Frequently Asked Questions
In most cases you are not able to “self-refer” for radiology examinations. General Practitioners (GPs), Specialists, Midwives, Physiotherapists, Chiropractors and Dentists are some of the people who can request an examination if necessary. You can approach your Doctor for a referral for some examinations (e.g. mammography).
Do X-Rays have any side effects?
This depends on the examination your Referrer has suggested you need. When you telephone us, we can give you an idea of the cost of the examination.
This varies from examination to examination. When you make your appointment the Reception staff will be able to help you with this. Plain X-ray examinations usually take between 15 and 20 minutes, and ultrasound about 30 minutes.
You are welcome to bring someone with you. This is good for moral support and particularly helpful if you need help getting dressed. After some examinations, you may like to have someone drive you home.
However during the x-rays they will need to wait in the waiting room. If you are having an ultrasound, we ask you restrict the number of friends and family you bring to four. Otherwise the ultrasound room can become very noisy and squashed.
You need to bring your request form (unless you have dropped it in to us or your Referrer has already send it) and any X-ray films, ultrasound scans, CT or MRI relating to the area to be imaged today.
Results from Foremost Radiology are sent to your Referrer electronically (computer to computer), by fax, or by mail. We would expect most results would be with your Doctor within 24 -48 hours of your examination.
Ultrasound uses sound waves and not radiation. Ultrasound has been used for more than 40 years, and there is no proven risk to either Mother or Baby.
Ultrasound in pregnancy can be used from a foetal age of 6 weeks; and is used to demonstrate the foetus (such as size, gestational age, body structures) and the position of the placenta in the uterus. There have been a number of studies on ultrasound safety, yet none have shown a detrimental effect to babies or Mother.
However, Hamilton Radiology takes care to provide quality ultrasound equipment, and minimize ultrasound examination time and number of ultrasound examinations required during pregnancy.
After you have had a plain X-ray your Doctor may have suggested a CT scan. Many patients question why CT examinations cost so much more than a plain X-ray. The cost of the equipment for CT examination (scanner and computer) is significantly higher (about 30 times more) than the cost of a room used for plain X-rays
CT or computerized tomography is an examination using X-rays that allows detailed cross sectional images of body areas. The scanner (see CT Section) has a table lying through a large metal “doughnut” .
The bed will move until the area to be examined lies inside the circle. The images taken by the CT are entered into a sophisticated computer system from where the technician can select images for printing. Some areas may not be seen clearly without the assistance of contrast material, which can be taken orally or via an injection.
Contrast agents are materials used to show areas where there is little differentiation of soft tissue areas. The most frequently used contrast agents are barium (taken mixed with water) and iodine-based media. Patients who have a history of allergies, asthma or previous reaction to a contrast media should discuss this with their Doctor, and when making the appointment at Hamilton Radiology.
MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. MRI uses a magnetic field and a sophisticated computer system to give detailed images of the body. It is used widely for soft tissue areas such as your brain, tendons and muscles and spine.