Diagnostic Radiology

A versatile technology used in detection of many conditions throughout the body.

What is diagnostic radiology?

The imaging technology that encompasses procedures ranging from mammography and fluoroscopy to magnetic resonance imaging and CT scans, diagnostic radiology simply means that x-ray technology will help physicians to assess a certain part of the body or detect a suspected condition. Widely experienced during a typical dental check-up or a trip to the emergency room following an injury, radiology is also used to:

In all of these, traditional diagnostic radiology is extremely beneficial in the early detection and treatment of diseases and disorders that do not require more detailed imaging technology.

How does diagnostic radiology work?

A licensed x-ray technologist will position you in front of or beneath an x-ray machine that will target small, controlled amounts of radiation toward a particular part of your body. A lead apron will shield sensitive organs that are not being studied. For some exams, you will be given a contrast medium orally, by injection, or enema.

The x-rays the machine emits will be absorbed by denser parts and pass through softer tissue, with the contrast recorded on the film or a digital cassette.

Following your exam, which usually just takes a few minutes, a board certified radiologist will interpret the images and generate a full report to your ordering physician. Based on the radiologist’s findings, your physician will arrive at a diagnosis and discuss with you the needed treatment and/or follow-up exams.

How should you prepare?

The following are specific preparations for the most common x-ray procedures:

BARIUM ENEMA

On the day before the procedure you will likely be asked not to eat, and to drink only clear liquids like juice, tea, black coffee, cola or broth, and to avoid dairy products. After midnight, you should not eat or drink anything. You may also be instructed to take a laxative (in either pill or liquid form) and to use an over-the-counter enema preparation (Fleet Preparation Kit #3) the night before the exam and possibly a few hours before the procedure. Just follow your doctor's instructions. You can take your usual prescribed oral medications with limited amounts of water.

UPPER GI SERIES, SMALL BOWEL, ESOPHAGRAM

To ensure the best possible image quality, your stomach must be empty of food. Therefore, you will likely be asked not to eat or drink anything from midnight the night before the exam (including any medications taken by mouth, especially antacids) and to refrain from chewing gum and smoking after midnight on the day of the examination.

On the night before the test, you may be asked to take a laxative to help clean out your intestines.

IVP (Intravenous Pyleogram)

Eat a light evening meal (No dairy products or fatty foods). You should not eat or drink after midnight on the night before your exam. You may also be asked to take a mild laxative (in either pill or liquid form) the evening before the procedure. On the morning of the exam take a fleet enema at least 2 hours prior to arriving for your appointment.

You should inform your physician of any medications you are taking and if you have any allergies, especially to contrast material.

When you schedule this examination you will be asked the following questions. If you answer yes to any of them, you will be advised that you need to be pre-medicated prior to this contrast examination. The pre-medication instructions will be faxed to your referring physician.

If you answer yes to this question, you will be asked if you are insulin dependant, or take any form of metformin:
glucophage, glucovance, glyburide, glipizide, advandamet.

You will then be given instructions specific for a diabetic patient.

A recent Bun/Creatinine blood test is required for diabetic patients, or patients over 65 years of age.