Radiologists use the same imaging techniques to diagnose and treat medical problems in children (age 21 or younger) as they do for adults. For example, we may do a CT scan to diagnose abdominal pain or evaluate your child for injury after an accident or other physical trauma. Nuclear medicine procedures help us diagnose problems your child was born with or developed early in life. And, an ultrasound can help us evaluate pain in your child’s abdomen, pelvis or scrotum.
As you can imagine, however, there are unique challenges to pediatric radiology. For starters, young children can’t understand the hows and whys of medical testing. It’s important that we gain their trust and cooperation as much as possible. Your child may not be able to stay still (which is critical for a clear image) and require sedation. Because children have a longer expected lifespan, they are more at risk from side effects (for example, of developing cancer) from radiation exposure.
At Radiology Associates of Richmond, we carefully weigh the benefits of every procedure against the potential harms. Furthermore, we know that patient size—rather than age—is more important in determining how much radiation we need to use to get the best possible image. We have internal protection procedures for pediatric radiation doses and each of our physicians supports—and has taken—the Image Gently pledge, an industry-wide commitment to use appropriate child-size doses of radiation.
We know it’s frightening for you and your child to undergo any medical testing or procedures. Rest assured, we will take good care of your little one and minimize his or her radiation exposure.