Finding what's wrong...
The Diagnostic Imaging Department at Island Hospital is committed to image-based patient care by providing the best quality studies possible. Our sophisticated imagery technology provides physicians and other medical caregivers important tools for accurately diagnosing and treating a broad array of health problems. Our Diagnostic Imaging Department has expanded several times over the past few years, offering the modalities best suited to meet the needs of our community.
A Guide to Diagnostic Imaging Services at Island Hospital
X-rays / Radiology Procedures » Instructions & Prep (No prep required for x-rays.)
X-rays are valuable aids to diagnosing illness or injury. Performed at the request of a physician, they are interpreted by a radiologist, (a physician specially trained in this field) and the findings reported to the referring physician.
CT (Computed Tomography)
» Instructions & Prep
Computed Tomography (CT) imaging, also known as "CAT scanning" (Computed Axial Tomography), provides studies of soft tissue, blood vessels and bone. CT imaging is fast and enables the diagnosis of a wider array of illness and injury.
DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absortiometry) » Instructions & Prep
Island Hospital has Dual Energy X-ray Absortiometry, or "DEXA" scanning — currently the most widely used method to measure bone-mineral density — among its impressive array of diagnostic-imaging services. Studies have shown that lower bone-density measurements are a good indication of the presence of osteoporosis, a skeletal disease resulting in decrease bone mass and greater susceptibility to fractures.
Women are six times more likely to be affected by primary osteoporosis than men. Postmenopausal osteoporosis is most common and characterized by rapid bone loss in recently postmenopausal women.
A DEXA scan — which requires referral from a healthcare provider — takes only a few minutes and is similar to having an x-ray.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) » Instructions & Prep
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): uses magnetic impulses to generate pictures of internal structures. MRI is a safe and painless test that produces very clear cross-sectional or three-dimensional images of the body's tissues, even through bone and other obstructions. Because of its safety and clarity, the MRI is a very valuable tool that can aid in the diagnosis of a wide range of conditions. The only thing patients need to do to prepare for an MRI is to remove all metal objects (e.g., jewelry) from their body.
Mammography » Instructions & Prep
Mammography is a specific type of x-ray that produces detailed images of the breast. Using low-dose x-ray and high-resolution film, mammography plays an important role in detecting cancers of the breast. Successful treatment of breast cancer depends on early diagnosis. Mammography can find 85-90% of breast cancers in woman past age 50 and can discover a lump as much as two years before it can be felt, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.
There are two types of mammography: screening and diagnostic. Screening mammography is an x-ray examination for women who have no complaints or symptoms of breast cancer; the goal is to detect cancer when it is still too small to be felt. Diagnostic mammography is a more involved and time-consuming examination for a woman who either has a complaint (breast lump or nipple discharge) or an abnormality found during screening mammography.
Nuclear Medicine » Instructions & Prep
Nuclear medicine makes use of low doses of radioactive materials to evaluate how well various parts of the body are functioning. Common nuclear medicine exams include those for bones, lungs, heart, thyroid and gallbladder.
For this exam, the patient is positioned on an examination table. The nuclear medicine camera is then positioned over the area of interest. The patient is simply required to relax and stay calm during the examination. The technologist and patient can communicate at any time.
Nuclear medicine "stress tests" also involve exercise on a treadmill, followed by the nuclear medicine acquisition to evaluate how the heart is functioning.
PET (Positron Emission Tomography) » Instructions & Prep
Positron emission tomography (PET) is a nuclear medicine procedure that produces pictures of the body's biological functions. PET is a unique diagnostic imaging modality that is capable of detecting certain diseases before other imaging modalities, including computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). PET is able to capture chemical and physiological changes related to metabolism, as opposed to gross anatomy and structure, which is obtained by CT and MRI. This is important since functional changes are often present before structural changes in tissues. PET images may therefore demonstrate pathological changes long before they would be evident in CT or MRI. PET/CT is valuable because it combines the pathological information with the anatomical giving your doctor a large amount of information to make the most informed decision.
PET scans are most often used to detect cancer and to examine the effects of cancer therapy. These scans can be performed on the entire body for a range of cancer types. PET scans of the heart can be used to help evaluate signs of coronary artery disease by determining blood flow to the heart muscle. It allows differentiation of nonfunctioning heart muscle from heart muscle that would benefit from a procedure which would re-establish adequate blood flow and improve heart function. PET scans of the brain are used to evaluate patients who have memory disorder of an undetermined cause.
Ultrasound » Instructions & Prep
Ultrasound utilizes high-frequency sound waves that reflect off of the body's structures and back to an ultrasound probe that has been placed on or near the area of interest. The sound waves are processed and generated by a computer in real time. Since ultrasound does not make use of ionizing radiation, it is one of the safest imaging modalities available.