Ailments may not be immediately obvious with just a physical exam. Some types of imaging, like x-rays, MRIs, and similar, may be needed. Diagnostic imaging allows your doctor to visualize the inside of the body to determine the cause of your ailment. Several types of imaging can create pictures of the composition and activities of your body. The type of imaging used by your doctor depends on the particular symptoms you display and the part of the examined body. 

Diagnostic imaging can benefit both the patient and the doctor when appropriately used. Imaging can also include the identification of medical illnesses and allow for proper treatment or referral to the health services needed. But if inappropriately used, advanced diagnostic imaging could waste health resources and possibly threaten patient safety.   

What Are The Types of Diagnostic Imaging?

There are many different types of diagnostic imaging sources available to doctors. They include:

  • X-rays
  • Ultrasound
  • CT scans
  • MRI scans
  • Nuclear medicine scans

X-rays are the most well-known and commonly used type of diagnostic test. They are used to view the inside of the body via a high-energy beam that cannot be absorbed by bones or dense tissue. The beam can pass through other body parts, therefore creating an image that allows your doctor to see if there is an injury to your bones and a few other dense body structures.

Ultrasound scans are usually done externally. A tech applies gel to an area that needs to be examined. This gel reduces the air content that soundwaves from the ultrasound travel through, providing better sound conduction. This makes for a better image. A probe is placed on your skin, producing sound waves that go through the soft tissue and reflect, creating an image. Dense tissue is light gray, and softer tissues are dark gray. Ultrasounds can monitor fetal development and detect tumors, cysts, infections, and more. 

Computed tomography (CT) is a type of imaging that uses special x-ray equipment. CT provides ultra-thin cross-sectional images of the body, providing a three-dimensional view. The method is helpful in locating broken bones, blood clots, cancers, and more. 

MRIs do not use radiation. Instead, they use a powerful magnet to create a picture of your body. MRIs provide your doctor with a very detailed look at soft tissue images inside your body.

A nuclear scan uses a radioactive liquid to see structures inside the body. A special camera is used to see the radioactivity. Before testing, you will either drink, inhale, or be injected with radioactive material. The radioactive material can be recorded passing through areas of the body, providing a clear image through camera scans. These scans can show how your organs are working and diagnose injuries and conditions like cancer

Consider Spring Mountain Medical for your diagnostic needs. We are a full-service advanced family practice center serving the Pahrump community with trusted, personalized care. Our facilities are world-class, and our expert physicians place patient focus first. Spring Mountain Medical has on-site diagnostic imaging services that serve a vital role in care by improving the outcomes of our patients as soon as possible.