Radiology Studies

One of the most common requests I receive is: “I think I have something wrong with my stomach. Can you make me an appointment for an MRI?” Well, sure I am more than happy to make an appointment BUT perhaps you do not need an MRI! Perhaps you need a CT scan or an ultrasound. Why undergo testing if you are guessing? Or pay for an expensive test that is not needed, or is the incorrect one that you should have.
We are so lucky and happy to work with many great radiologists here. One of them is Dr. Fritz Hoffman who is based most of the time, at Clinic Sanmare. I am sure there are days he wishes I would go away because I am forever pestering him with questions! But he smiles and always helps. And he is marvelous with the patients as well. I asked him a few questions about these various studies.
(And of course, this may vary depending on the person, the physician if there is one involved and other factors, so it is a general outline).
MRI: Magnetic Resonance Imaging. This is best used to view soft tissues, the spine, roots and nerves, tendons for orthopedic issues. For neurological issues it depends on the reason/symptoms. These are performed with or without contrast. Air and hard bone do not give an MRI signal so these areas appear black in the study. Magnetic resonance imaging is a medical imaging technique used to form pictures of the anatomy and the physiological processes of the body. MRI scanners use strong magnetic fields, magnetic field gradients, and radio waves to generate images of the organs in the body
CT Scan: Computer Tomography. This is often used when there is ACUTE pain, especially abdominal and an uncertain diagnosis. These are performed with and without contrast. A computerized tomography (CT) scan combines a series of X-ray images taken from different angles around the body and uses computer processing to create cross-sectional images (slices) of the bones, blood vessels and soft tissues inside your body. CT scan images provide more-detailed information than plain X-rays do
Ultrasound: This is the first line of imaging. It falls under the category of “ALARA” which means no radiation involved whatsoever. It actually stands for: As Low As Reasonably Achievable (radiation). It uses high-frequency sound waves to look at organs and structures inside the body. Never with contrast.
X-Rays: The best viewing for bones. Sometimes people will have an MRI for an orthopedic issue but regardless of the results, the physician will still require X-rays because they are looking at the bones and not soft tissue.
People are concerned, of course, of radiation received in various studies. We receive radiation from sunshine every single day but performing unnecessary studies, especially CT scans is always something to be aware of.
So, if you have some type of symptom(s) and wish to have a radiology study, it is always beneficial to make sure that you have the proper study!
And of course, if you have doubts or questions, all you have to do is send an email, describing your symptoms, concerns and study request. I can always discuss this with Dr. Fritz and let you know what he says! After all, I live to pepper him with questions as much as possible!
Also, if you would like to see specific radiology equipment, I am more than happy to set that up.
The weather is getting warmer and that humidity creeping up! Stay hydrated people!
Here’s to a glowing week!

Pamela Thompson on Email
HealthCare Resources Puerto Vallarta is a multi-faceted, independent, resource network that is here for your TOTAL health and well-being. We offer English-speaking assistance to help find a physician, hospital and/or diagnostic service for any healthcare needs. As well, we are here to answer any health-related questions that you might have in relation to the Puerto Vallarta area.