A Information to Medical Imaging for Girls

A Information to Medical Imaging for Girls


Medically reviewed by Barry D. Pressman, M.D., Chair of the Division of Imaging at Cedars-Sinai

Medical imaging is utilized by healthcare suppliers (HCPs) to view the physique and collect data to diagnose and deal with medical circumstances. Understanding the several types of medical imaging can assist you understand what to anticipate.


X-rays use radiation to shortly and painlessly create pictures of constructions inside your physique. They’re generally used to diagnose bone issues, breast most cancers and infections.

  • One other sort of X-ray, a mammogram, is breast imaging that’s used to detect breast most cancers.
    • Routine mammograms carried out to examine for breast most cancers are known as screening mammograms.
    • Mammograms carried out as a result of a girl is displaying indicators of breast most cancers, or after suspicious outcomes on a screening mammogram, are known as diagnostic mammograms.

What to anticipate:

Relying on the kind of X-ray, you’ll be requested to lie down or stand nonetheless, and presumably swap positions, whereas the machine takes the pictures. You have to be finished in 10 to fifteen minutes.

Undecided what to anticipate throughout your first mammogram? Watch “Your First Mammogram: A Step-by-Step Information” >>

Suggestions and tips:

  • Put on unfastened clothes, and don’t put on something with buckles, buttons or zippers. Steel can intervene with the take a look at outcomes.
  • Don’t schedule a mammogram throughout the week earlier than your interval. It may be more durable to get image in case your breasts are swollen, and your breasts could also be extra delicate presently.
  • When getting in for a mammogram, don’t put on deodorant, antiperspirant, powders, lotions or fragrance underneath your arms or round your breasts as a result of they might present up as white spots on the X-ray.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

MRIs use magnetic waves to create detailed pictures of organs and tissue. They can be utilized to diagnose stroke and blood vessel points, spinal twine issues, tumors, a number of sclerosis (MS), aneurysms, joint accidents, and extra.

What to anticipate:

You’ll be requested to take away all of your garments and placed on a hospital robe. Then, you’ll lie on a desk that slides right into a tunnel-like MRI machine, which can make loud noises because the magnets work. An MRI normally takes 45 minutes to an hour.

Suggestions and tips:

  • Speak to your HCP about choices for serving to you calm down throughout your MRI, reminiscent of soothing music or a sleep masks.
  • Some assessments require you to be confined in a small area. Speak to your HCP about your choices you probably have any issues about claustrophobia.
  • You can’t have any steel within the room with you, since an MRI is a big magnet. Make sure to alert the technician you probably have any steel in your physique.

PET scan

PET scans present how organs and tissues are functioning. Present process a PET scan includes inhaling, swallowing or getting a shot of radioactive medication (known as a tracer) so a machine can learn the radiation these tracers give off. PET scans are sometimes used to diagnose most cancers, coronary heart issues, Alzheimer’s illness, epilepsy and Parkinson’s illness.

What to anticipate:

After being given the tracer, you’ll lie on a desk that slides right into a donut-shaped scanner. All the course of will take round two hours.

Suggestions and tips:

  • You received’t be allowed to eat or drink for six hours earlier than your PET scan (besides plain water with nothing added).
  • In the event you’re breastfeeding, you won’t be able to breastfeed for twenty-four hours after getting your tracer due to the publicity to radiation.

CT scan

Computerized tomography, or CT scans, use many X-ray pictures to create a cross-section of physique elements, reminiscent of bones, blood vessels and gentle tissues. CT scans are generally used to evaluate traumatic accidents, fractures, tumors, infections, coronary heart issues, most cancers and extra.

What to anticipate:

You’ll lie on a desk that slides right into a donut-shaped scanner, the place an X-ray tube will rotate round you whereas taking pictures. CT scans are normally fast, lasting solely about 10 to fifteen minutes.

Suggestions and tips:

  • You possibly can most likely maintain your personal garments on so long as you keep away from carrying clothes with steel zippers or snaps. (Depart jewellery at house, together with steel piercings.)
  • Keep away from consuming and ingesting for 4 hours earlier than your CT scan.


Ultrasounds use sound waves to seize pictures of constructions within the physique. Along with serving to monitor being pregnant, ultrasounds can be utilized to diagnose gallbladder illness, breast lumps, swollen joints, genital points and extra.

  • One sort of ultrasound, a transvaginal ultrasound, includes inserting the imaging system (known as a transducer) into the vagina. This enables HCPs to see the organs inside your pelvic cavity, together with your cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries.
  • Throughout being pregnant, transvaginal ultrasounds are frequent throughout the first trimester (the primary 12 weeks). After that, your HCP will seemingly need to do at the least one belly ultrasound (additionally known as a sonogram) to examine your child’s improvement.

What to anticipate:

An ultrasound technician will apply gel to your pores and skin, then transfer the transducer round to create pictures of what’s happening inside your physique. The ultrasound will most likely final half-hour to 1 hour.

Suggestions and tips:

  • For some forms of ultrasounds, it’s possible you’ll be requested to not eat or drink earlier than the process.
  • For an ultrasound throughout being pregnant, you’ll seemingly want to point out as much as your appointment with a full bladder to assist the technician get a greater view of your child.

You probably have questions on healthcare imaging, speak to your HCP.

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