Frequently Asked Questions about X-ray, CT Scan, Ultrasound, & More at our Hawaii Practice

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What is the difference between Interventional Radiology and Diagnostic Radiology?

Interventional Radiology involves the treatment of medical problems. Diagnostic Radiology involves identifying potential health problems by using various types of imaging.

What is the advantage of undergoing uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) rather than a hysterectomy?

The main advantage of uterine fibroid embolization is that it is less invasive than a hysterectomy. Blood loss is minimal and recovery time is shorter. The cost of UFE is equivalent to the cost of a hysterectomy, and the procedure is usually covered by insurance. Follow up studies have shown that the procedure is highly effective in reducing fibroid related symptoms.

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Should I be concerned about the radiation I will be receiving from an X-ray, CT scan, or other diagnostic procedure?

Generally, the benefit of a Diagnostic Radiology procedure outweighs the potential risk posed by radiation. The procedures we perform at our practice can be crucial to your health because they allow us to correctly diagnose your medical problem so you can receive proper treatment. However, it is still important for you to be educated about the procedure you will be receiving and understand the amount of radiation you will be exposed to. Before undergoing a diagnostic procedure, you should weigh the risks and benefits of the test.

Radiation is a natural part of our environment. Everyday, we receive certain levels of exposure to naturally occurring radiation. The scientific unit of measurement for radiation dose is the millisievert (mSv). The average person in the U.S. receives about 3 mSv per year from radioactive materials in the environment and radiation from outer space. In comparison, a chest X-ray will give off a radiation dose of about 0.1 mSv, a mammogram will give a dose of about 0.7 mSv, and a CT scan of the body will give a dose of 10 mSv.

Our practice takes every precaution possible to limit your exposure to radiation and minimize your risks. Using the most modern equipment and techniques, we are able to give patients a much smaller dose of radiation than was required in the early days of Radiology. The state-of-the-art systems at our Hawaii practice filter and control x-ray beams to significantly reduce your radiation exposure. Our practice also takes precautions to limit radiation to only the part of the body that is being imaged.

If you are unsure about whether a diagnostic procedure is necessary, visit Radiology Associates of Hawaii. We can review your medical history and help you make an informed decision that is in the best interest of your health.

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Will receiving an ultrasound at your Hawaii practice harm my unborn baby?

Receiving an ultrasound is safe for your fetus because it does not involve any radiation. For standard diagnostic ultrasound procedures, there are no known harmful effects to humans.

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Is there any specific information I should know about the diagnostic test I am receiving?

For all tests, you should leave valuable personal belongings (including jewelry, money, and credit cards) at home, as you may be asked to remove them before the test. For most diagnostic tests, you will be capable of driving home after your exam. However, you will need to have someone drive you home following an angiogram because of the medications you may be given. For specific information, please refer to the guidelines below:

MRI

Screening:

Please let you doctor know if you have any of the following:

  • Cardiac pacemaker or artificial heart valve
  • Metal plate, pin, or other metallic implant
  • Intrauterine device
  • Insulin pump or other infusion pump
  • Aneurysm clips
  • Previous gunshot wound
  • Inner ear implant

Pregnancy:

Please tell the doctor if you are (or may be) pregnant. Your doctor will determine if you can take the MRI test safely.

Medication:

Please check with your doctor to see if you will need to follow any special medication instructions for the day of the test. This includes instructions for any over-the-counter medications you may be taking.

Diet:

Generally, there are no diet restrictions. Please check with your doctor to see if you should follow any special instructions for the day of the test.

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CT Scan

Screening:

If you are receiving a CT Scan at our Hawaii practice, please let your doctor know if you have any of the following:

  • Allergies, especially to seafood or iodine related products
  • Kidney problems
  • Diabetes (or are taking diabetes medication)
  • Body weight in excess of 425 pounds

Pregnancy:

Please tell the doctor if you are (or may be) pregnant. We will determine if you can take the CT scan safely at our Hawaii practice.

Medication:

  • Ask your doctor about your medication schedule for the day of the test, especially if you are diabetic or take heart or blood pressure medications.
  • Ask your doctor about when you can safely resume each of your medications after the CT Scan is over.
  • Ask your doctor about taking over-the-counter medications on the day of the CT Scan.

Diet:

  • Some CT scans we administer at our Hawaii practice do not allow eating or drinking at least eight hours before the scheduled test.
  • Ask you doctor about your special diet needs, especially if you are diabetic.
  • Ask your doctor what kinds of liquids you can take on the day of the test if you need to take medication.
  • Before receiving a CT scan, Hawaii residents should follow any special diet instructions carefully.

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X-ray

Restrictions:

Before receiving an X-ray, please inform our Hawaii practice if you have any of the following:

  • Allergies, especially to seafood or iodine related products
  • Body weight in excess of 300 pounds

Pregnancy:

Please tell the doctor if you are (or may be) pregnant. Your doctor will determine if you can safely have an X-ray at our Hawaii practice.

Medication:

Generally, there are no medication restrictions for X-ray testing. If your doctor gives you special instructions, please follow them carefully.

Diet:

Generally, there are no diet restrictions for X-ray testing at our Hawaii practice. However, some tests may require that you do not eat or drink anything immediately before testing. Please check with your doctor for special instructions.

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Angiogram

Screening:

You will be asked to fill out a history form so we can determine if factors such as the medications you take and your history of allergies could interfere with the test.

Pregnancy:

Please tell the doctor if you are (or may be) pregnant. Your doctor will determine if you can safely have an angiogram.

Medication:

  • Ask your doctor about your medication schedule for the day of the test, especially if you are diabetic or take heart or blood pressure medications.
  • Ask your doctor about when you can safely resume each of your medications after the angiogram is over.
  • Ask your doctor about taking over-the-counter medications on the day of the angiogram.

Diet:

You may be asked to refrain from eating or drinking anywhere from 4 to 8 hours before the test. Please ask your doctor for special instructions.

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Ultrasound

Screening:

There are no restrictions for ultrasound procedures at our Hawaii practice.

Pregnancy:

There are no restrictions for ultrasound testing.

Medication:

Generally there are no medication restrictions for ultrasound procedures at our Hawaii practice.

Diet:

  • Generally there are no diet restrictions for most ultrasound procedures
  • For ultrasound tests involving the abdomen or gall bladder, Hawaii residents will be asked to refrain from eating and drinking for at least six to eight hours before the test.
  • For some tests, you may be asked to have a full bladder for the test period.

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Mammogram

Screening:

Please let your doctor know if any of the following apply to you:

  • Age 35 or younger
  • Currently breast feeding
  • Taking blood thinners or aspirin (for core breast biopsy procedures)

Pregnancy:

Please tell the doctor if you are (or may be) pregnant. Your doctor will determine if you can safely have a mammogram.

Medication:

Generally, there are no restrictions for mammograms. However, if you are undergoing a core breast biopsy procedure, you may have to temporarily stop taking blood thinners or daily aspirin.

Diet:

Generally there are no diet restrictions for this test.

If you have any further questions about procedures or treatments - such as mammogram, MRI, CT Scan, Ultrasound, or X-ray, please visit Radiology Associates of Hawaii.

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Additional information about X-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, and more is available by contacting Radiology Associates of Hawaii.