Why Do Doctors Order so Many Scans from Ultrasounds to MRIs to CT Scans?

Why Do Doctors Order so Many Scans from Ultrasounds to MRIs to CT Scans?

Aug 01, 2019

Nearly everyone has a story of going to the doctor’s office or the ER near me and having the doctor order a scan. It seems like no matter what, doctors are putting patients in the scanner at emergency rooms in Baytown. This seems like it shouldn’t be much of an issue, but it begs the question as to why they’re being used so much. The reality is each scan has different elements that help doctors do their job and diagnose the patient correctly the first time. When they have the right diagnosis, the patient gets better care, hence the scans.

Ultrasound Imaging

Ultrasound imaging uses sound waves and how they react with the internal structure of the body to produce images. The most ubiquitous use of this technology is when expectant parents are in the OB/GYN’s office, and the ultrasound is performed to confirm that the woman is indeed pregnant. However, ultrasounds are used on a variety of conditions. For example, the ultrasound can confirm if a patient is having gall bladder issues and warranting removal of the troublesome organ.


The MRI is different than the ultrasound because it uses magnets to create a picture of the internal structure. This picture is much clearer than the ultrasound because it needs to be very precise. The MRI is the gold standard for diagnosing injuries of the orthopedic nature. For example, when people come in complaining that their knee hurts, an MRI is ordered to see the extent of the damage and where the damage lies. This helps doctors perform arthroscopic surgery instead of having to cut open a large portion of the knee to get at the problem areas.

CT Scan

The CT scan can be thought of like an X-ray that is three dimensional. Essentially, the CT scan will take several x-rays allowing doctors to see exactly what’s going on within the body from multiple angles, thus helping them get the treatment they need for success.


Just because your doctor is ordering a scan doesn’t mean something is wrong. These scans are great for finding out exactly how the body is hurting and getting the help needed to fix it.

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