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Imaging

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Medical Imaging and Surgery in Sadashiv Peth, Pune

The techniques used to view and take images of the internal organs and the bones for diagnostic purposes are known as medical imaging.

Most of the diseases which are caused inside the body are not visible through naked eyes and thus the process of imaging is used to diagnose and treat the illness. Medical imaging helps to visualize the abnormalities that are present in a patient’s body. For example, any broken bones or fractures can be easily identified by performing x-rays which is a type of medical imaging.

Process of Medical Imaging

The use of invisible waves such as magnetic fields, electromagnetic radiation, etc. is done in the process of medical imaging. A source is placed on one side of the body which produces waves that travel through the body or through the specific part that needs diagnosis and hits a detector that is placed on the other side. An image is formed by the various degree of absorption of waves by the different body tissues. The detector then composes an image based on shadows of the various body tissues.

What are the uses of Medical Imaging?

The following are some of the most common uses of medical imaging:

  • Spot diagnosis: In this, the problem of the patient can be told just by looking at the image thus performing spot diagnosis. Normal fractures and tumors can be detected by CTs and plain radiographs.
  • Treatment planning: Medical imaging can give surgeons an idea of the size and placement of the lesion which will allow them to plan their treatment and the extent of the surgery that they are going to perform on the patient.
  • Age-related calculations: Age can be determined by checking the growth of the internal organs and internal structure. Ultrasound is used to determine fetal age and maternal gestational age.
  • Monitoring disease progression: The surgeons often use medical imaging to determine the stage, condition, and progression of the disease. The exact stage of a cancer patient can be determined by a contrast-enhanced CT or MRI.

Types of Medical Imaging procedures

The types of medical imaging that are present are as follows:

  • Ultrasound: In this process, medical images are acquired by the use of sound. This process is the safest as there is no use of electromagnetic radiation. During the ultrasound, the sound waves travel through a conducting gel that is applied to the body. The sound waves then hit various parts of the internal body and bounce back which is then captured and transformed into images that can be viewed on a monitor.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging: In this process, medical images are acquired by using radio waves within a magnetic field. The change in the alignment of the hydrogen ions when radiofrequency waves are applied is recorded and processed to form images. Magnetic resonance imaging is used to visualize soft tissues, muscles, and tendons. Magnetic resonance imaging can be risky for people with metal implants such as a pacemaker, joint replacement, etc. Magnetic resonance imaging is also known as MRI scans.
  • Radiographs: These were used in the past for diagnostic imaging. These were used to visualize bones. Now day’s radiographs are being replaced by more advanced medical imaging systems. Mammography is traditional radiography that is used in women to detect breast cancer. Another traditional radiography is fluoroscopy where a contrast agent is used which is either swallowed or injected. The agent is tracked by radiographs to check for ulcers and obstructions.
  • Computed tomography:This process is done by putting the patient within the CT chamber where both the source and detector are present. The source and the detector are opposite to each other and travel around the patient taking images. The images are very detailed compared to traditional radiography.

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Conclusion

Medical imaging helps to diagnose diseases better and allows surgeons to determine the proper procedure required for the treatment. The images produced via medical imaging are very detailed and gives a lot of information. Most of the diseases which are caused inside the body are not visible through naked eyes and thus the process of imaging is used to diagnose and treat the illness.

References:

https://innovatemedtec.com/digital-health/medical-imaging#

https://www.fda.gov/radiation-emitting-products/radiation-emitting-products-and-procedures/medical-imaging

https://www.postdicom.com/en/blog/medical-imaging-science-and-applications

What are some imaging procedures?

  • X-rays
  • Fluoroscopy
  • CT or CAT

What is the most common form of medical imaging?

The most common and widely used medical imaging procedure is X-rays (radiographs).

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