Radiology


The Radiology Department at Electra Memorial Hospital provides high quality diagnostic images that aid in the accurate diagnosis and subsequent treatment of our patients.

Services Offered

  • Computed Tomography  ( CT )
  • Low Dose CT Lung Screening
  • Computed Tomography Angiography  ( CTA )
  • Radiography
    • Routine X-Rays
    • IVP  ( intravenous pyelogram )
  • Modified Barium Swallow Study  ( MBS )
  • MRI  ( magnetic resonance imaging )
  • MRA  ( magnetic resonance angiography )

Our Staff

The technologists at Electra Memorial Hospital have all graduated from an accredited radiology program inspected by the Joint Commission Education of Radiologic Technologists and have received certification by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (AART).

Additional Information regarding licenses, certification, and education can be found at the following links.

Computed Tomography (CT)

What is a CT?

Computed tomography is a sophisticated diagnostic imaging procedure capable of depicting the anatomy at different levels within the body through what is known as cross-sectional imaging. This is produced by encircling the patient’s body and capturing anatomical detail from many angles. Each rotation of the x-ray beam produces a single cross-sectional “slice” of anatomy, like the slices in a loaf of bread.

Computed Tomography allows physicians to see a single slice of the body, just as if you were taking a slice of bread out of a loaf. Using this technology, physicians can view the inside of anatomic structures, a feat not possible with general radiography.



In December 2012, Electra Memorial Hospital upgraded the CT system to a modern 16-slice configuration in order to provide higher quality images. In September 2015, Electra Memorial Hospital upgraded to MITA Smart Dose Compliant CT scanner in order to significantly reduce radiation dose to our patients.

Patient Preparation

Prior to your examination, you will be given detailed instructions describing how to prepare for your examination. You will be asked questions regarding your health status such as: Are you pregnant? Do you have any allergies? Any risk factors identified will be addressed.


Your Examination

Before your examination begins, a CT technologist will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you might have.

Exam time can range from 10 minutes to over an hour, depending on the part of the body being examined and whether or not a contrast agent is given. During your scan you may be asked to remove eyeglasses, dentures, and all metal that could interfere with the imaging. You will be provided a secure place to store these items during your examination.

The CT technologist will position you on the scanning table. If you are undergoing a head scan, the technologist will place your head in a cradle to help prevent movement. For head scans and scans of other parts of the body, you will be secured onto the table with a safety strap. Even the slightest movement and blur the image, so it’s important to hold still during the scan.

You may be given a contrast agent to drink before the examination begins, or it may be administered through an injection into a vein. The contrast agent helps visualize tissues in the area being studied. You may feel nauseous, flushed, or headachy after the contrast agent and you should tell the technologist immediately.

The technologist will guide the scanning table into the CT unit, which is a square rectangular machine with a large circular hole in the center. The CT technologist will not be in the room during the scan, but will be able to observe you through a window from an adjacent room and will be able to communicate through a two-way microphone system.

During the scan, the x-ray tube within the CT unit will rotate around you, taking x-ray pictures of one very thin slice tissue after another. As the x-ray tube rotates, you will hear a whirring sound. The table that you are on ill move slightly to reposition you for each scan, but it moves so slowly that you might not even notice it.



The technologist will tell you when each scan sequence is beginning and how long it will last. You should remain as still as possible throughout the sequence, and for certain scans you may be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds.

The x-ray unit that rotates around your body is linked to a computer that processes each scan in a matter of seconds. The final scans, called "CT Images", are sent to the hospital’s Picture Archiving Communication System (PACS) for interpretation and archival purposes.

When the exam is complete, your CT scans will be interpreted by a radiologist- a physician who specializes in the diagnostic interpretation of medical images.


Post Exam Information

After a radiologist has reviewed your films, your personal physician will receive a report of the findings. Your physician then will advise you of the results and discuss what further procedures, if any, are needed.

The radiation you are exposed to during a CT scan is only insignificantly higher than from a regular x-ray; however, it is a significantly more accurate exam. You are not "radioactive" following a CT procedure, and it is not necessary to take any special precautions following your examination.

If a contrast agent was administered, you may experience nausea, headache or dizziness following your examination. It's important to increase your water consumption in the days following the examination. If these symptoms persist, contact your physician.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Introduction

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a sophisticated diagnostic technique that uses a magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to generate detailed, cross-sectional images of human anatomy. Because it produces better soft-tissue images than x-rays can, MRI is most commonly used to image the brain, spine, thorax, vascular system and musculo-skeletal system (including the knee and shoulder).


Patient Preparation

MRI is a safe procedure for most patients, although it generally is not recommended for pregnant women. If you are pregnant, let your physician know. Also, because the body is exposed to a strong magnetic field, patients who have a pacemaker, cochlear implants or aneurysm clips should check with a physician before undergoing an MRI examination. Patients who have other types of metal implants and patients who have been exposed to shrapnel or whose eyes have been exposed to metal shavings also might not be candidates for MRI; it’s important to let your physician know if these conditions apply to you. For similar reasons, women undergoing an MRI exam should not wear eyeshadow, because it sometimes contains metallic substances.

If you are claustrophobic or experience pain when lying on your back for more than 30 minutes, let your doctor know. He or she may be able to prescribe a relaxant or pain medication. If you are sedated for the exam, someone will have to drive you home afterward.

During the Examination

Before your exam begins, an MR technologist will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you might have. Exam time depends upon the part of the body being examined, but typically ranges from 30 minutes to an hour. You will be asked to undress, remove all jewelry and put on a hospital gown. Remember, the magnet will damage wrist watches and erase credit cards and bank cards, so don’t take them into the exam room with you. You will be provided a secure place to store these items during your examination.

For most types of exams, the MR technologist will wrap a special coil around the body part that is being examined on. The MR technologist then will position you on a padded, movable table that will slide into the opening of the scanner. You may be given a contrast agent to highlight internal organs and structures.

You won’t feel anything during the scan, but you may hear intermittent humming, thumping, clicking and knocking sounds. These are the sounds of the magnetic gradients turning on and off. You will be provided with earplugs to help mask the noise.

The MR technologist will not be in the room during the scan, but will be able to observe you through a window from an adjacent room and will be able to hear you and communicate through a two-way microphone system. The technologist will tell you when each scan sequence is beginning and how long it will last. You will be asked to remain as still as possible throughout the sequence.

When the exam is complete, your MR scans obtained will be sent to a radiologist- a physician who specializes in the diagnostic interpretation of medical images.


Post Exam Information

After a radiologist has reviewed your films, your personal physician will receive a report of the findings. Your physician then will advise you of the results and discuss what further procedures, if any, are needed.

Magnetic resonance imaging is a noninvasive procedure, and there are no known side effects or after effects. If a contrast agent was administered, you may experience nausea, headache or dizziness following your examination. It's important to increase your water consumption in the days following the examination. If these symptoms persist, contact your physician.

Modified Barium Swallow (MBS)

Introduction

A modified barium swallow is a motion picture x-ray that utilizes digital floroscopy to document the swallowing motion. This recording allows the speech therapist to evaluate and look for any swallowing problems in your mouth and throat. The test checks what types of foods and liquids are safe for you to swallow.

Patient Preparation

For the modified barium swallow study to be successful, your stomach and upper GI tract must be completely empty. This means you probably will be asked not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the exam. It is also important that you tell the radiographer if there is a chance you might be pregnant.


The Examination

Before your examination begins, a speech therapist and the radiographer will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you might have. The examination takes about 30-45 minutes, including prep time. Inside the x-ray room, the radiographer will position you in a chair. The speech therapist will give you several items to eat and drink. These items range gradually from thin liquid to thicker food products and are coated with barium which allows radiographic visualization as you chew or drink.

At the conclusion of the study the speech therapist will review the examination with you or your family members.

Post Exam Information

After a speech therapist has reviewed your video recording, your personal physician will receive a report of the findings. Your physician and the speech therapist will advise you of the results and discuss what further procedures, if any, are needed.

You should increase your water intake in the days following your examination. The barium may make your stools white for a few days. This is normal. If you experience constipation following the examination, tell your doctor. You may be advised to take a laxative.

The radiation that you are exposed to during this examination, like the radiation produced during any other x-ray procedure, passes through you immediately. You are not "radioactive," and it is not necessary to take any special precautions following your examination.

Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)

Introduction

An intravenous pyelogram (IVP), also called an intravenous urogram, is an x-ray examination of your urinary tract, including the kidneys, ureters and bladder. This examination is performed when patients experience kidney pain; have several urinary tract infections; when blood is found in the urine; or if a kidney stone, tumor or injury is suspected.

Exam Preparation

For the IVP examination to be successful, your colon must be empty. Your doctor or the radiology department will give you specific instructions, which you should follow closely. If you have diabetes or take medication daily, tell the person scheduling your exam and ask for special instructions. The radiographer will ask you questions about your medical history. It is important to let the radiographer know if you have any allergies to food and medicine or a history of hay fever or asthma. If you are a woman of childbearing age, you should tell the radiographer if you may be pregnant.


The Examination

Before your examination begins, a radiographer will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you might have. Preparation for the examination takes about 10 minutes, and the examination itself takes about an hour. You will be asked to lie face up on an x-ray table, and the radiographer will take an image of your abdomen to make sure that your intestines are empty. Next, a contrast agent that makes your urinary system visible on radiographic images will be injected into a vein in your arm. As it passes through your bloodstream into your urinary system, you may feel the need to urinate, and you may experience a warm feeling in the pelvic area. You also may feel flushed, notice a slightly metallic taste in your mouth or feel a wave of nausea. These are normal reactions and usually will disappear within a short time. If you begin to itch or feel short of breath, let the radiographer know immediately.

After the contrast is administered, the radiographer will take a series of x-rays. You may be asked to turn from side to side, lie on your stomach and hold several positions. A light compression band may be placed on your abdomen to hold the contrast material in your kidneys. You will be asked to hold your breath during each exposure and remain still. If you cannot carry out any of the instructions, let the radiographer know.



Next, you may be asked to use the toilet facilities empty your bladder. Then a final x-ray may be taken to demonstrate the amount of contrast agent that remains in your bladder. This is known as a "post-voiding" study.


Post Exam Information

A radiologist, a physician who specializes in the diagnostic interpretation of medical images, will review your films and dictate a report of the findings. Your personal physician will receive this information and then will advise you of the results and discuss what further procedures, if any, are needed.

The contrast agent leaves your body as you urinate. It will not discolor your urine or cause discomfort when you urinate. To help eliminate the contrast agent, you should drink more water than usual following the examination. Unless advised otherwise, you can resume normal activities and your usual diet. If you experience any discomfort following the examination, contact your physician.


Contrast Agents

Although bones show up clearly on x-ray images, some other organs and tissues do not. Contrast agents, also known as contrast media, often are used during medical imaging examinations to highlight specific parts of the body and make them easier to see. Contrast agents can be used with many types of imaging examinations, including diagnostic examinations, CT’s, MRI’s, etc.

Contrast agents are administered in different ways: Some are given as a drink; others are injected or delivered through an intravenous line. After the examination, the body harmlessly absorbs some contrast agents; others are excreted through the urine or bowel movements. Contrast agents are not dyes; they do not permanently discolor internal organs. Instead, they temporarily change the way x-rays or other imaging tools interact with your body. If the exam your physician requested for you requires a contrast agent, a radiologic technologist will explain how it is used before the exam begins.

Some contrast agents carry a small risk of allergic reaction, so it is important to tell the radiologic technologist who will perform your examination if you have any type of allergy. Also, if you notice any unusual or uncomfortable symptoms during the examination, be sure to tell the technologist. It is his or her job to make you as comfortable as possible while obtaining the best image possible.



Contrast agents containing iodine are used to image the gallbladder, urinary tract, blood vessels, spleen, liver and bile duct. Iodine contrast agents are clear liquids and are injected or ingested. Patients who are allergic to iodine should not receive this type of contrast agent. Be sure to tell the technologist which medications you are taking and your current medical conditions before the exam begins.

You may notice side effects associated with the use of iodine-containing contrast agents. These include a feeling of warmth or flushing, a metallic taste in the mouth, light-headedness, nausea, itching and hives. Usually, these symptoms are mild and disappear quickly. However, it is a good idea to tell the radiologic technologist if you experience any of them. In extremely rare instances, these side effects can be serious. The technologist will monitor you carefully for signs of side effects.

Interpretation Process


A radiologist interprets all diagnostic images produced at Electra Memorial Hospital. The radiologist creates detailed reports for each completed radiographic examination. The electronically signed final report is archived in the hospital’s electronic medical record. However, keep in mind, you will receive a separate bill.

Have questions? Contact us!

If you have any questions regarding the radiology services available at Electra Memorial Hospital, feel free to call us at 940-495-3981 ext. 280.

Or you may contact Brett Bruce
direct at 940-495-5281
Email: brett.bruce@electrahospital.com