What is Radiology ?
Radiology is a branch of medicine in which medical imaging techniques are used in diagnosing and treating diseases and disorders by the specialists. There should be adequate training in understanding radiation safety while using this technique. Doctors who specialize in handling radiology are known as radiologists.
Radiology is divided into two categories – diagnostic radiology and interventional radiology.
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As the name suggests, diagnostic radiology uses the non-invasive group of methods that utilize non-invasive techniques to identify and monitor certain diseases. It uses radiations at a level that has been determined as safe to create detailed anatomical images. It is used to identify a wide range of problems such as broken bones, heart conditions, blood clots and gastrointestinal disorders etc.
If you are undergoing any current treatment, then diagnostic radiology can be used to see how your body is responding to that treatment. Some of the common machines used in radiology are –
- X-ray machine – This machine uses x-rays to produce images of the inside of the body. It is a type of electromagnetic radiation in which there is no use of incisions.
- CT scanner – with the help of X-ray equipment, a sequence of cross-sectional images of the body are created. It is used when highly detailed images of the body are needed by the doctor.
- MRI machine – images of the inside of the body are created with the help of a magnetic field. It is specially used for bones.
Interventional radiology uses radiation images in treating medical conditions. Technologies such as CT scan, MRI, Ultrasound etc are used to help procedures. There is no use of surgery when using this form of radiology. Patients need the mild form of sedation and are often awake while using this form of treatment. Most procedures are performed on the outpatient basis and require only a short hospital stay. Some of the commonly used procedures are-
- Balloon angioplasty – using a balloon, narrowed or blocked blood vessels are opened.
- Endovascular aneurysm repair – in this procedure, endovascular stent-graft is placed across an aneurysm to prevent expansion of the defective vessel.
- Embolization – it is the placement of a metallic coil or embolic substance to block blood through to a blood vessel to stop bleeding.
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