Description

What is Radiology? 
Radiological procedures are used for looking at the internal structures of the body, whether bone or soft tissue. Usually these examinations are carried out to:
  • diagnose disease states, such as cancer or heart disease
  • show if there is injury to body structures
  • provide images of organs to help other specialists repair problems e.g. angiography of the heart.
 
The radiologist may use different methods such as X-ray, Computer Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Ultrasound as well as some other specialised types of radiological imaging.
 
The Team
  • Medical Radiation Technologists (MRTs) or Radiographers perform your X-ray, barium and mammography examinations.
  • Sonographers are MRTs who perform your ultrasound examinations.
  • Radiologists are specialist doctors who read and understand your films. They will also be involved if you have an intravenous urogram (IVU), barium study, mammogram and a number of other ultrasound procedures.  They interpret the results of the images and send them to your doctor.

How Safe is Radiology?
Some forms of radiology use sound waves, some use x-rays and some use magnetic fields. One form of radiology uses tiny amounts of radioactive materials injected into the body.

The sound waves (ultrasound) and the magnetic fields (MRI scan), as far as we know, have no harmful effects. The other two types use what is known as ionising radiation. Ionising radiation is known to cause cancer if the dose is high or the exposure is prolonged or repeated many times. The amount of this radiation from a plain chest x-ray for example is quite small and the adverse health effects are immeasurable when compared with the level of background radiation that all humans living on this planet get from the sun and the ground (radon). However, other x-ray examinations such as lumbar spine x-rays and CT scans use much higher doses of radiation and these exams need to be performed with care and infrequently. If you want to read more about the risks and the benefits of CT scans click here http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/2007/11/28/the-doctor-says-get-a-ct-scan-should-you.html?PageNr=2

Consultants

Note: Please note below that some people are not available at all locations.

Hours

First appointment at Greenlane Radiology is 8:00am and the last is at 4:00pm
First appointment at Starship Radiology is 8:30am and the last is at 3:30pm

Referral Expectations

You must be assessed by your GP before you can be referred to the Radiology Department at the Auckland DHB (Greenlane and Starship sites). As there is only a certain amount of money and a limited number of specialists working at the hospital, it is not possible for the Radiology Department to see every patient who is referred.

There are currently more requests for appointments than we have the capacity to see. All requests from GPs for x-rays and ultrasound and other examinations should be made using the electronic referrals tool that GPs have on their computers. This tool helps the GP to know whether a particular imaging request is likely to be the right one. Sometimes it will advise him/her that other tests are needed before/or/ instead of an x-ray or ultrasound, or CT/MRI. Once the referral is received by the hospital, a priority rating is attached to that referral. The most urgent cases get seen first and more routine cases will wait longer. Referrals where a requested imaging exam has little chance of contributing to the diagnosis will not be done at all. In this latter case, the referring doctor will receive a letter suggesting an alternative (better) pathway to advance the diagnosis in that patient.

Radiology does have a role to play in providing reassurance that a particular disease is not present. However, where the chance of a patient having that disease is very small, this role for radiology must take second place to the diagnostic role in the public hospital, where resources are very limited. The private sector radiology service has the capacity provide the reassurance role for a fee.

Once the referral from your general practitioner is accepted by us we will write to you giving you an appointment time and date. These appointments are scarce.  If you do receive one, please turn up on the day because, if you do not turn up, you will deprive another patient of this valuable appointment.

When you come please bring with you:

1.       Any letters or reports from your doctor or other hospital.
2.       Any previous ultrasound, X-Rays, CT or MRI films and reports.
3.       All medicines you are taking including herbal and natural remedies.
4.       Your pharmaceutical entitlement card.
5.       Your ACC number, if you have one.
 

If you have an urgent orthopaedic condition such as a fracture or a bone infection, your doctor will send you to the Emergency Department at Auckland City Hospital and the doctors there will arrange x-rays or scans on the same day.

If you have a condition that was caused by an accident, you can get x-rays and scans done in the private sector and most of this cost will be paid for by the Accident Compensation Corporation. You will often receive swifter attention under the cover of the Accident Compensation Corporation in the private sector. 

Procedures / Treatments

  • X-ray

    An X-ray is a form of radiated energy that can pass through human tissues.  It cannot be seen with the naked eye, but can be picked up on photographic film or electronic sensor.… More

  • Computer Tomography (CT)

    A CT scan can show more structures within the body than can a normal X-ray.… More

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

    An MRI machine does not work like an X-ray or CT as it does not use any form of ionising radiation.… More

  • Ultrasound

    In ultrasound, a beam of sound at a very high frequency (that cannot be heard) is sent into the body from a small vibrating crystal in a hand-held scanner head.  When the beam meets a surface between tissues of different density, echoes of the sound beam are sent back into… More

  • Radionuclide Scanning

    This is a specialised scanning method using low-level radioactive isotopes, injected into the bloodstream.  The scanner is called a gamma camera and is used to measure the radiation levels given off from the isotopes.  Some types of this scan are used for the following: assessment of thyroid function, location of… More

  • Barium Enema

    A barium enema is an X-ray procedure to examine the lower part of the gastrointestinal tract (large bowel).… More

  • Mammography

    A mammogram is a special type of x-ray used only for the breast.… More

  • DEXA Bone Densitometry (refer to Endocrinology ADHB - not done by Radiology ADHB)

    DEXA (which stands for dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) scanning uses special x-rays to measure the density of your bones.… More

Parking

Parking is difficult and often all the parking spaces are taken. You will have to pay a fee to park your car. Please consider taking a bus to Greenlane Hospital Radiology Department. The 007 and 283 bus routes stop within the hospital grounds.

Contact Details

Greenlane Clinical Centre

Central Auckland

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Starship Child Health

Central Auckland

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Auckland City Hospital

Central Auckland

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This page was last updated at 10:20AM on August 16, 2017. This information is reviewed and edited by Auckland DHB Radiology.