9 Reasons You Might Need A CT Scan

Many people have heard of CT scans, but not everyone has gotten one and not everyone knows why someone might need to get one. So, if you’ve ever wondered, “Do I need a CT scan?” and didn’t know the answer, here are 10 reasons you might need one:

Bone Density Scans Explained: Duration, Radiation Exposure, & More

Many years ago, the only way for a doctor to know if someone had osteoporosis was if they had broken a bone and fit the criteria for the disease demographics such as age or sex. Today, modern radiologic technology has made it possible to determine whether someone has osteoporosis before they even fracture or break a bone. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry or DXA scan—also known as bone density scans or bone densitometry—can test whether someone has osteoporosis using X-ray imaging. Below, we will discuss the ins and outs of bone densitometry including how it works, who it’s for, and why we use it.

MRI Magnet Strength: What It Is & Why It Matters

When it comes to MRIs, not all equipment is created equal. Much of the disparity between MRI machines is due to the magnet strength. MRI magnet strength is key in producing different levels of quality in the images. In this article, we will discuss why magnet strength matters when it comes to MRIs and why you should know how much magnet strength your radiology center offers on their MRI machines.

Seven Warning Signs Of Breast Cancer

Don’t wait until Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October to check for these seven warning signs of breast cancer. If you suspect something different is occurring in your breasts, here are seven breast cancer symptoms to be on the look out for.

What Is Women's Imaging?

Within the field of radiology there are a number of subspecialties that dive into specific imaging techniques and diagnosis. When it comes to women’s imaging, the name may sound obvious, but chances are you don’t know everything that goes into this important subdivision of radiology. Below, we will discuss everything you need to know about women’s imaging including what it is, common women’s imaging procedures, and what diseases women’s imaging can diagnose.

Mammograms Explained: Duration, Radiation Exposure, & More

Mammograms are the best tool for detecting breast cancer early and giving women a fighting chance to beat the disease before it spreads. Below, we discuss everything you need to know about mammograms,  including answers to the common questions: “what is a mammogram”, “what happens during a mammogram”, “how long does a mammogram take”, and more.

What Is A Subspecialty Radiologist?

When it comes to radiology, there is more than meets the eye. While there are general fields of radiology, there are also a number of specific subspecialties a radiologist can choose to specialize in after their regular schooling to become a radiologist. To specialize in one of these subspecialties, a radiologist must undergo additional training. Below, we discuss the different subspecialties of radiology and what a subspecialized radiologist does. 

Football Season And The Dangers Of Head Injuries

Who doesn’t love football season? Whether it’s college football or the NFL, football season is the time to ignite rivalries and join a fantasy football team. Unfortunately, football injuries can ruin a team’s chances for a winning season and have lifelong effects on the athlete.

MRI Scans Explained: Duration, Radiation Exposure, & More

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MRI’s are a noninvasive way for your doctor to examine your organs, tissues and skeletal system. They produce high-resolution images of the inside of the body that help diagnose a variety of problems. Below, we’ll answer all of your MRI questions, including “what is an MRI”, “how long does an MRI take”, “how much does an MRI cost”, and more. 

What is an MRI?

Magnetic resonance imaging—or MRI—is an imaging technique that uses a large magnet and radio waves to create detailed images of the body. The scan uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to generate images of parts of the body that can't be seen as well with other imaging modalities including X-rays, CT scans or ultrasound. The MRI machine can also be used to produce 3-D images that may be viewed from many different angles. 

How does an MRI work?

Electromagnetic energy is released when exposing a patient to radio waves in a strong magnetic field, which is then measured and analyzed by a computer producing two and three-dimensional images. The MRI scanner creates a strong magnetic field through the body, and then it sends radio waves into the body and assesses the response sent back from the different tissues. 

How long does an MRI take?

Depending on the type of scan you are having, and the location of the area being scanned, your MRI can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to complete.

What happens during an MRI?

An MRI procedure is totally painless. You must remove all metal from your body, including keys, hair pins, fingernail clippers, zippers, watches, and remove any piercings,  before lying down on a movable table that slides into the opening of the tube-shaped MRI machine. Since the MRI uses magnets, it can be very dangerous for the patient or technologist if metal enters the room so you may be asked to change into a gown or approved clothing.

A radiologic technologist runs the machine and monitors you from another room, where they can speak to you through a microphone. If you are claustrophobic, you may be offered headphones to listen to music, goggles to view images or shows, and you can request low dose sedative medicine from your physician to help you calm down.

Will I be exposed to radiation during my MRI?

There is no MRI scan radiation because MRI uses magnets rather than ionizing radiation like X-rays or CT scans.

How much does an MRI cost?

The cost of your MRI will differ based on your location and the type of scan performed, as well as whether or not you have insurance; however, generally, MRIs are more expensive than x-rays or CT scans. The average cost of an MRI without insurance in the United States is around $2,500. Please ask your MRI facility for self pay rates if you are uninsured.  

If you are looking to book an MRI in San Francisco with board-certified radiologists at a leading imaging center, find your closest BICRAD location and make an appointment today!


Uterine Fibroids: The Disease All Women Need To Know About

In recent years, interventional radiology has been used to treat uterine fibroids in a minimally invasive and very safe way. This is done through Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), which is a safe and effective non-surgical option for women to consider when dealing with uterine fibroids. Before we explain what UFE is and how it works, it’s important to ask the question: “what are uterine fibroids?”

What Is Radiology?

Even if you didn’t realize it, you’ve probably benefited from the field of radiology at some point during your life. Radiology includes a variety of imaging services used for diagnostic and treatment purposes, ranging from simple x-rays to more complicated interventional radiology procedures. Still, you might not be aware of all that the field of radiology encompasses. Below, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of radiology including what it is, what a radiologist does, and some of the most common procedures found in the field of radiology.

What Is A Fluoroscopy Used For?

Fluoroscopy is a popular imaging technique used to diagnose diseases or to guide radiologists during treatment procedures. Fluoroscopy allows radiologists to gain a detailed look inside the patient’s skeletal, digestive, urinary, respiratory, and reproductive systems to gain insight and help diagnose illnesses or abnormalities. Below, we take a look at everything you need to know about fluoroscopy including what it is, what it’s used for, and how long it takes.

CT Scans Explained: Duration, Radiation Exposure, & More

Your doctor may have recommended you receive a CT scan for a number of different reasons including to detect joint issues, cancerous masses, locate a tumor, or to guide treatment methods such as biopsies and surgery. Below, we will discuss everything you need to know about your CT scan before, during, and after your appointment.

Difference Between Women's Imaging Exams

At BICRAD, Women’s Imaging involves all areas of breast imaging. These exams all serve a different purpose but admittedly, they can appear very similar to our patients. That is why we’d like to take the time to discuss the difference between these women’s imaging exams.

The 4 Most Common Imaging Procedures Among Men

Men, especially men over the age of 50, suffer from different types of diseases than women. It’s important for men to begin regular screening for these diseases, especially if a man has a genetic predisposition for a certain disease or a strong family history of the disease. Below, we look at four of the most common imaging procedures for men and their uses.

Men's Health Month: Ways You Can Get Involved

June is Men’s Health Month, which is celebrated across the country with screenings, health fairs, and other health activities and opportunities aimed at promoting awareness and early detection for the diseases that are most prevalent in men. Below, we will talk about common health issues that affect men and how you can get involved in Men’s Health Month.

Examining The Different Types Of Ultrasound Scans & Their Benefits

Unless you’re familiar with the technology, you might not know that there are different types of ultrasounds including 2-D, 3-D, 4-D, and Doppler ultrasounds. In this article we’ll take some time to dive into the different types of ultrasounds available and the differences between them.

What Is Hypertension And How Can It Affect You

Just last year, the American Heart Association estimated that about 45.6 percent of Americans suffer from high blood pressure in the United States. Yet despite this, there are still some who ask, what is hypertension? If you or someone you know have been diagnosed with hypertension, here is everything you need to know.

Nuclear Medicine: Everything You Need To Know

The radiology world has continued to evolve, with new methods emerging to even further improve the diagnostic process. One notable improvement is the use of nuclear medicine. Nuclear medicine allows doctors to identify, diagnose, and treat certain conditions by using small amounts of radioactive material. It may sound scary, but it’s not. Here’s how it works.

What Is A Bone Densitometry Test?

If you are at risk for bone loss or osteoporosis either due to your age, history, or lifestyle choices, your doctor may recommend that you get a bone density test called bone densitometry. Bone densitometry testing can detect decreasing bone density much earlier than other methods of diagnosis, allowing for treatment at an earlier stage. Learn more about the procedure here: