GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Medical imaging scans have made it much easier for patients to get a diagnosis and the right treatment without necessarily having to undergo surgery.

As part of our “Ask the Expert” series, in partnership with Bon Secours St. Francis Health, 7News Anchor Taylor Murray spoke with a radiologic technologist about the imaging tests available and how they are used.

Modern diagnostic, like imaging scans, give your doctor a way to see the inside of your body without surgery.

Bon Secours St. Francis Radiographer, Elliot Brown Taylor, said the imaging test that a healthcare provider orders depend on what they are trying to diagnose.

“The most commonly ordered tests are going to be CT, X-Ray and MRI,” Brown said. “For a fracture, for example, you’re probably going to go with an X-Ray and if you’re looking for tendons and ligaments you’re going to go for CT of MRI just kind of depends.”

The X-Ray is the most accessible imaging test but it only provides a 2D image. MRIs are usually ordered when a doctor needs a more detailed look.

There are some risks associated with imaging tests such as exposure to radiation.

“With a CT you’re getting a lot, a lot more dose of radiation with X-Ray it’s very, very minimal,” Brown mentioned. “The doctor always has to weigh the risk versus the benefit.”

Unlike X-Rays and CT scans, MRIs do not expose you to radiation. However, technicians conducting the imaging test will ask you to remove any metal jewelry or piercings before your MRI.

CT scans and MRIs are ordered most often in trauma situations. For example, when a patient has been in a car accident or where a brain bleed is expected.

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