The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust


Radiology Departments

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Breast Services (Mammography)

A mammogram is a specialist X-ray of the breast. It can reveal changes in the breast before you or your doctor notice them. Currently the NHS Breast Screening Programme invites all women from the age of 50 years old to 70 years old, every 3 years for a mammogram. However with the Cancer Reform Strategy this age range will be extended to 47 year old to 73 years old and also a Familial History Breast Screening Service will be started.

Some women can find mammography uncomfortable as the breast tissue needs to be held firmly in place to ensure a good image is obtained but it shouldn’t be painful. Mammograms use low doses of radiation and there is a small risk from the radiation received but this is outweighed by benefit of making a correct diagnosis. For more information please click here.

Computerised Tomography (CT)

The CT scanner uses X-rays and a computer to create detailed images of various parts of the body, such as bones, soft tissues and the brain.

The images are produced from a block of data which the scanner acquires in a single breath hold. This data is then turned into cross sectional images, like the slices of a loaf of bread. These image slices are then reassembled by the computer to give a very detailed, multidimensional view of the body’s interior. Depending on the part of the body being examined you may be given an injection of a special dye - ‘contrast medium’. This makes some tissues show up more clearly on the scan images.

CT scans can help look for signs of inflammation, disease or cancer and monitor many other health conditions.

For more information click here.

Fluoroscopy

This is an X-ray procedure, sometimes called ‘screening’, and is often used to look at the gastrointestinal system. After passing through the body, the X-ray beam is viewed by a special camera which produces a moving picture on a TV screen. This lets us watch the body as it works. The radiologist or radiographer performing the examination can take snapshot images of any important findings, or record the whole examination on video.

It also helps other health care practitioners with their patients, such as speech therapists working with patients who are having difficulty swallowing. For example, in a ‘barium meal’ you will be asked to swallow a drink of barium which is a special liquid shown up well by X-rays, to give moving pictures of the stomach and intestines.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRI is a way of examining the organs and tissues in the body without the use of X-rays and has no known harmful effects. The MRI scanner uses a strong magnetic field, radio waves and an advanced computer to provide very clear and detailed images of any area of the body, and is particularly useful when examining areas in the body that are surrounded by bone, such as the brain or spinal cord.

MRI is a valuable tool for the diagnosis of a wide range of conditions and allows us to see somebody structures that may not be visible with other diagnostic imaging methods. MRI scans are often used to examine joints, particularly for the common sports injuries affecting the knee. Scans can identify tendons, ligaments, muscle, cartilage and bone marrow and can help your doctor decide whether an injury needs surgery.

For more information please click here.

Nuclear Medicine/Cardiology

Nuclear medicine is an imaging technique that uses radioisotopes to the document both organ function and structure and is used to investigate the functional changes that are produced by disease processes. It can often identify abnormalities/ problems very early in the progression of a disease, often long before some medial problems are apparent using other diagnostic tests.

The images obtained are of relatively low resolution when compared with other imaging methods such as X-rays, CT and MRI. A small dose of Isotope is injected into the vain in the arm then, after a while, pictures are taken using a Gamma Camera which detects the radioactivity within the body. For example Nuclear Cardiology is a non-invasive technique used to assess myocardial infarction - more commonly known as a ‘heart attack’.

For more information click here.

Obstetrics

Obstetrics is the application of medical ultrasonography to obstetrics, in which sonography is used to visualize the embryo or foetus. The procedure is often a standard part of prenatal care, as it yields a variety of information regarding the health of the mother and of the foetus, as well as regarding the progress of the pregnancy.

The sound waves are delivered by a small handheld sensor which is moved over the surface of the skin and it picks up the sound waves as they bounce off various organs within the body. A computer then turns these sound waves into pictures that are viewed on a computer screen. Ultrasound exams are captured in real-time and can show movement as well as structure. For example in pregnancy ultrasound is used to look at foetus during the early stages of pregnancy, to help assess its age, position and health, and the amount of amniotic fluid around the baby.

Radiology Theatres

Radiology Theatres (Angiography) uses X-rays not only to take images of blood vessels but also treat disease without the need for a surgical operation.

A very small plastic tube is placed inside a blood vessel and a special dye called ‘contrast medium’ is injected to outline the vessels, an image is produced, which is rather like a road map of the arteries or veins. From this it is possible to see what the blood vessel looks like and if there is any disease present. For example if the blood vessel is narrowed another small plastic tube with a special balloon attached can be placed in the narrow part of the balloon can stretch the blood vessel back to its original size. It is possible to block swollen blood vessels before they burst and cause major harm and is it is even possible to replace diseased blood vessels with a new inner lining again to stop them from bursting.

For more information click here.

X-Ray (Plain Film)

This is the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging and despite all the newer, more sophisticated forms of the scanning, it is still one of the most appropriate ways of detecting many problems.

Most of us will have had an X-ray at some time during our lives, usually for looking at broken bones or at the chest or teeth. A machine directs a narrow beam of X-rays through the part of the body that is being examined and an image is produced of the structures the X-rays have passed through in your body and this image is captured digitally. The image is then transferred onto the PACS system where it can be viewed and later stored.

For more information click here.

Ultrasound

An ultrasound scan does not use X-rays and is a safe, simple, relatively quick and usually painless test that uses sound waves to produce images of organs and structures inside the body. The sound waves used are very high frequency so you will not hear them during the scan.

The sound waves are delivered by a small handheld sensor which is moved over the surface of the skin and it picks up the sound waves as they bounce off various organs within the body. A computer then turns these sound waves into pictures that are viewed on a computer screen. Ultrasound exams are captured in real-time and can show movements as well as structure. For example in pregnancy ultrasound is used to look at the foetus during the early stages of pregnancy, to help assess its age, position and health, and the amount of amniotic fluid around the baby.

For more information click here.