Whatever your reason for getting in contact with us here at CRG in Norwich we want to provide you with the most comprehensive and up-to-date information about all aspects of private radiology services.
For more information about the different staff roles in radiology, what the equipment will look like and what it does, please visit goingfora.com.
Relevant leaflets for most diagnostic Radiological tests and Interventional Radiology procedures are available on the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) website. Please click on this link and then on the relevant leaflet to get more information on the test or procedure. You can also download all the leaflets as PDFs.
General information on a radiology department and some of the tests undertaken can be obtained from The Virtual Radiology Department of The Royal College of Radiologists.
Please contact us if you have any queries that we have not managed to answer on these pages.
Radiology is the branch of medicine that involves interpreting pictures of the body using X-rays, Magnetic Resonance (MRI) , Ultrasound or Radio-pharmaceuticals. Using these images, a wide range of injuries and diseases can be diagnosed and the treatment followed up.
Interventional radiology is a branch of radiology that involves using medical imaging to diagnose and treat conditions using minimally invasive techniques through the skin such as using small balloons to open up blocked arteries etc.
A radiologist is a fully qualified medical doctor who then specialises in the field of radiology by doing a specialist course of 5 years. Often radiologists then go on to sub-specialise in branches of radiology by doing a fellowship programme of 1 or 2 years.
A radiologist directs the use of medical imaging to get the best results based on the clinical question asked by the patient’s doctor. He or she then reports on the images obtained. These reports help the patient’s doctor to arrive at a diagnosis and formulate the best treatment plan. Further imaging will help evaluate the progress of the disease or injury and assess the response to treatment.
The risks associated with medical x-rays are frequently exaggerated. It is estimated that the chances of contracting cancer as a result of an x-ray of the chest, for example, are similar to the risks of contracting cancer by inhaling the smoke of one cigarette – about one in a million.
If you are worried about any treatment or scans you may be having, speak again to your GP or the hospital staff. They can refer to your medical records and if they know of your concerns they will always make time to explain the examination or treatment in more detail.
Ultrasound consists of high frequency sound waves too high for the human ear to detect, rather like the noise used by bats and dolphins to determine where they are. These waves are emitted by an ultrasound probe and travel harmlessly through the body bouncing off various layers of tissue. The probe then hears these echoes which are relayed onto a screen allowing the pictures to be interpreted.
Ultrasound is now the method of choice for monitoring the foetus during pregnancy and in diagnosis of numerous conditions involving organs such as the liver, kidney, heart and blood vessels. It is increasingly being used in the musculoskeletal system (e.g. tendons and joints).
Computed axial tomography (CT scan) is simply another x-ray technique using a scanner that takes a series of pictures across the body allowing the radiologist to view the images intwo dimensional or three dimensional form. Spiral CT is the most modern form of this imaging with the pictures being produced in only a few seconds.
This test is similar to a CT scan but uses magnetism and radio waves to build up a series of cross sectional images. MRI pictures as so precise that they often provide as much information as directly looking at the tissues.
For this reason MRI has potential to reduce the number of certain diagnostic procedures. MRI uses no x-rays and the magnetic fields are not known to be harmful, although some people cannot have an MRI such as those with pacemakers.
This machine produces a constant stream of x-rays so that it works in real time, enabling the doctor to view a changing image continuously, as in an interventional procedure. A digital unit produces an image where the picture elements (pixels) have a numerical value and this technology normally delivers a lower dose of radiation than the previous analogue system whilst providing high definition, high resolution images.
This encompasses any procedure that is invasive, usually involving the insertion of a needle, cannula (tube), catheter, or wire into the patient for diagnosis and /or treatment.
Procedures include angioplasty (insertion of a balloon into a vein or artery to widen it and improve circulation), stenting (insertion of a tube to keep an artery or a vein open) and biopsies e.g. lung, breast, renal, liver, bone etc.
Radiologists are also increasingly using imaging to guide therapeutic injections, e.g. for tennis elbow.
A diagnostic imaging technique in which patients are given a special radioactive substance that emits positrons which in turn give rise to gamma rays which are detected by a gamma camera.
The technique of using x-rays of the breast to detect irregularities or early signs of cancer.
Many radiology investigations require a significant number of images to be taken at the time. Although the doctor may be able to give you an initial response at the time of your visit, it is important that he/she has a chance to go away and study your films in much more detail.
Therefore in general they will inform you that a report will be dictated and sent to your referrer within a 7 working day period of your appointment and you should make arrangements to see your referrer (a GP or hospital specialist) again to get the full result.