About Radiation Exposure
All of us are exposed to some background radiation just by going about our daily lives. This low-level exposure to radiation is generally considered safe. Some imaging procedures will provide additional exposure to radiation. For most people, occasional imaging procedures throughout their lifetime won’t be an issue, but doctors must balance the valuable medical information from these procedures against the slight increased risk that too much radiation may cause.
While some imaging tests such as MRI and ultrasound do not involve radiation, other tests such as X-rays, CT scans, and nuclear medicine do expose you to some radiation. The amount of radiation varies from test to test and depends on a number of other factors, including your weight, the number of “views” taken, the equipment, and the imaging facility’s procedures. Most X-rays, including mammograms, and bone density tests have very small amounts of radiation. Despite recent media reports, radiation exposure to the thyroid from mammograms is extremely low. Read more.
Steps We Take to Minimize Radiation
Advanced Radiology strives to perform only tests that are necessary, and to use just enough radiation to provide a high quality image to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis. Here are a few examples of how we keep your radiation exposure to a minimum when you have a CT scan, X-ray or other test involving radiation*:
- We work with your doctor to make sure your test is necessary and appropriate. If we have any questions about a procedure your doctor ordered, we may call him or her, and when appropriate, we may suggest a way to get good test results with less radiation.
- We follow the American College of Radiology’s recommendations to “Image Gently’ whenever children receive an imaging procedure, meaning that we are especially careful to keep their radiation doses low.
- We carefully adjust the amount of radiation to make it optimal for your weight and age, and we have special software that adjusts the dose to match the thickness of each section that is imaged on a CT scan.
- We use special breast shields for children and pre-menopausal women when doing a chest X-ray, to prevent radiation to the breast area.
- We use special shields for your eyes and your thyroid when applicable, to prevent radiation to these parts of the body.
- We have experts regularly inspect our equipment and facilities.
As a result, all of Advanced Radiology’s centers are accredited for both pediatric and adult procedures by the American College of Radiology (ACR), a national organization that sets the standards for medical radiation procedures in the U.S.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to ask one of our team members during your visit, or call us at 1-888-972-9700.
Approximate Radiation Dosage for Some Common Imaging Procedures click for chart.