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Computed Tomography, abbreviated as CT, is a procedure that uses a computerised, narrow beam of X-rays that are aimed at the body of a patient in a rotating circle. The procedure is generally quite quick but can range in length depending on the type of scan being performed. The rotating X-rays produce cross-sectional image slices (processed by the computer of the scanner), which provide a greater detail than traditional X-ray
MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. It is a type of scan that uses a strong magnetic field and radiowaves to create images of the body based on the hydrogen content of tissues. It can provide excellent information about the soft tissues in the whole body as well as the bones, joints and spine and is very useful for diagnosis. It does not use ionising radiation unlike radiographs and CT but is one of the longest imaging tests and can take around 15-30 minutes to complete. People with metallic implants, devices and prostheses may be contraindicated from having MRI as it uses a strong magnetic field. However, many modern metallic prostheses are now MRI compliant so it is worth checking with your doctor or the imaging department as you may be able to proceed with a scan even if you have one.
An endoscope is a flexible telescope i.e. a thin tube with a camera and/or light on the end. A flexible nasal endoscopy involves passing an endoscope through one of your nostrils to examine the inside and back of your nose, the back of your throat, your voice box and tongue. The procedure only takes a few minutes and can be done with or without local anaesthetic.
Rapid Diagnosis of Neck and Face Lumps
If you are concerned about a lump in the neck or face, we can offer a rapid diagnosis, often on the same day, performed by our radiology and histopathology colleagues who are renowned experts who are integral members of head and neck cancer multidisciplinary teams. Investigating a neck lump can be performed with imaging procedures including an ultrasound scan, MRI or CT scan.
Ultrasound is an imaging technique using high frequency sound (high enough that it is not audible and is able to pass through the body) to produce anatomical images of the body. An ultrasound of the thyroid is painless and uses sound waves to produce pictures of the thyroid gland within the neck to identify the appearance of lumps or thyroid nodules and can be performed by an experienced dedicated head, neck and thyroid radiologist.