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Imaging study named according to standardized nomenclature

HCPCS code

Name of the Procedure:

Imaging Study (G9318)
Common name(s): Imaging scan, Diagnostic imaging
Technical/medical terms: Radiographic imaging, Fluoroscopy, MRI, CT scan


An imaging study is a diagnostic procedure that uses various technologies like X-rays, MRI, or CT scans to create detailed images of the inside of your body. These images help doctors identify, diagnose, and monitor medical conditions.


  • Medical Conditions Addressed: Issues such as bone fractures, tumors, internal injuries, infections, and abnormalities in blood vessels or soft tissues.
  • Goals: To obtain high-resolution images that provide a clear understanding of the patient's internal structures and to guide further medical treatment.


  • Symptoms/Conditions: Persistent pain, suspected fractures, unexplained symptoms in internal organs, abnormal lab results, and post-surgical assessments.
  • Patient Criteria: Typically appropriate for individuals with acute or chronic symptoms that require detailed internal visualization beyond regular physical exams.


  • Pre-procedure Instructions: May require fasting, avoiding certain medications, removing metal objects, and possibly wearing a hospital gown.
  • Diagnostic Tests: Blood tests or previous imaging studies might be reviewed.

Procedure Description

  1. Preparation: Patient changes into appropriate attire and removes any jewelry or metal objects.
  2. Positioning: Patient is positioned on an imaging table or inside the imaging machine.
  3. Imaging: The technician uses the selected tool (e.g., X-ray, MRI machine) to capture images.
  4. Contrast Agents: Sometimes, a contrast dye might be injected to improve image quality.
  5. Completion: Procedure concludes with images being sent to a radiologist for review.

Tools/Equipment: X-ray machine, MRI machine, CT scanner, contrast dye (if needed)

Anesthesia/Sedation: Generally not required, though sedation might be used for patients unable to remain still.


Typically ranges from 10 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the complexity and type of imaging.


Performed in hospitals, outpatient clinics, or specialized imaging centers.


Involves radiologists, radiologic technologists, and sometimes nurses and anesthesiologists.

Risks and Complications

  • Common Risks: Mild discomfort, exposure to radiation (for X-rays/CT scans), possible reaction to contrast agents.
  • Rare Complications: Allergic reaction to contrast dye, claustrophobia during MRI, minor soreness from IV placement.


  • Expected Benefits: Accurate diagnosis, effective monitoring of ongoing medical conditions, and informed decision-making for treatment plans.
  • Realization Time: Depends on the condition being diagnosed but image interpretation and results typically available within 1-3 days.


  • Post-Procedure Care: Usually no special care needed, though if contrast dye was used, drinking fluids to flush it out may be recommended.
  • Recovery Time: Immediate return to normal activities for most. Specific guidance provided based on findings.


  • Other Options: Ultrasound, PET scans, exploratory surgery.
  • Pros and Cons: Ultrasound has no radiation but less detailed; surgery provides direct visualization but is invasive.

Patient Experience

  • During Procedure: A patient may feel cold from the room temperature, slight pressure from the imaging device, or hear noise (in case of MRI).
  • After Procedure: Rarely any significant discomfort, and normal activities can typically be resumed immediately. Pain management generally not required unless sedation was involved.

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