General radiography (X-ray)
General radiography, also known as X-ray, uses electromagnetic waves (X-rays) that are beamed through specific areas of the body, with minimal radiation. The X-ray produces a picture of the area in question through an image digitalizing and recording process, making it possible for us to see various areas of the body, especially the bones and lungs.
Interventional radiology, a sub-speciality of radiology, encompasses leading-edge cost effective procedures which often replace surgery and are generally easier for the patient because they involve less risk, less pain, shorter hospital stay and shorter recovery time.
With visual guidance from an X-ray, a radiologist can navigate tiny instruments into blood vessels or other organs to stop internal hemorrhaging, take tumour biopsies or dilate clogged arteries to improve blood circulation in the limbs.
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Mammography is the radiological examination deemed to be the most effective breast cancer screening method. It can detect very small tumours that cannot be felt by touch.
It produces mammograms – detailed images of the breast from various angles – using very low doses of radiation. The breast is placed between two compression plates. The plates are then pressed together briefly to flatten the breast. The breast tissue is compressed to provide a clearer image while using the least radiation possible.
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Sonography, which does not use any radiation, is the use of a probe emitting high-frequency sound waves (ultrasounds) to produce a real-time image of certain organs. This virtually painless examination is often used to assess the pelvic and abdominal areas (kidneys, liver, pancreas, bladder) and monitor pregnancies. It is also used to diagnose certain muscle, joint and tendon diseases.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
This technique uses magnetic fields and radiofrequencies to produce detailed 2 or 3D images of certain organs, bones and tissues. It is a non-invasive procedure that does not emit any radiation. It can take 20 to 60 minutes, depending on the area being examined. An MRI is generally used to obtain images of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), muscles and joints, the heart and several organs in the abdomen.
This non-invasive, painless test uses X-rays to analyze bone density and strength to diagnose osteoporosis.
Computed tomography (CT scan)
Computed tomography, also known as a CT scan, uses X-rays and a computer to take a series of very clear and detailed 2 or 3D images of the body from various angles. Computer processing then digitalizes the images and produces cross-sectional images of the body. The test is usually very quick, and it can provide highly detailed images of almost any area of the body. It is one of the most useful tests when patients need additional imaging for their diagnosis.