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Diagnostic Imaging

State-of-the-Art Diagnostics

Health care providers may need to see what's happening inside their bodies to accurately diagnose and treat patients. Medical imaging technology allows them to view a patient's internal condition, determine effective treatments and provide the best possible care. At Southeast Iowa Regional Medical Center's Diagnostic Imaging Department, radiologic technologists and radiologists use innovative technologies to help our medical team evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients.

Our Medical Imaging Services

A provider may recommend medical imaging if they feel it is necessary to better understand a patient's condition. The simplest medical images are X-rays, which are especially useful when a patient has an injury.

We offer:

  • 3D Mammography with SmartCurve - 3D images of the breast are created by using several low- dose digital X-rays taken at different angles. A computer converts the images into a stack of thin layers, allowing radiologists to review breast tissue one layer at a time. In conventional 2-D mammography, overlapping tissue is a leading reason why small breast cancers may be missed and normal tissue may appear abnormal. Mammography with the SmartCurve system provides a curved compression surface that offers a more comfortable patient experience without compromising image quality. The SmartCurve system improves comfort in 93% of patients who reported moderate to severe discomfort with standard compression.

    • Automated Breast Ultrasound (ABUS)

      ABUS, in addition to mammography, has been shown to improve breast cancer detection by 35.7% for women with dense breast tissue.It is a comfortable and relatively short examination without additional radiation that usually can be done the same day as your mammogram. Ask your health care provider is ABUS would be beneficial to you.

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) - This testing is noninvasive and painless. It is a medical diagnostic imaging test to help your doctor diagnose and treat your health condition(s). MRI equipment uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses, and a sophisticated computer to produce detailed images of the soft tissues in your body, including the organs and other internal structures. These images are examined on a computer monitor to evaluate certain health disorders.

  • Nuclear Medicine - Nuclear medicine uses low, safe amounts of radiation to highlight areas of a patient's body where a special dye has been introduced. There are various nuclear medicine procedures and your provider and radiologist can determine which one is needed in your case.

  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scans - PET scans also use low amounts of radiation to create internal images of a patient. In this case, a tracker (an injection or gas) is introduced into the patient, allowing the PET scanner to great images where the tracker releases gamma rays. PET scans are used to evaluate bodily functions, such as chemical reactions and metabolism.
  • Computerized Tomography (CT) Scans - Computed tomography, more commonly called CT scans, are used to diagnose many different health conditions. CT scans are a type of diagnostic imaging test using X-ray equipment and sophisticated computers to produce cross-section images of from inside the body. These detailed images can include the bones, muscles, fat, organs, and blood vessels. These scans can often detect the smallest abnormalities and are relatively safe. CT scans are interpreted by radiologists to easily diagnose many health conditions, from cancer to musculoskeletal disorders and many other diseases. Learn More
  • Cardiac Calcium Scoring Test - During cardiac calcium scoring testing, patients lie down on their backs, and they are scanned in a computed tomography (CT) unit. Special images are taken of the heart while the patient holds his or her breath for about 20 seconds. Special cardiac-scoring software measures the amount of calcium in coronary arteries. Radiologists interpret the information and send the results to the patient’s health care provider within a week after the test. Learn more

  • Nuclear Medicine - Great River Health offers this medical imaging test to diagnose or treat many types of diseases, from cancers, heart disease, and specific bodily abnormalities. These scans can guide your doctor to diagnosing diseases of the thyroid, bones, lungs, liver, gallbladder, or heart. It works by using small amounts of radioactive tracers that produce images in the body. These images show your doctor the structure and function of the areas being examined to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders. During a nuclear medicine test, you will ingest or be injected with a radionuclide.You will be scanned by a special gamma camera to record the radioactivity of specific organs with the assistance of special computer technology.You physicians will analyze these reports to make a diagnosis or to determine appropriate treatment.

  • Bone Densitromy - Bone Density Testing, also called bone DEXA scanning, is used as a screening tool to detect osteoporosis by measuring bone mass. Osteoporosis puts you at increased risk for fractures, and bone densitometry is recommended for people with specific medical conditions who meet certain criteria. It is also necessary for those currently being treated for osteoporosis, for instance, if your doctor wants to check if your therapy is working. DEXA works like an X-ray, and uses a tiny dose of ionizing radiation so your doctor can see inside the body, usually the lower spine and hips, to measure bone mass. The test is quick, simple, and noninvasive and requires little or no special preparation.

  • Ultrasounds - Ultrasound/Duplex Doppler is a non-invasive (no needles, dye, etc.) medical diagnostic procedure using high-frequency sound waves. Ultrasound can produce better images of certain "soft" tissues than x-rays do, because ultrasound distinguishes one form of tissue from another. Ultrasound can also show internal motion such as blood flowing through veins, the heart beating, etc. Ultrasound does not involve the use of X-rays and is a safe procedure. The Radiologist can also see ulcers, scar tissue, abnormal growths, hernias, or areas where something is blocking the normal path of food through the digestive system. Using a machine called a fluoroscope, the Radiologist is also able to watch your digestive system work as the barium moves through it. This part of the procedure shows any problems in how the digestive system functions, for example, whether the muscles that control swallowing are working properly. As the barium moves into the small intestine, the Radiologist can take X-rays of it as well.

  • X-Rays - Conventional X-rays can be used to help identify disease or injury to the body including heart and lung disease, bone fractures and digestive system disease.

    There are different types of diagnostic X-rays including:

    • Fluoroscopy - still images of parts of the body at work are taken; for instance, the esophagus can be seen as the patient swallows.
    • Cineradiography - motion picture taken of organs at work, used primarily for the heart.
    • Stereoscopy - two X-rays from slightly different angles, giving three-dimensional images.
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