The Radiology Department uses the most advanced imaging technologies available in health care today. MMC imaging services include robotic x-ray, fluoroscopy, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear medicine, ultrasound, multi-slice computed tomography (CT), and mammography and stereotactic breast biopsies to obtain detailed information that helps physicians in the diagnosis, treatment and management of a patient’s medical condition. All diagnostic radiologic studies are interpreted by experienced radiologists who work closely with your physician to assure the most accurate diagnosis of your medical condition.
Physician referral is required for all inpatient and outpatient services except mammography.
Multislice Computerized Tomography (CT):
Multislice CT scanning combines the diagnostic capabilities of x-ray with modern computer technology to create detailed images of body structures that are too small for x-ray or are located in an area that cannot be imaged by conventional x-ray. It is non-invasive and can provide accurate diagnostic information without the risks and discomfort associated with exploratory surgery. CT scanning is used extensively in evaluating the head and brain, as well as the chest, abdomen, pelvis and bone structure. The use of multislice CT scanning allows for faster, clearer imaging of the patient’s body and now includes imaging of the heart, blood vessels along with virtual colonoscopy for detecting diseases of the colon. Because of the scanner’s speed it is a primary tool for evaluating trauma patients.
Ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves to create valuable diagnostic images that can be displayed on a screen or recorded on film. Because it uses no radiation, it is an important diagnostic tool used during pregnancy and at other times when even minimal radiation exposure is not advisable. It is commonly used to determine the position, size and age of a fetus and to monitor heartbeat and movement of an unborn baby. Ultrasound is also important in diagnostic studies of the thyroid, heart, liver, spleen, gall bladder, pancreas, kidneys, uterus and ovaries.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI):
MRI can provide detailed diagnostic images not available with other diagnostic techniques. MRI is a safer way to “see inside the body” in ways never before possible without exploratory surgery. Because it is non-invasive and uses radio waves instead of radiation, it is among the safest diagnostic procedures available in medicine. The MRI produces images of superior quality that enables physicians to evaluate brain tumors and identify problems of the spinal column, abdomen and other internal organs or tissue masses. Unlike conventional x-ray procedures, MRI can image parts of the body previously hidden from view by bone. MRI can also be used to diagnose diseases that may affect bone marrow.
MMC became the fourth hospital in the country to invest in a multi-function robotic x-ray machine that enhances the patient experience by providing more comprehensive imaging within a single exam room.
The Siemens Healthineers Multitom Rax Twin Robotic X-ray system is a universal diagnostic imaging system that allows a wide range of exams that’d generally take place in different rooms via a single machine and space. This means staff can perform exams pertaining to everything from emergency medicine and interventional to pain management and orthopedics, and from conventional 2D radiography to fluoroscopy exams and angiography applications.
The Multitom Rax Twin Robotic X-ray system is the first in the world that can capture 3D images under the patient’s natural weight-bearing condition – whether the patient is seated, lying down, or standing. This is important because the knees, pelvis and spinal column appear differently when a patient is lying down versus when the patient’s body weight is applied. The 3D technology will be available to MMC mid to late summer of 2017.
MMC Radiology Services’ new MRI equipment consists of a shorter, more open feeling tube-like magnet that sets up a magnetic field around the patient. During the MRI test, state-of-the-art computers process millions of bits of information to create an image on a screen and on film for further study and evaluation.
Mammography is the most accurate diagnostic technique available for breast disease detection. Through mammography screenings, breast cancer too small to be discovered by physical examination can be detected. The American Cancer Society suggests the following guidelines for mammography screening: Age 35 to 40 – a one time screening to provide a baseline for future mammograms; Age 40 to 50 – a mammography screening every one to two years, depending on your personal and family health history and your physician’s recommendation; Over age 50 – annual screening is recommended because breast cancer occurs most frequently in women over the age of 50. MMC also offers stereotactic breast biopsies. Stereotactic breast biopsies use mammographic x-rays to locate and target the area of concern and to help guide the biopsy needle to an exact location. This technique helps ensure that the area biopsied is the exact area where the abnormality was seen on the mammogram. Compared with open surgical biopsy a stereotactic biopsy causes less scarring, allows for results to be available sooner, and requires very little recovery time.
Nuclear Medicine (SPECT):
Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) equipment represents the state-of-the-art in nuclear medicine capabilities. The three-dimensional image of internal organs provided by SPECT greatly improves the chances for diagnosing a wide range of medical conditions. Nuclear medicine procedures require the injection of a small amount of radioactive material that is directed to a specific part of the body. Nuclear medicine is commonly used to evaluate the condition of the thyroid, liver, lung, kidneys, heart and bones.
Low Dose CT (LDCT) Screening:
Low dose CT (LDCT) screenings for patients at-risk of getting lung cancer. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), LDCT screenings have been shown to have a higher rate of detection early on, than traditional chest x-rays. ACS recommends patients who meet all of the following criteria may be candidates for lung cancer screening:
• 55 to 74 years old
• In fairly good health
• Have at least a 30 pack per year smoking history
• Are still smoking or have quit smoking within the last 15 years
If you feel you meet these criteria and would benefit from the screening, talk to your physician about receiving a referral.