Urology in basic terms deals with anything regarding the urinary tract. From dealing with kidney stones to urinary tract infections, to prostate issues, urology’s basic purpose is to help patients experiencing those kinds of issues. As with any part of the body, the urinary tract requires diagnostic imaging in order to diagnose any issues that may not be easily palpable through basic diagnostic procedures. Urology imaging is specialized and it isn’t initially a basic X-Ray, CT scan, or MRI.
What kind of Imaging may be necessary?
Often times the kind of imaging necessary in urology procedures is determined by the condition, the complexity of the condition, and issues such as the patient’s disposition, and the physician’s decision for treatment. As with all imaging procedures, there are concerns in terms of exposure to radiation and radiation levels used. The types of procedures necessary vary from the following:
- MRI– Magnetic resonance imaging which takes pictures of the internal organs and soft tissues without the need for X-Rays. Often times anesthesia is not used even though sedation may be necessary for claustrophobic patients.
- Ultrasound- The ultrasound employs the use of sound waves to create an image of the organism.
- CT Scan- A combination of X-Rays and computer imaging technology used to create a three-dimensional image of the organ.
- X-Rays- The X-Ray has been around since 1895 and it’s used to help with kidney stones, prostate imaging, or the existence of a possible tumor. X-Rays are the cornerstone of conventional radiology procedures used to diagnose and treat patients.
What May the Imaging Show?
The purpose for imaging in urology is to make sure that a physician’s diagnosis is accurate and, whatever the diagnosis, the physician can treat it properly, even if it means using an interventional procedure and subsequent imaging procedures to ensure the patient has been properly treated. Imaging is used in radiology to look for and detect numerous problems such as:
- Kidney failure, which could lead to death if not treated properly and in time.
- Urinary frequency, which could reveal serious prostate problems.
- Urinary retention, an inability to empty the bladder, which in turn could lead to renal failure and death.
Imaging can help determine not only the symptom but what can come from it or what may already be happening. Prostate cancer, a big concern among men in or above their 50’s, can be spotted early and treated before it becomes a major concern for a patient.
Concerns Addressed Before Hand
While imaging helps patients being treated for urinary tract issues, it’s always good for the patient to know what’s what. As with all imaging procedures, there is some exposure to radiation doses, all of which can be calibrated to be less dangerous for the patient without sacrificing the quality of the image. Specific protocols are particular not only about what a patient is being tested for but also for the patient’s demographic range, so kids are considered and the effects on them are too.
Ultimately the purpose of imaging in urology is the same as in every other medical specialty. Urology imaging is there to determine if a patient requires further treatment for an infection, tumor, cancer, or condition. Often times the outcomes may be favorable depending on the detection of the condition and the level of advancement. The correct method of imaging is always a helpful tool, no matter what the situation may be.
If you have any questions about diagnostic imaging equipment used in urology such as CT scanners, Urology systems, and MRIs, please give us a call. We here at Amber diagnostics look forward to taking your call and answering any questions that you may have.