These pictures are constantly updated, so the scan can show movement.
Depending on your medical condition you may have a scan of your abdominal or pelvic organs, or both.
You will usually need to lie on your back on a couch. The person scanning you will apply gel to the skin on your abdomen over the area to be examined. The gel allows the sensor to slide easily over your skin and helps to produce clearer pictures. The sensor is held firmly against your skin and moved over the surface.
This is performed with a full bladder to help lift the large bowel out of the pelvis so that your radiologist or sonographer can see your pelvic organs more easily. The procedure is performed in the same way as an abdominal or transvaginal scan.
The Department of Radiology provides a full range of imaging services for newborns, infants, children, teens, young adults and pregnant women at Suguna Hospital. Our experienced team performs and interprets the imaging studies, using the latest equipment and techniques specially designed or adapted for patient use.
Our team includes radiologists, physicians, nurse practitioners, technologists, nurses and specialists. We work together with for a better patient care and to obtain the best possible and most appropriate images for an accurate diagnosis.
Safety: Some types of imaging studies require the use of radiation. For these exams, we have adapted our equipment and techniques to keep the radiation dose as low as possible.
Patient sedation and anaesthesia: Our staffs is skilled at helping patient stay motionless for imaging studies. But if the patient requires sedation or anesthesia, it will be administered by an experienced team of sedation nurse practitioners, nurses and anesthesiologists.
Organ-based interpretation: Our unique approach to radiology means that a radiologist with subspecialty expertise in the disease or organ system under investigation will interpret the study.