Common Imaging Procedures

Have you ever needed an x-ray, CT scan, or MRI? If you’ve never had one of these imaging procedures before, they can seem complex, intimidating, and frightening. But in reality, all three procedures are painless, and allow doctors to see scans of the inside of your body. With these procedures, they identify broken bones or health conditions. With some basic knowledge of how these imaging procedures work and what they do, they seem much less scary.


An x-ray is the most common of the three imaging procedures. An x-ray produces images of the inside of the body. X-rays are commonly used to diagnose broken bones, lung issues, or even heart problems. Getting an x-ray is a painless and simple procedure. The patient just lies flat and still. Then, the x-ray machine, which is a large tube that contains a light bulb, is aimed at the part of the body being examined. A machine operator operates the x-ray machine from another room. An x-ray only takes a few seconds.

CT Scan

A CT (computed tomography) scan is a type of x-ray that produces a detailed picture of the inside of the body. Before a CT scan, you may have to swallow a kind of dye that makes your insides “light up” during the scan, or the dye may be injected via IV. The scan takes anywhere from a few minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the area being scanned.

Metal objects, such as jewelry, hairpins, glasses, or even dentures affect the images on the CT scan, and should be removed prior to the exam.

A CT scan looks for conditions such as:

  • Kidney tumors
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Complications of pneumonia
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Congenital malformations of the heart, kidneys, and blood vessels


MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. During an MRI, the patient lies inside a large tube, which contains very strong magnets. The magnets cause the protons inside the body to align, and then a radio wave scatters the protons again. This allows for doctors to see where exactly the protons are in the body, which creates a detailed picture.

MRI scans can be used on many locations of the body, including

  • Brain and spinal cord
  • Bones and joins
  • Breasts
  • Heart and blood vessels
  • Internal organs

X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs sound scientific and complicated, but they are not bad at all! They can help to diagnose a serious injury or health issue, and in some cases, could show something life-saving that a doctor couldn’t see from the outside. Next time you have to go for any kind of imaging procedure, don’t be scared, and remember that it’s okay to ask lots of questions!


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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