Drs FA Gebremariam & Associates

DIKUB Logo E Earnshaw
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Tel:087 087 6124

Contact: Charlene Govender

Address: Lot 2489, Flamingo Road, Shelly Beach 4265 (Shelly Beach Hospital)

GPS: S30°48.100 E30°24.230

Hours: Mon - Fri: 24 hours
Saturday: 24 Hours
Sunday: 24 hours

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DIKUB Radiology (Drs FA Gebremariam & Associates) 

welcomes you where we provide Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology

We are conveniently based in Shelly Beach, KwaZulu-Natal on the premises of Shelly Beach Hospital (take the Shelly Beach off ramp on the N2) – Located on your right.

Current Services

  • General Radiology
  • Angiography
  • Computed Tomography (CT) Scans
  • Cardiac CT
  • Colonoscopy CT
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging  (MRI)
  • Mammography
  • Ultrasound Sonar and Doppler

Additional Services to follow.

Patient Information

We believe that you,  our valued patient/s, should familiarise yourselves with the examinations and we provide some valuable information on what to expect.

What is Computerised Tomography (CT)

A computerized tomography (CT) scan combines a series of X-ray images taken from different angles around your body and uses computer processing to create cross-sectional images (slices) of the bones, blood vessels and soft tissues inside your body.  CT scan images provide more detailed information than plain X-rays do.

Why CT?

A CT scan has many uses, but it’s particularly well-suited to quickly examine people who may have internal injuries from car accidents or other types of trauma.  A CT scan can be used to visualise nearly all parts of the body and is used to diagnose disease or injury as well as to plan medical, surgical or radiation treatment.

Your doctor may recommend a CT Scan to help:

  • Diagnose muscle and bone disorders, such as bone tumours and fractures
  • Pinpoint the location of a tumour, infection or blood clot
  • Guide procedures such as surgery, biopsy and radiation therapy
  • Detect and monitor diseases and conditions such as cancer, heart disease, lung nodules and liver masses
  • Monitor the effectiveness of certain treatments, such as cancer treatment
  • Detect internal injuries and internal bleeding

Risks

Radiation exposure

During a CT scan, you’re briefly exposed to ionizing radiation. The amount of radiation is greater than you would get during a plain X-ray because the CT scan gathers more-detailed information. The low doses of radiation used in CT scans have not been shown to cause long-term harm, although at much higher doses, there may be a small increase in your potential risk of cancer.

CT scans have many benefits that outweigh any small potential risk.  Doctors use the lowest dose of radiation possible to obtain the needed medical information.  Also, newer, faster machines and techniques require less radiation than was previously used.  Speak to your doctor about the benefits and risks of your CT scan.

Harm to unborn babies

Advise your doctor if you are pregnant.  Although the radiation from a CT scan is unlikely to injure your baby, your doctor may recommend another type of exam, such as ultrasound or MRI, to avoid exposing your baby to radiation.  At the low doses of radiation used in CT imaging, no negative effects have been observed in humans.

Reactions to contrast material

In certain cases, your doctor may recommend that you receive a special dye called contrast material.  This can be something that you are asked to drink before your CT scan, or something that is given through a vein in your arm or inserted into your rectum. Although rare, the contrast material can cause medical problems or allergic reactions.

Most reactions are mild and result in a rash or itchiness.  In rare instances, an allergic reaction can be serious, even life-threatening. Advise your doctor if you have ever had a reaction to contrast material.

How to prepare

Depending on which part of your body is being scanned, you may be asked to:

  1. Take off some or all of your clothing and wear a hospital gown
  2. Remove metal objects, such as:
    • Belt
    • Jewellery
    • Dentures
    • Eyeglasses, which might interfere with image results
  3. Refrain from eating or drinking for a few hours before your scan, depending on the procedure required.

Preparing your child for a scan

If your infant or toddler is having a CT scan, the doctor may recommend a sedative to keep your child calm and still. Movement blurs the images and may lead to inaccurate results.  Ask your doctor how to prepare your child.

During the test

CT scanners are shaped like a large doughnut standing on its side.

You lie on a narrow, motorized table that slides through the opening into a tunnel. Straps and pillows may be used to help you stay in position.

During a head scan, the table may be fitted with a special cradle that holds your head still.

While the table moves you into the scanner, detectors and the X-ray tube rotate around you.

Each rotation yields several images of thin slices of your body. You may hear buzzing and whirring noises.

A radiographer in a separate room can see and hear you. You will be able to communicate with the technologist via intercom. The radiographer may ask you to hold your breath at certain points to avoid blurring the images.

Contrast Material

A special dye called contrast material is needed for some CT scans to help highlight the areas of your body being examined. The contrast material blocks X-rays and appears white on images, which can help emphasize blood vessels, intestines or other structures.

Contrast material might be given to you by:

Mouth

If your oesophagus or stomach is being scanned, you may need to swallow a liquid that contains contrast material. This drink may taste unpleasant.

By injection

Contrast agents can be injected through a vein in your arm to help your gall bladder, urinary tract, liver or blood vessels stand out on the images. You may experience a feeling of warmth during the injection or a metallic taste in your mouth.

By enema / rectally

A contrast material may be inserted in your rectum to help visualize your intestines. This procedure can make you feel bloated and uncomfortable.

 After the test

After most CT examinations, you can return to your normal routine.

If you were given contrast material, you may receive special instructions.  In some cases, you may be asked to wait for a short time before leaving to ensure that you feel well after the examination.

After the scan, you will likely be told to drink lots of fluids to help your kidneys remove the contrast material from your body.

How are CT Images stored and Radiology Report

CT images are stored as electronic data files and are usually reviewed on a computer screen.  A radiologist interprets these images and sends a report to your doctor.

What is Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) 

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a technique that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the organs and tissues within your body.

Most MRI machines are large, tube-shaped magnets. When you lie inside an MRI machine, the magnetic field temporarily realigns hydrogen atoms in your body. Radio waves cause these aligned atoms to produce very faint signals, which are used to create cross-sectional MRI images — like slices in a loaf of bread.

The MRI machine can also be used to produce 3-D images that may be viewed from many different angles.

Why MRI?

MRI is a non-invasive way for your doctor to examine your organs, tissues and skeletal system. It produces high-resolution images of the inside of the body that help diagnose a variety of problems.

Different parts of the body can be scanned by means of MRI:

MRI of the brain and spinal cord

MRI is the most frequently used imaging test of the brain and spinal cord.  It is often performed to help diagnose:

  • Aneurysms of cerebral vessels
  • Disorders of the eye and inner ear
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Stroke
  • Tumours
  • Brain injury from trauma

MRI of the heart and blood vessels

MRI that focuses on the heart or blood vessels can assess:

  • The size and function of the heart’s chambers, thickness and movement of the walls of the heart
  • The extent of damage caused by heart attack or heart disease
  • Structural problems in the aorta, such as aneurysms or dissections
  • Inflammation or blockages in the blood vessels

 MRI of other internal organs

MRI may be used to check for tumours or other abnormalities of many organs in the body, including the:

  • Liver and bile ducts
  • Kidneys
  • Spleen
  • Pancreas
  • Uterus
  • Ovaries
  • Prostate

MRI of bones and joints

MRI may be used to help evaluate:

  • Joint abnormalities caused by traumatic or repetitive injuries, such as torn cartilage or ligaments
  • Disk abnormalities in the spine
  • Bone infections
  • Tumours of the bones and soft tissues

MRI of the breasts

  • MRI may be used in addition to mammography to detect breast cancer, particularly in women who have dense breast tissue or who may be at high risk of the disease.

Risks

Because MRI uses powerful magnets, the presence of metal in your body may be a safety hazard or affect a portion of the MRI image.

Before having an MRI, advise the technologist if you have any metal or electronic devices in your body, such as:

  • Metallic joint prostheses
  • Artificial heart valves
  • An implantable heart defibrillator
  • A pacemaker
  • Metal clips
  • Cochlear implants
  • A bullet, shrapnel or any other type of metal fragment
  • If you have tattoos, ask your doctor whether they might affect your MRI. Some of the darker inks may contain metal.
  • Before you schedule an MRI, tell your doctor if you think you’re pregnant, although there is no radiation involved. The effects of magnetic fields on foetuses aren’t well-understood. Your doctor may recommend choosing an alternative exam or postponing the MRI.

It’s also important to discuss any kidney or liver problems with your doctor and the technologist, because problems with these organs may limit the use of injected contrast agents during your scan.

How to prepare

Before an MRI exam, eat normally and continue to take your usual medications, unless otherwise instructed. You will typically be asked to change into a gown, go to the bathroom to ensure maximum comfort during the procedure and to remove things that might affect the magnetic imaging, such as:

  • jewellery and piercings
  • hairpins
  • eyeglasses
  • watches
  • wigs
  • dentures
  • hearing aids
  • underwire bras

During the Test

The MRI machine looks like a long narrow tube that has both ends open. You lie down on a movable table that slides into the opening of the tube. A radiographer monitors you from another room. You can talk with the person by microphone. If you have a fear of enclosed spaces (claustrophobia), you may be given a medicine to help you feel sleepy and less anxious. Most people get through the exam without difficulty.

The MRI machine creates a strong magnetic field around you, and radio waves are directed at your body. The procedure is painless. You don’t feel the magnetic field or radio waves, and there are no moving parts around you.

During the MRI scan, the internal part of the magnet produces repetitive tapping, thumping and other noises. Earplugs or music may be provided to help block the noise.

In some cases, a contrast material, typically gadolinium may be injected through an intravenous (IV) line into a vein in your hand or arm. The contrast material enhances the appearance of certain details. The contrast material used for MRIs is less likely to cause an allergic reaction than the contrast material used for CT scans.

An MRI can last anywhere from 15 minutes to more than an hour. You must hold very still because movement can blur the resulting images.

After the Test

If you haven’t been sedated, you may resume your usual activities immediately after the scan.

Sedated patients need to make prior arrangements for someone to accompany them and assist them with their transport arrangements.

A doctor specially trained to interpret MRIs (Radiologist) will analyse the images from your scan and report the findings to your doctor.  Your doctor will discuss any important findings and next steps with you.

What is Ultrasound (Sonar)

Diagnostic ultrasound is an imaging method that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce relatively precise images of structures within your body.

Why Ultrasound

The images produced during an ultrasound examination often provide valuable information for diagnosing and treating a variety of diseases and conditions without the use of radiation.

Medical Ultrasounds can be divided into 2 main categories:

Diagnostic

Ultrasonography/Sonography uses high-frequency sound waves to image organs and structures inside the body, assisting in diagnosing medical problems. A Sonographer applies a water-based gel topically over the area of concern, which helps to transmit the sound waves.

A hand-held device or transducer is then used to direct the beam of sound waves, which reflect back off of tissues and organs, such as heart, blood vessels, liver, thyroid and many more.

Examples include:

  • Evaluate and identify pain and swelling causes or sites of infection.
  • Diagnose heart conditions.
  • Detect tumours
  • Evaluate blood flow
  • Guide invasive procedures, such as biopsies and aspirations.
  • Detect brain anomalies in newborns.

Therapeutic

High frequency sound waves are used to modify or destroy certain tissue, depending on the need.

Examples include:

  • Breaking up of large kidney stones or gallstones
  • Removal of non-cancerous growths and fibroids within the uterus.
  • Cataract removal
  • Physical Therapy, such as warming of muscles and tendons.
  • Stimulating bone growth
  • Treatment of tumours and cysts.
  • Surgical tissue cutting and stopping of blood flow.

Risks

Diagnostic ultrasound is a safe procedure that uses low-power sound waves.  There are no known risks.

Ultrasound does have its limitations, such as air and bone.  Sound does not travel well through air or bone.  Additional Imaging might be recommended.

How to prepare

  • Some sonars, such as for gallbladder ultrasound, you may be asked not to eat or drink for up to 6 hours prior to the examination time
  • Pelvic ultrasounds require a full bladder
  • Sonars on children are to be discussed, per examination

It is always advisable to check the pre-requirements with your radiology department when you need an ultrasound done.

At the facility, you might be asked to:

  • Remove any jewellery from the area of interest
  • Remove some or all of the clothing
  • Change into a gown

During the test

During an ultrasound exam, you usually lie on an examination table. A small amount of gel is applied to your skin. The gel helps eliminate the formation of air pockets between the ultrasound and your body. During the exam, a technician trained in ultrasound imaging (Sonographer) presses a small hand-held device (transducer), about the size of a bar of soap, against your skin over the area of your body being examined, moving from one area to another as necessary.

Based on the same principles as sonar, a technology used to detect underwater objects, the transducer generates and receives high-frequency sound waves that can’t be heard by the human ear.

As the sonographer places the transducer on your skin, crystals inside the transducer emit pulses of sound waves that travel into your body. Your tissues, bones and body fluids reflect the sound waves and bounce them back to the transducer. The transducer then sends this information to a computer, which composes detailed images based on the patterns created by the sound waves.

Though the majority of ultrasound exams are performed with a transducer on your skin, some ultrasounds are done inside your body (invasive ultrasounds). For these exams, a specialized transducer is attached to a probe that’s inserted into a natural opening in your body.

Ultrasound usually is a painless procedure. However, you may experience some mild discomfort as the sonographer guides the transducer over your body, especially if you’re required to have a full bladder. A typical ultrasound exam takes from 30 minutes to an hour. However, some exams can take two hours.

After the test

When the test is complete, you may return to normal activities unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

Results

When the test is complete, you may return to normal activities unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

A Sonographer, overseen by a Radiologist, specially trained to interpret ultrasounds will analyse the images from your scan and report the findings to your primary care provider.

Bone Densitometry

What is Bone Densitometry

A bone density test determines if you have osteoporosis – a disease that causes bones to become more fragile and more likely to break.

In the past, osteoporosis could be detected only after you broke a bone. By that time, however, your bones could be quite weak. A bone density test makes it possible to know your risk of breaking bones before the fact.

A bone density test uses X-rays to measure how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are packed into a segment of bone. The bones that are most commonly tested are located in the spine, hip and forearm.

Why Bone Densitometry

Although osteoporosis is more common in older women, men also can develop the condition. Regardless of your sex or age, your doctor may recommend a bone density test if you’ve:

  • Lost height. People who have lost at least 4 cm in height may have compression fractures in their spines, for which osteoporosis is one of the main causes.
  • Fractured a bone. Fragility fractures occur when a bone becomes so fragile that it breaks much more easily than expected. A strong cough or sneeze can sometimes cause fragility fractures.
  • Taken certain drugs / medication. Long-term use of steroid medications, such as prednisone, interferes with the bone-rebuilding process, which can lead to osteoporosis.
  • Received a transplant. People who have received an organ or bone marrow transplant are at higher risk of osteoporosis, partly because anti-rejection drugs also interfere with the bone-rebuilding process.
  • Had a drop in hormone levels. In addition to the natural drop in hormones that occurs after menopause, women’s oestrogen may also drop during certain cancer treatments. Some treatments for prostate cancer reduce testosterone levels in men. Lowered sex hormone levels weaken bone.

Risks

The amount of radiation you’re exposed to is low — much less than the amount emitted during a chest X-ray.

How to prepare

Food and medications

Avoid taking calcium supplements for at least 24 hours before your bone density test.

Clothing and personal items

Wear loose, comfortable clothing and avoid wearing clothes with zippers, belts or buttons. Remove all metal objects from your pockets, such as keys, money clips or change.

During the test

During your exam, you’ll lie on a CT scanner, while the machine takes readings of the density of the bones from the lower back and the hip area. The test may take up to 30 minutes to complete.

After the Test

Afterwards, you may dress and resume normal activity.

 

We trust that the above information is informative and we look forward to being of service to you, your family and friends.

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