The news that you might need a medical test such as an X-ray, or a CT or MRI scan can make some people feel anxious. While these tests usually reveal harmless or easily fixable issues it can still be a daunting prospect, especially when there is so much you don’t know about these scans or how they work. Luckily, we have put together a list of all the key things you should know when undergoing one of these tests. Read on to find out what these tests involve, and the key pieces of information you should consider when deciding where to book.
What do these tests involve?
The most common of these tests is a simple x-ray, which is used to detect things like broken bones and sometimes cancers or pneumonia. An x-ray involves passing harmless amounts of radiation through the body and using the picture on the other side to make up a diagram of the body.
Next are CT scans. You may also have heard the term CAT scan, or computerised tomography. These use more advanced x-ray technology to create a more accurate picture of the body and can also be used to diagnose injuries to internal organs.
MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. MRI scans combine radio waves with very strong magnets to create images of different parts of the body with pinpoint accuracy and build up a large, detailed picture of the body which your doctor can look at in a number of ways.
Additionally, you might be looking at an ultrasound scan. These are commonly associated with monitoring unborn babies during pregnancy but can actually be used to diagnose some conditions and cardiovascular issues as well. An ultrasound scan works in similar ways to an x-ray but instead of harmless radiation, it passes high-frequency sound waves through the body to create an image.
How expensive is a test?
Depending on the kind of test you need, pricing structures can vary. Luckily, reputable imaging and diagnostics firms such as OneWelbeck Imaging are recognised by all the major health insurance companies, so it is best to call up your insurance company to check whether you are eligible to claim. Once you’ve got your policy number and claim reference, the company will take care of everything else. Don’t worry if you’re not insured, since OneWelbeck also offers self-pay packages starting at £150, without any hidden costs or additional fees.
How long should results take?
Depending on the type of scan you get, results can sometimes take a couple of weeks. It can be easy to feel anxious at this time, but it is important to remember that waiting is normal. Results for ultrasound scans are instant and can be viewed in real time if you are monitoring a pregnancy, and for less complex tests like X-rays and CT scans results can be delivered quickly if there is an emergency. However, it is always better to give your healthcare professional enough time to analyse the results carefully.