Our Services

Radiology

Our Radiology department use images to diagnose, treat and manage medical conditions and diseases.

We use a variety of imaging techniques such as X-ray, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and radioisotope scans.

 

If you’ve been referred into our service, then you will be seen by one of our specialists. This could be a:

  • radiographer
  • radiologist
  • radiology nurse
  • sonographer

A radiographer is a person who has been trained to take X-rays or perform CT, MRI or radioisotope scans. If you’re having an interventional procedure e.g. a biopsy or angiogram, a radiographer will be part of the team looking after you. Some radiographers have also extended their training and are able to interpret diagnostic images and provide a written report for the health care professional who has sent you for the test.

A radiologist is a doctor who has had additional training to be able to undertake radiological examinations such as ultrasound or radiology guided biopsies, and also interpret diagnostic images such as X-rays, CT, MRI, ultrasound and radioisotope scans. If you’re having an interventional procedure, a radiologist will perform the procedure.

The radiologist provides a written report of the results of your examination which will be sent to the doctor or healthcare professional looking after you.

The role of the radiology nurse is to assist the team during interventional procedures and care for the patients during and after these procedures.

A sonographer specialises in the use of ultrasound equipment to produce diagnostic images for a range of specialties including obstetrics, surgery and orthopaedics. They perform the scan and produce a written report for the healthcare professional looking after you.

Most ultrasound scans last between 15 and 45 minutes. There are different kinds of ultrasound scans, depending on which part of the body is being scanned and why.

The three main types are:

  • external ultrasound scan – the probe is moved over the skin
  • internal ultrasound scan – the probe is inserted into the body
  • endoscopic ultrasound scan – the probe is attached to a long, thin, flexible tube (an endoscope) and passed further into the body

You may be told the results of your scan soon after it’s been carried out, but in most cases the images will need to be analysed and a report will be sent to the doctor who referred you for the scan.

They will discuss the results with you a few days later or at your next appointment, if one’s been arranged.

It is important to remove anything metallic from the region that we are scanning so that we can get a clearer image. This may mean that you need to get changed into a gown before your scan. It is sometimes possible to scan through your own clothes if there is no metal on them.

For some examinations there may be a need for injection of contrast to further enhance the scan. The procedure will be fully explained to you when you arrive within the department.

You’ll usually lie on your back on a flat bed that passes into the CT scanner. The scanner consists of a ring that rotates around a small section of your body as you pass through it.

Unlike an MRI scan, the scanner doesn’t surround your whole body at once, so you shouldn’t feel claustrophobic.

We’ll operate the scanner from the next room. While the scan is taking place, you’ll be able to hear and speak to us through an intercom.

While each scan is taken, you’ll need to lie very still and breathe normally. This ensures that the scan images aren’t blurred.

You may be asked to breathe in, breathe out, or hold your breath at certain points.

The scan will usually take around 10 to 20 minutes.

Your scan results won’t usually be available immediately. A computer will need to process the information from your scan, which we’ll then analyse.

After analysing the images, we’ll write a report and send it to the doctor who referred you for the scan so they can discuss the results with you. This normally takes a few days or weeks.

You’ll usually be asked to lie on a table or stand against a flat surface so that the part of your body being examined can be positioned in the right place.

The X-ray machine will be carefully aimed at the part of the body being examined. We’ll operate the machine from behind a screen or from the next room. It is important to remove anything metallic from the region that we are x-raying so that we can get a clearer image. This may mean that you need to get changed into a gown before your x-ray. It’s sometimes possible to x-ray through your own clothing if there is no metal on them.

The X-ray will last for a fraction of a second. You won’t feel anything while it’s carried out.

While the X-ray is being taken, you’ll need to keep still so the image produced isn’t blurred.

More than one X-ray may be taken from different angles to provide as much information as possible. The procedure will usually only take a few minutes.

It is important that you tell the radiographer if you are, or suspect that you might be, pregnant.

You may get your results on the same day, or we may send a report to your GP or doctor who requested the X-ray, who can discuss the results with you a few days later.

The MR scanner is a giant magnet and as such you will have to remove all magnetic (containing iron) objects before you can have your scan.

A safety questionnaire will be sent to you in the post prior to your appointment which must be completed prior to your visit from which we’ll establish if there is any reason you shouldn’t have an MR scan. For example, patients with certain implantable devices may be unable to have an MR scan.

Some examinations may require injection of a contrast agent to further enhance the images and the full procedure will be given to you before your scan.

You’ll lie on a flat bed that’s moved into the scanner. Depending on the part of your body being scanned, you’ll be moved into the scanner either head first or feet first.

We control the scanner using a computer, which is in a different room, to keep it away from the magnetic field generated by the scanner. You’ll be able to talk to us through an intercom and we’ll be able to see you on a television monitor throughout the scan.

At certain times during the scan, the scanner will make loud tapping noises. This is the electric current in the scanner coils being turned on and off. You’ll be given earplugs or headphones to wear.

It’s very important to keep as still as possible during your MRI scan. The scan lasts 15 to 90 minutes, depending on the size of the area being scanned and how many images are taken.

We’ll study your MRI scan and may discuss it with other specialists. This means it’s unlikely you’ll get the results of your scan immediately.

We’ll send a report to the doctor who arranged the scan, who will discuss the results with you. It usually takes a week or two for the results of an MRI scan to come through, unless they’re needed urgently.

Nuclear Medicine is imaging that looks at the function of an organ rather than the anatomy.

On arrival at the Nuclear Medicine department you will be greeted by a member of the team and you will be given an injection of a radioactive isotope. This will be done either directly on the camera or in a separate injection room. This injection enables the team to visualise the function of a particular area of the body. You will have your scan either directly after the injection or a number of hours after depending on the area that we are examining.

You’ll lie on a flatbed that’s moved into the camera. Depending on the part of your body being scanned, you’ll be moved into the scanner either head first or feet first.

We control the scanner using a computer, which is in a different room. You’ll be able to talk to the staff and they can see you through a camera at all times.

It’s very important to keep as still as possible during your nuclear medicine scan. The scan lasts 15 to 90 minutes, depending on the size of the area being scanned and how many images are taken.

We’ll study your nuclear medicine images scan and may discuss it with other specialists. This means it’s unlikely you’ll get the results of your scan immediately.

We’ll send a report to the doctor who arranged the scan, who will discuss the results with you. It usually takes a week or two for the results of a nuclear medicine scan to come through, unless they’re needed urgently.

Key contact numbers

Radiology

Tel: 01204 390010

MRI

Tel: 01204 390085

Nuclear Medicine

Tel: 01204 390570

Meet the team