MRI, CT Scan, and Ultrasound Facts

With the advancement of technology today, medical professionals are now more accurate to properly diagnose and treat a problem than ever before. Three of the most advanced means of examining a problematic area are through MRI, CT scans, and ultrasounds. These technologies provide Dr. Arora with utmost aid as he works to help enhance your day to day life.

What is MRI?

Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI for short, is a means of assessing a problematic area. By utilizing a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy, an MRI can create digital imaging of the structures and systems within the body. MRI’s are commonly performed to locate and identify a variety of concerns such as an injury, tumor, infection, and more. One very distinctive quality of MRI’s is that they can reveal more information about your body than that of a standard x-ray.
A woman is guided into a CT scan.

What can I expect from an MRI Scan?

During an MRI scan, we strongly advise patients not to wear any metallic objects, including jewelry, piercings, or otherwise, as it may interfere with the scanning process. Please let Dr. Arora know if you have metallic devices or instruments implanted in your body such as a heart or blood vessel device, I.E. a pacemaker or a coronary artery stent, artificial limbs, dental work, etc. Please inform us prior to your scan of whether you experience sensations of claustrophobia, as MRI scans are performed occasionally in close quarters and require you to lie very still. An MRI scan can take approximately an hour to complete.

There are several differences between an MRI, CT scan, and ultrasound diagnostic tests.

What is a CT Scan?

A computerized tomography (CT) scan consolidates various images taken from a standard x-ray and utilizes computer processing to establish cross-sectional imaging of numerous structures within the body including the bones, blood vessels, and soft tissue. This type of imaging is often recommended to help:

  • Diagnose a disorder or fracture
  • Locate the problematic region
  • Guide surgical approaches and modes of therapy
  • Monitor a condition and the effectiveness of a treatment

CT scans can also provide greater details on any part of the body in contrast to an x-ray alone.

What can I expect from a CT Scan?

CT scans are generally a very quick test to complete. Patients will lie on a narrow, motorized table that will slide through what appears like the opening of a tunnel where the CT scanner itself will rotate around you. There may be points where Dr. Arora may ask you to hold your breath at specific periods to avoid blurry imagery creation.

An ultrasound is being performed in this image. There are several differences between MRIs, CAT scans, and this diagnostic test.

What is Ultrasound?

Ultrasound, also known as sonography, is a means of medical examination of the body. Live images are captured from the inside of your body through high-frequency sound waves. Comparable to that of a sonar and radar, the ultrasound technology creates a visualization of problems or concerns within tissues, organs, and vessels without the need for an incision. As opposed to other means of imaging, ultrasound does not use radiation, which is why it is commonly used for expectant mothers during their pregnancy.

What can I expect from an Ultrasound Scan?

The ultrasound scan examination is performed by a qualified technician that utilizes an ultrasound probe and machine. How you might go about preparing for an ultrasound scan will depend upon the part of the body that is being examined. Some areas that are receiving an ultrasound scan examination may require patients to refrain from eating or drinking for 8-12 hours before their assessment, as undigested food can obstruct sound waves from creating a lucid picture. You may still drink small amounts of water to keep hydrated and take prescribed medications as instructed. Be sure to inform Dr. Arora of any medications you may be taking prior to your examination. An ultrasound scan can take approximately 30 minutes to complete.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment at the location nearest you to learn more about MRI, CT scan, and ultrasound imaging.