FAQS

WHAT IS A CT SCAN?

A CT scan is carried out by using a special X-ray machine, which produces an image of a cross-section, or slice, of the body. The scanner consists of a ‘doughnut-shaped’ structure,or gantry, about two feet thick with a hole in its centre, through which you pass while lying on a couch.

A narrow fan-shaped beam of X-rays is produced from inside the gantry and rotates in a complete circle around you. The X-rays pass through your body and are detected by electronic sensors on the other side of the gantry. This information passes to a computer which produces a picture of the internal structure of the body. The pictures are displayed on a screen for examination by the radiographer as well as the radiologist.

It takes about less than a second to produce each slice, which can vary in thickness from one millimetre to one centimetre, depending on how much of the body is being scanned.

Are there any risks?

CT scanning involves the use of X-rays. Women who are or might be pregnant must inform a member of staff in advance. The amount of radiation used is more than an ordinary X-ray of the chest or body and is equal to the natural radiation that we receive from the atmosphere over a period of approximately three years.

Many CT examinations involve you having a contrast medium injected into a vein to increase the quality of information obtained from the scan. The injection usually causes nothing more than a warm feeling passing around your body.

Despite these slight risks, your doctor believes it is advisable that you should have this examination, and do bear in mind there are greater risks from missing a serious disorder by not having your scan

WHAT IS A DEXA? OR BONE MINERAL DENSITY EXAMINATION?

What is bone mineral densitometry?

Bone mineral densitometry is a scan which uses low energy x the density of your bone. It is fracture risk. It is also used to monitor your bone density especially if you are on treatment for osteoporosis. hips although on occasions other sites such as scanned.

What preparation is required?

There is no special preparation required. with no metallic objects such as zips or metal buttons which can affect the scan. If required, we have a change Please bring along any previous bone densitometry results that you have so we can assess for any changes in your bone density.

How long will the test take?

The scanning time is about 5 minutes. The total duration densitometry appointment is about 30 minutes as we need to obtain some medical history from you before the scan and you may need to change into a gown.

What is the radiation dose?

The radiation dose from a bone mineral densitometry a dose from a chest x-ray.

How much will the bone mineral densitometry cost?

The cost depends on whether there is a Medicare rebate available for your scan. Medicare rebates are available only for certain medical conditions. You discuss with your doctor whether you have an eligible medical condition and call us about the possible cost of your test.

Where do I have my bone mineral densitometry done?

Your bone mineral densitometry scan will be performed at radiology sites located at Kingscliff, Byron Bay, x-rays to measure used to diagnose osteoporosis and assess your The usual regions scanned are your lower spine and the forearm may need to be Where possible, please wear clothing change room for you to put on a gown before scanning. duration for a bone mineral scan is about one tenth of a dose from a chest x-ray.

WHAT IS AN ULTRASOUND?

What is an ultrasound scan?

An ultrasound scan creates pictures of internal body structures using sound waves of a frequency above the audible range of the human ear. A small hand-held sensor, which is pressed carefully against the skin surface, generates sound waves and detects any echoes reflected back off the surfaces and tissue boundaries of internal organs. The sensor can be moved over the skin to view the organ from different angles, the pictures being displayed on a screen and recorded for subsequent study. Most people think that this type of scan is only used for examining the unborn child but its use is widespread in medical practice.

Ultrasound images complement other forms of scans and are widely used for many different parts of the body. They can also be used to study blood flow and to detect any narrowing or blockage of blood vessels, for example, in the neck.

An ultrasound scan is also occasionally used for internal examinations where it may be necessary to place an ultrasound probe into the vagina to look at internal structures in greater detail that that is acquired externally. If you are having an internal examination, the Sonographer will describe the procedure to you, and your consent will be sought.

Who will be doing the ultrasound scan?

The examination may be performed by a highly trained Sonographer. Sonographers are medical technologists that have additional training and expertise specialising in ultrasound scanning. They carry out a great number of these examinations and may also provide a descriptive report of their findings to your doctor in concordance with the attending Radiologist.

What is an X-Ray?

X-rays are a part of the electromagnetic spectrum that includes light. Whereas light cannot pass though solid objects (with the exception of glass), x-rays can. The amount of x-rays that pass through an object is determined by the objects density. During an x-ray examination the amount of x-rays that pass though the body is recorded. Tissues that are less dense will allow more x-rays to pass through than denser tissues such as bone.

For example, during an arm x-ray there will be far more x-rays passing through the muscle and tendons than the bone. The recording of this will show the outline of the bony parts of the arm which can help to diagnose irregularities in the bone such as breaks.

What is Nuclear Medicine?

Nuclear Medicine is a part of Radiology which looks at bodily functions rather than structures to diagnose disease or injuries. This involves injection of a liquid radioactive substance in most cases (sometimes you swallow the solid or liquid form and sometimes could be asked to inhale an aerosol form). This liquid will not make you feel any different.

This radioactive liquid can be attached to many different pharmaceuticals depending on what organ is being investigated. Images of the distribution of tracer within your body are then taken by a gamma camera. These images will then be processed by our Nuclear Medicine Scientist and interpreted by our Nuclear Medicine Specialists.

Who are Radiographers, Sonographers and Radiologists?

Radiographers are trained technicians who perform x-rays.

Sonographers are trained technicians who perform ultrasounds.

Radiologists are specialist doctors who are trained and experienced in interpreting medical images in order to make a clinical diagnosis. They may also perform procedures such as guided injections and biopsies. As such training to become a radiologist takes typically around 15 years.

Connect us

Please feel free to give us a call at our Tweed Clinic on 07 5536 3688 and our Nuclear Medicine Scientist is more than happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.