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MRI How it works: Like CT scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) creates cross-section images of the body, but it uses strong magnets and radio waves rather than radiation to create the images. What it's used for: Examining organs and diagnosing torn ligaments, tumors, metastatic cancer, and brain and spinal cord conditions. What to expect: You'll lie on a table, and markers will be placed on your body with tape to indicate where the images should focus. You'll be given earplugs, as the machine is quite loud during testing. The table will then slide into the machine's long, cylindrical opening. The test can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the images being captured. If you have any issues with claustrophobia or an inability to lie still for long periods, tell your doctor. He or she may prescribe a medication to help you relax or even order sedation. "MRI is a good problemsolving tool," Fishman says. "There's no radiation involved, and it's very good for looking at soft-tissue changes-meniscus tears, ligamentous injuries, spine and disk disease-as well as cardiac function, vascular issues, and the brain and spine." ■ WHAT ABOUT THE RADIATION? Many people are wary of radiation exposure from X-rays and CT scans. And exposure builds up over time, no matter how long you go between tests. The average chest X-ray exposes adults to about 0.1 millisievert (mSv) of radiation. CT scans of the chest expose adults to about 7 mSv. Experts consider radiation exposure between 3 and 20 mSv per year to be moderate. Exposure over 20 mSv is high. Does that mean you should avoid X-ray tests and CT scans? "One way to look at it is not what's the risk of the radiation-because the amount of radiation you'll get from most diagnostic tests is fairly small-but what happens if you don't get the test?" says James V. Rawson, MD, a radiologist and the chair of the American College of Radiology Commission on Patient- and FamilyCentered Care. "What happens if you don't have the information you would have gotten from the test? The small risk you're taking with the radiation usually does not outweigh the much larger risk of not getting the diagnosis." WEBSITE Lung Cancer Screening Gwinnett Medical Center offers lowdose CT lung screenings for those at risk of developing lung cancer. Learn more at gwinnettmedicalcenter.org/ lungscreening. WINTE R 2016 31 http://www.gwinnettmedicalcenter.org/lungscreening

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - Gwinnett Medical Center

Contents
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - Gwinnett Medical Center - Contents
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