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Imaging and Radiology FAQs

When you’re exhibiting symptoms of an illness that a doctor can’t identify without seeing inside the body, medical imaging is the perfect tool. At Hunt Regional Medical Center, our skilled staff uses the latest radiology equipment and technology to diagnose and treat disease, with an emphasis on your comfort.

Radiologist explaining an X-rayWhen you’re scheduled for a diagnostic imaging procedure, you may be slightly nervous or intimidated, especially if you’ve never gone through the procedure before. We understand your uneasiness and will do everything in our power to make the procedure as comfortable as possible. One way we strive to do that is by providing you with as much information beforehand as possible, so you can be informed.

Read the below imaging and radiology frequently asked questions and answers if there’s something you’re unsure about.

Q: Is exposure to medical imaging radiation dangerous?

A: Exposure to any form of radiation can bring health risks, however medical imaging radiation is conducted in a way that reduces as much health risk as possible. Hunt Regional radiologists are trained to understand the risks and reduce them to the best of their ability when conducting diagnostic procedures. While some patients may be at heightened risk of radiation dangers than others, our doctors will work with you to determine your level of risk and the proper precautions that should be taken.

Q: Where can I go to receive diagnostic testing in the northeast Texas area?

A: Hunt Regional Medical Center provides medical imaging services in the northeast Texas area. Specifically, we provide imaging services at our Greenville, Commerce, Rockwall, Royce City and Quinlan locations. See more information on where our imaging services are offered.

Q: What is contrast material and why do I need it?

A: Contrast material is a substance that temporarily changes the way X-rays, scans and other forms of medical imaging interact with the body. They can be taken in three forms: by being swallowed, through an enema, or injected into a blood vessel. Contrast materials are necessary because they help improve pictures of the inside of the body. Without contrast materials, the medical imaging will not produce clear enough images to properly diagnose health problems.

Q: Do diagnostic imaging tests hurt?

A: No, you should not experience pain during a medical imaging procedure. You may experience minor discomfort, depending on the type of procedure, but diagnostic imaging exams should not be painful.

Q: Is diagnostic imaging safe for women who are pregnant?

A: Depending on the type of diagnostic imaging procedure, these exams are generally safe for pregnant women. According to the American College of Radiology, no single diagnostic X-ray results in radiation exposure enough to threaten the health of the developing embryo or fetus. However, your doctor can work with you to determine the safest diagnostic imaging method.

Q: Who will perform my diagnostic imaging exam?

A: The answer to this question depends on which facility you are having your diagnostic imaging exam. However, Hunt Regional employs experienced, compassionate radiologists to perform X-rays, CT scans, MRIs and other medical imaging procedures. You can feel confident knowing that you are in good hands. Learn more about our medical imaging experts now.

Preparing for Your Diagnostic Imaging Procedure

Q: How should I prepare for my diagnostic imaging exam?

A: How you prepare for your exam will depend on the type of diagnostic imaging procedure you are scheduled for. Prior to certain exams you can go about your normal routine, including your normal eating schedule, but prior to others, there may be dietary and/or medication restrictions that must be followed. Your doctor will be able to explain any specific instructions to adhere to; you can also view a list of instructions by visiting our section on Preparing for Diagnostic Imaging Exams.

In general, wear comfortable clothing to your appointment and avoid wearing jewelry. You will not be able to take your car keys, watches, hair pins, cell phones, coins, glasses or other belongings into the exam room, so be sure to leave those items at home or with a loved one in the waiting room. Do not apply any skincare, like body lotions, sunscreen, topical analgesic ointments, creams, gels or sprays prior to your appointment.

Q: I am claustrophobic. What can I do to ease my fears of being inside a machine?

A: The best way to prepare for diagnostic imaging if you are claustrophobic is to first educate yourself about what to expect. Some procedures, like CT scans, aren’t completely enclosed, and many facilities have open MRIs, which have more space as all four sides are open. If you are still worried about being claustrophobic during the procedure, try meditation, deep breathing or listening to music. Ask your doctor as many questions as you need to feel comfortable. If you have to, talk to your doctor about taking a mild sedative for the procedure.

Q: Will I be able to move during my diagnostic imaging exam?

A: In order for the imaging procedure to produce the highest quality images possible, patients are asked to remain still. Your doctor will let you know when you should try to be still and when it is okay to move.

Q: What should I wear to my diagnostic imaging exam?

A: The best option is to wear comfortable clothing without any metal. Do not wear any jewelry, like necklaces, earrings or watches.

Q: Will braces or dental fillings interfere with my diagnostic test?

A: Fillings or braces may cause minor distortion of the diagnostic images if you are having a scan of your face, neck or back.

Q: Can a friend or family member stay with me during the test?

A: If you wish, you can bring an adult family member or friend with you during the test. They may be checked beforehand, however, to ensure they do not have any metal on them. No children are permitted in the imaging and radiology area, and they must be accompanied by an adult in the waiting room.

Q: Will I be able to communicate with a technician or physician during my test?

A: In between imaging captures, you may talk to your radiologist or physician. However when the images are being taken, you must remain as still as possible.

Q: How long will my test take?

A: The length of the procedure will vary depending on which type of imaging scan you are undergoing. An MRI usually takes about 45 minutes. A CT scan may take anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour. An X-ray typically takes about 15 minutes.

For more information or if you have a question not answered here, contact us by emailing contact@huntregional.org today.

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