Our Guide to When You Should See a Radiologist

Outside of your annual physical, you’ll likely have to undergo a medical imaging exam if it’s requested by your healthcare specialist. Though a radiologist isn’t usually present during a scan, it’s their responsibility to interpret the images in order to come up with a detailed report for your primary care doctor to review. Occasionally, a radiologist will ask to meet with you should a particular concern need further addressing. In this article, we’ll enumerate the specific procedures covered by a radiologist and when it might be time to consult with one. 

Radiologist-Led Procedures

 

  • Breast and thyroid biopsies: during this procedure, a specific area of the breast or thyroid is examined for abnormalities. Technicians use a needle to extract a small sample of tissue, which is then sent to a lab for analysis. 
  • Image-guided pain therapy: using an X-ray and ultrasound to guide treatment for chronic pain, technicians inject medication through a compact needle to perform treatment on softer tissues.
  • Interventional radiology: used to treat conditions such as uterine fibroids or enlarged prostates, this type of procedure is minimally invasive. 

 

How Radiologists Interpret Your Diagnostic Imaging Tests

Whether you’re undergoing an X-ray, MRI scan, ultrasound, nuclear medicine imaging, mammography, or CT scan, it isn’t usually protocoled for your technician or radiologist to immediately discuss the results with you. This is because technologists are only qualified and registered to perform the exams and pass on the images to a radiologist. 

The information collected is then directed towards a more complete medical assessment that may require other diagnostic tests, blood tests, or a physical exam. To reach an accurate diagnosis, your doctor might also ask for your medical history. 

A radiologist or technologist won’t have access to your medical history and other tests and thus cannot be the persons coming up with a diagnosis. 

Receiving Your Radiology Results

There’s no doubt that receiving the results of your radiology scans is a nerve-wracking process—especially during the wait. If any concerns require immediate attention, your results will usually be faxed to your referring physician. Otherwise, most results are delivered to your primary doctor within one to two business days, depending on the type of exam performed. 

Though primarily responsible for capturing images and performing tests, a radiologist will also ease any anxiety you may be experiencing. Before an exam, a radiologist will explain what you will undergo and for what reasons. They may sometimes be able to disclose what is recorded on the screen within the limitations of what they are permitted to share. 

Conclusion

When it comes to diagnosing difficult diseases, radiology is a crucial step that takes place before treatment. Image interpretation can help achieve early diagnosis, which is imperative when coming up with the proper treatment plan and eventually saving a life. 

At Garden State Medical Group, we are committed to providing patients with individualized care by utilizing the latest advances in medical technology. Through high-caliber cardiopulmonary services and diagnostic exams, we can treat both common and rarer diseases. 

By turning to us for primary care in NJ, we can better come up with superior treatments that save more than just your life – contact us now!

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