Medical imaging services in North Texas
At Medical City Healthcare, we provide reliable, accurate and timely imaging procedures to assist physicians in diagnosing and treating patients.
To learn more about imaging services at Medical City Healthcare, call (844) 671-4204.
The branch of medicine known as radiology uses imaging technology to capture images of the internal structures of the body. A technologist, also known as a radiologic technologist, is the skilled professional who conducts imaging exams. Although, in general, they do not interpret the results for you, they will process the information and submit the report to your doctor to diagnose injuries and illnesses.
The information presented below is for informational purposes only. For specific questions about your imaging test, contact your primary care physician or speak to the radiology team at your imaging appointment. You will receive instructions when you schedule your exam.
What to expect
Most imaging procedures are noninvasive or minimally invasive, resulting in no pain or only mild discomfort. Some things to keep in mind for an imaging procedure are:
- Examination times—exams can last from 10 minutes to more than an hour, depending on the type of imaging procedure, the part of the body being examined and whether or not a contrast agent is used
- Contrast agents—iodine or barium-sulphate are ingested or injected to enhance the appearance of the body's internal structures; these may make you feel nauseous, flushed or have a headache
- Positioning—you may be asked to stand, lie down or hold your breath
- Food or liquids—you may be advised to drink water before your exam, or asked to refrain from food or liquids
- Attire—you may be asked to wear a hospital gown, remove jewelry or put a lead-equivalent rubberized shield on to cover your reproductive organs during the exam
Medical imaging exams we provide
Some of the imaging services and exams we provide are:
- Computed tomography (CT) scan
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Nuclear medicine imaging
- Positron emission test (PET)
- Modified barium swallow
- Barium swallow/esophagram
- Upper gastrointestinal (UGI) imaging
- Barium enema
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreaticogram (ERCP)
- Intravenous pyelogram (IVP)
- Cystogram/voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG)
What is a CT scan?
Computed tomography (CT) is a sophisticated diagnostic imaging procedure capable of depicting anatomy at different levels within the body. Each rotation of the X-ray beam produces a "slice" of anatomy, like the slices in a loaf of bread, which allows doctors to see the inside of anatomic structures.
Why you might need a CT scan
CT scans may be used to detect and examine:
- Growths and tumors (and distinguish if they are solid or fluid-filled)
- Blood clots
- Ruptured disks in the spine
- Stages of cancer
What is an MRI procedure?
MRI is an imaging technique that uses a strong magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to generate detailed images of internal structures of the body.
Why you might need an MRI
MRI scanning is a safe and effective technique for examining the body's soft tissues, such as organs, muscles, ligaments and tendons. Because it produces better soft-tissue images than X-rays, MRI is most commonly used to take images of the brain, spine, thorax, vascular system and musculoskeletal system.
Ultrasound imaging, also known as sonography, uses sound waves to produce images of organs, vessels and tissues in the body. Inaudible, high-frequency sound waves pass through the body, sending back "echoes" as they bounce off organs, vessel walls and tissues. Specialized equipment then converts these echoes into an image.
Why you might need an ultrasound
Ultrasound imaging is ideal for examining or evaluating:
- Heart, blood vessels and blood flow
- Fetal monitoring
- Needle placement for biopsies
- Needle placement for draining cysts
Nuclear medicine imaging
Nuclear medicine is the use of radioactive substances to detect, monitor and treat certain illnesses or injuries. Nuclear medicine is unique because it documents function as well as structure, which allows physicians to see how an organ is functioning, not just what it looks like.
These procedures are sometimes described as an "inside-out" X-ray because radiation is emitting from the patient's body rather than radiation that is directed through the patient's body.
Why you might need a nuclear imaging procedure
Although nuclear medicine is primarily used for diagnosis, nuclear medicine can be used to treat disease as well. Diagnostic and therapeutic uses include:
- Thyroid studies—show how well the thyroid gland is functioning
- Brain scans—used to diagnose strokes, tumors and infections of the brain
- Bone scans—to detect fractures, tumors and infections
- Lung scans—performed to detect blood clots in the lungs
- Cardiac stress tests—imaging of the heart before and after exercise to analyze stress on heart and blood flow
- Liver and gallbladder procedures—to detect gallbladder disease and reveal how well the liver is functioning
- Hyperthyroidism treatment—using radioactive iodine to gradually shrink the thyroid, ultimately destroying the gland
- Cancer pain relief—to shrink or slow the growth of bone metastases, alleviating pain
After your images or recordings have been reviewed by a radiologist, your personal physician will receive a copy of the report. Your physician will advise you of the results and discuss further steps or a treatment plan.
The radiation you are exposed to during imaging procedures passes through you immediately. You are not "radioactive" following imaging procedures, and it is not necessary to take any special precautions following your examination.
If a contrast agent was administered, you may experience nausea, headache or dizziness following your examination. It's important to increase your water consumption in the days following the examination. If these symptoms persist, contact your physician.