Below are a few of the most common procedures we perform. Click the “+” to see more details.
Computed tomography (CT) scans have been performed successfully since the 1970s. Simple and swift, a CT gives radiologists a non-surgical way to see inside your body and is one of the most common medical imaging procedures.
One advantage of CT is its ability to rapidly acquire two-dimensional pictures of your anatomy. Using a computer, these images can be made into 3-D images for in-depth clinical evaluations. This diagnostic medical exam combines X-rays and computers and is sometimes referred to as a CAT scan.
Reasons for CT
CT scans may be prescribed to ill or injured patients. A doctor may also recommend the procedure if he or she suspects a medical problem that cannot easily be detected with a routine physical exam. CT may also be used to rapidly obtain specific diagnostic information that hasn’t been provided by other imaging technologies.
Ultrasound imaging (sonography) is used by doctors to view soft tissues in the body (like internal organs or muscles) with the use of high-frequency sound waves. These streaming images display the movements made by internal organs and blood flow in real time.
How does ultrasound work?
During an ultrasound exam, a doctor or technician will place a hand-held transducer on the skin covering the area to be examined. The transducer sends out high-frequency sound waves. These waves bounce off body structures and help create a series of images, which are then displayed on a monitor.
Safety and Risks
For over 20 years, ultrasound imaging has provided doctors diagnostic information about their patients. This procedure boasts an excellent safety record. Because ultrasound uses non-ionizing radiation, it does not carry the same risks associated with imaging methods using ionizing radiation (like X-rays, among others).
Probably the most widely recognized form of diagnostic imaging is the X-ray. Your doctor may order an X-ray to help determine or rule out a diagnosis.
What is an X-ray?
X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation, just like visible light. A machine sends individual X-ray particles through the body and a computer or special film is used to record the images that are created.
How do X-rays work?
Structures that are dense (such as bone) will block most of the x-ray particles and will appear white. Metal and contrast media (special dye used to highlight areas of the body) will also appear white. Structures containing air will be black, and muscle, fat, and fluid will appear as shades of gray.
Types of X-Ray Procedures
An IVP is an X-ray examination that allows a radiologist to view and assess the anatomy and function of the kidneys, ureters and urinary bladder. A contrast material is injected into a vein in the patient’s arm and travels through the bloodstream, collecting in the kidneys and urinary tract. These areas are bright white.
Lower GI (Barium Enema)
A lower GI is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Using a special form of X-ray called fluoroscopy and a contrast material called barium, the lower GI makes it possible to see internal organs in motion. When the lower intestinal tract is filled with barium, the radiologist can view and assess the anatomy and function of the rectum, colon (large intestine) and sometimes part of the lower small intestine.
An upper GI series is an X-ray examination of the upper gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus, stomach, and part of the small intestine. Using a special form of X-ray called fluoroscopy and a contrast material called barium, the upper GI makes it possible to see the organs in motion. A barium milkshake will be swallowed during the exam. As the barium travels through the digestive tract, the patient will be asked to turn in different positions to view the esophagus and stomach on the monitor.
Bone Density Measurement (DEXA)
Bone density scanning, also called dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) or bone densitometry, is an enhanced form of X-ray technology that helps measure bone mineral density in the hip and spine.
DEXA is most often used to diagnose osteoporosis, a condition that often affects women after menopause but may also be found in men. Osteoporosis involves a gradual loss of calcium, as well as structural changes, causing the bones to become thinner, more fragile and more likely to break.