QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
- Why do I need to prepare myself for some examinations?
- Why does one need contrast medium? Is it dangerous?
- What can one see on an X-ray image?
- When will my reports be ready?
- Why is it loud during an MRI investigation?
- Why is the breast compressed forcefully during mammography?
- Are X-rays harmful?
- Why do I need to visit the medical superintendent?
- My child is to undergo an MRI. What should I keep in mind?
- Aren’t CT and MRI one and the same thing?
Why do I need to prepare myself for some examinations?
The organs of the upper abdomen, such as the liver, the gall bladder, the pancreas and the spleen, can be visualized on ultrasound only under specific conditions. For this purpose you have to abstain from food, cigarettes and coffee for a certain period of time. In the case of an ultrasound investigation of the lower abdomen we need a full bladder to obtain clear views of the organs of the lesser pelvis. We do not need a urine sample. Our team will be glad to inform you about the preparation required for this examination. We do request you to adhere to our recommendations. Only then can be guarantee best possible diagnostic quality.
Why does one need contrast medium? Is it dangerous?
The administration of contrast medium permits more exact demarcation of individual organs or structures in the body and is therefore sometimes mandatory for establishing a correct diagnosis.
In contrast to iodine-based contrast media which are commonly used in radiology, gadolinium has no appreciable side effects. It contains no iodine and can therefore be used even in persons with allergies or drug intolerance. Nevertheless, if you have an allergy, please do inform us of the same.
What can one see on an X-ray image?
When the X-ray passes through the body, it is weakened to a different extent. Fat, muscles and soft tissue are quite radiolucent. Therefore, the film is darkened to a greater degree. Bone permits less rays to pass through and is therefore seen bright.
Due to different degrees of contrast, the radiologist is able to distinguish diseased structures from healthy ones.
When will my reports be ready?
You may wait for your X-ray, mammography, ultrasound and bone densitometry reports, and take these with you right away (these reports are handed out immediately). The evaluation of MRI and CT images is a laborious matter. Therefore, reports for these investigations can be handed out immediately only in exceptional cases. You may pick up your images and the final report on the second business day after your examination, from 8 a.m. onward.
Why is the breast compressed forcefully during mammography?
As the breast is a very dense body part, it has to be pressed flat before the examination with the aid of two synthetic plates. This is essential to ensure satisfactory image quality.
However, such pressure poses no risk to your health.
Depending on the menstrual cycle, this examination may be unpleasant. Due to the effect of hormones, some women are particularly sensitive before the start of menstruation. If an urgent examination is indicated, these women may be advised to undergo mammography after menstruation – when the breast is less sensitive.
However, hormonal fluctuations have no effect on image quality.
Why is it loud during an MRI investigation?
The knocking sound in the device, which is unpleasant for many, is simply the sound of the device in operation. It is not indicative of a mechanical disorder – so please don’t be anxious. The high, low and knocking sounds are caused by the rapidly changing magnetic fields required for the investigation.
Are X-rays harmful?
The risk of experiencing damage due to X-rays is practically non-existent when using the most recent devices. The radiation we are exposed to during a long flight, for instance, is similar to the radiation burden of an X-ray. Of course the risks and benefits must be considered individually for each patient. Therefore, in every case you must consult a general practitioner before undergoing an X-ray examination.
Why do I need to visit the medical superintendent?
MRI is the highest level of diagnostic imaging. Therefore, it has to be approved by the medical superintendent. The health insurance company wishes to ensure that all meaningful and more economical diagnostic tools have been exhausted. Therefore, as a patient you must take your previous reports when you visit the health insurance company for obtaining approval of an investigation.
Please understand that we can perform the investigation only if you submit a valid approval endorsement from your health insurance company.
If you are insured with several health insurance company, please bring the approval from the insurance company that will be billed the MRI investigation. Subsequent changes are not permitted.
My child is to undergo an MRI. What should I keep in mind?
Performing an MRI in a child is basically no problem. Most children are very curious and, if prepared correctly, not anxious like adults.
However, children do feel their parents’ anxiety or concern. These emotions are passed on to children and become a major problem for them, for parents, and for medical staff.
Therefore, as a parent you should be sufficiently informed, and should accompany your child calmly to the investigation.
Additionally, you may take your child’s favorite music on a CD – which he/she may listen to during the examination.
Aren’t MRI and CT one and the same thing?
By no means. When you referring physician orders a CT, it has to be performed.
MRI and CT differ in many respects and are by no means interchangeable. Therefore, it is important to perform the recommended technique for you – because both types of investigation offer various diagnostic options and must be selected specifically with your symptoms in mind.