In addition to our friendly and well-trained technicians, our radiologists work on-site to provide quick response to patient and physician needs. Selected for its speed, accuracy and safety, our imaging equipment also provides more detail than ever before. Our radiology services include the following:
A bone density test determines if you have osteoporosis — a disease that causes bones to become more fragile and more likely to break. A bone density test uses X-rays to measure how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are packed into a bone. Although osteoporosis is more common in older women, men also can develop the condition. Your doctor may recommend a bone density test if you’ve gotten shorter, fractured a bone, are taking certain drugs, received a transplant or experience lower hormone levels. Bone density tests are easy, fast and painless. During the test, you lie down while a mechanical arm passes over you. The test usually takes about 10 minutes to complete.
Fluoroscopy is a type of medical imaging that shows a continuous X-ray image on a monitor, much like an X-ray movie. It is used to diagnose or treat patients by displaying the movement of a body part, instrument or contrast agent through the body. During the procedure, an X-ray beam is passed through the body and the image is transmitted to a monitor so the body part and its motion can be seen in detail. Fluoroscopy may be used during barium studies, catheter insertion, blood flow studies and orthopedic surgery.
A CT scan combines the power of X-ray and computers to provide physicians the ability to view cross-sections of the internal anatomy. Physicians are able to look at each cross-section separately or view 3-D images. A CT scan is often used during trauma cases and other emergencies. It can also be used to guide biopsies and is common in the detection of cancer, kidney stones, heart disease, lung disease, brain damage and other internal injuries. A technologist will be watching you during your procedure.
A mammogram is an X-ray image of your breast used to screen for breast cancer. Mammograms play a key role in early breast cancer detection. During a mammogram, your breasts are compressed between two firm surfaces in order to spread out the breast tissue. A mammogram can be used either for screening in women who have no unusual signs or symptoms or for diagnostic purposes for women who have suspicious breast changes. All women should get a baseline mammogram between the ages of 35 and 40. After age 40, mammograms should be repeated annually. Pre-menopausal women with a strong family history of breast cancer, meaning a first-degree relative, should get screened 10 years before their loved one’s age of diagnosis. A radiologist will interpret your images and send a report of the findings to your doctor.
About Our Equipment: At MMH, we use 3D mammography equipment called tomosynthesis. Whereas conventional mammography produces a 2D image of overlapping tissue, this technology takes multiple pictures of the breast from all angles to produce a 3D image, ultimately resulting in cleaner, clearer images. For patients, this equates to a decrease in call backs and follow-up biopsies and allows physicians to more easily identify cancer.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to create a detailed image of the inside of your body. MRI is used to examine soft tissues (like organs, muscle, cartilage, ligaments and tendons) in areas like the brain, spine, breast, abdomen, pelvis and joints. Before the scan, you will have to complete a detailed History and Screening form. (Be sure to tell the technologist if you have any metal or electronic devices in your body, if you think you’re pregnant or if you have any kidney or liver problems.) Before an MRI, you will be asked to change into a gown and to remove jewelry, eyeglasses, watches, dentures and hearing aids. No keys, coins, credit cards or cell phones are allowed in the room either. During the scan, which typically lasts less than an hour, you lie on a table while a technologist watches and communicates with you from an adjoining room. Sometimes certain conditions can be difficult to see on an MRI, so your physician may request that you receive an injection of a contrast agent to provide a more vivid picture. During the scan, you must hold very still because movement can blur the resulting images. Once your scan is complete, a radiologist will review your results and send a report to your doctor.
Nuclear Medicine procedures use small amounts of radioactive materials to create images of the inside of your body. These radioactive materials are introduced into the body by injection, swallowing or inhalation and are attracted to specific organs, bones or tissues. As the material travels through your body, radioactive emissions are produced and detected by a special camera that records them on a screen. Nuclear medicine is unique because it documents function as well as structure. Nuclear medicine procedures are performed to assess the function of nearly every organ. Common nuclear medicine procedures include thyroid studies, brain scans, bone scans, lung scans, cardiac stress tests, and liver and gallbladder procedures.
PET/CT Scans are most often used in people who have cancer, heart disease or brain disorders. This scan is especially useful for cancer patients because it can determine the spread of certain cancers, how well the cancer is responding to treatment and any possible recurrence. In one continuous full-body scan, which usually averages about 30 minutes, PET can detect changes in the body’s metabolism caused by the growth of abnormal cells, while CT simultaneously pinpoints the exact size, shape and location of diseased tissue. When receiving a PET/CT scan, the process begins with a radioactive glucose injection into the bloodstream. You must wait 30 to 60 minutes for the radioactive substance to be absorbed by the organ or tissue to be imaged. During the scan, you lie on a table that moves incrementally through a scanner shaped like a giant doughnut. The test itself is painless, but you must lie very still or the images will be blurred. The scanner then produces digital images which create a 3-D image.
An Ultrasound exam uses high-frequency sound waves to produce precise images of structures within your body. Most ultrasound exams are done using a device outside of your body, though some exams involve placing a device inside your body. Ultrasounds are typically used to evaluate a fetus or the abdomen and pelvis, evaluate flow in blood vessels, guide a biopsy, check your thyroid gland and study your heart. During an ultrasound, you lie on an exam table and a small amount of gel is applied to your skin. The technician presses a small hand-held device against your skin over the area of your body being examined, moving from one area to another. Ultrasound is usually a painless procedure and a typical exam takes 30-60 minutes.
An X-ray is a quick, painless test that produces images of the inside of your body. X-rays are used to take pictures of bones, teeth, lungs, breasts, the heart, blood vessels and digestive tract. During an X-ray, you won’t be able to feel a thing, but you will have to hold still and hold your breath so the technologist can get a clear image. Although X-ray beams expose you to small doses of radiation, the benefits far outweigh the risks. After an X-ray you can usually resume normal activities and should not experience any side effects. At MMCH, X-rays are saved digitally on computers and reviewed by our on-site radiologists.
For more information on our imaging services, please call (812) 933-5134 or email Mike Beard.