In the past, identifying disease typically came as a result of surgery. When certain symptoms were present in their patient, a doctor would make the call to perform exploratory surgery during which they would be able to determine if disease did in fact exist. Of course, there are always risks associated with surgery of any kind so any time that exploratory surgery was performed, the patient was at risk as the result of being put under anesthesia. Additionally, traditional surgery was invasive and therefore resulted in a certain period of recovery as well as the risk of infection. Not to mention the costs associated with surgery.
Today, imaging technology allows us to “explore” the human body in a much different way. Through imaging procedures such as PET and CT scans, we are able to examine the bones, tissues, and even organs of various regions of the body to determine function and even establish the presence of disease. This is a significant benefit to the medical community and has completely changed the patient experience as well. Some of the benefits associated with imaging include:
- There is no longer a need for traditional surgery in many cases. This eliminates any recovery time for patients and this non-invasive procedure means the elimination of the risk of infection associated with the healing process and hospital stays. A reduction of unnecessary surgery is always a good thing for patients.
- Reduced costs. Surgery costs money, as does hospitalization. Imaging procedures done in an imaging center means reduced costs for patients and an overall reduction in costs in the healthcare industry as a whole.
Faster diagnosis means faster treatment. Imaging allows for an abbreviated exploratory process and the means to identify disease far faster. This increased speed of diagnosis means that a treatment plan – if necessary – can be put into effect much faster.