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2 Your Well-Being: Debunking common medical imaging myths

Tonya Viars, Director of Imaging at Cone Health Wesley Long Hospital, answered common questions about medical imaging.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — When people see the big machines used to complete procedures like CAT scans or X-rays, they can understandably nervous. Maybe they got some bad information that made them think the procedure isn't safe.

The truth: Medical imaging procedures are very safe. We want you to have the information you need, so Cone Health's Tonya Viars debunked common myths on this 2 Your Well-Being.

Myth #1: Radiation from X-rays, CAT scans and similar medical tests is harmful. 

Viars said radiology has made a lot of good advancements over the years. She said Cone Health uses a software that calculates the safest level of radiation possible for a patient while still producing a high-quality image.

Myth #2: Pregnant women should not get X-rays. 

Viars said it's safe for pregnant women to get an X-ray. She said the benefits of diagnostic imaging outweighs the risk to the fetus.

"The possibility of an x-ray causing damage to your unborn baby is very small," Viars said.

If you're feeling uneasy, Viars suggested you talk to your provider.

Myth #3: MRIs, CAT scans, ultrasounds and other similar tests all use radiation. 

Viars said this is definitely not true. MRIs use magnetic fields and computer-generated radio waves. Ultrasounds use sound waves to produce images for doctors to examine.

Myth #4: You don't have a choice where you go for imaging services

Viars said Cone Health takes a team approach medical imaging. She said the hospital system offers several options for patients to get a procedure completed.

Viars said if your doctor recommends you get a procedure that requires medical imaging, talk to them about your options in nearby locations.


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