Imaging Services at Union General Hospital (Radiology)
Union General Radiology Department is proud to offer our community a full range of advanced imaging services that help diagnose and treat various conditions. Our hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art imaging technology. We are proud to be able to provide high-quality imaging services to our community and surrounding communities.
Why Choose Union General Radiology Department?
Union General Radiology department is equipped with the latest imaging equipment. Allowing us to provide more advanced image services to our community and surrounding areas. Our technologists are knowable in their specialty and board certified by ARRT (American Registry of Radiologic Technologists or ARDMS (American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers). Our Mammography department is certified by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the Food and Drug Administration.
Imaging Tests and Procedures
Union General Radiology Department offers a wide range of image services to assist doctors in diagnosing diseases and following up on treatments.
- Bone Density
- CT scans (Computed Tomography)
- MRI (Magnetic Resonates Imaging)
- Nuclear Medicine
- PET Scan (Positron Emission Tomography/ Computed Tomography)
Contact us today to learn more about our outpatient imaging services.
Chatuge Regional Hospital Radiology
We are dedicated to providing state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging studies with compassion for our patients and referral partners. Board-certified radiologists read all of our studies. All protocols follow American College of Radiology guidelines.
The Radiology Department performs multiple outpatient imaging services for patients to include:
- General X-Ray
- Bone Density
The Radiology Department is staffed with registered technologists in each modality.
MRIs serve a significant purpose at Union General Hospital. MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. We use MRIs to view detailed images of the body. Typically, MRIs are used to determine how severe an injury is, detect cancerous tumors, or simply to get a detailed look at what’s going on inside the body. The device itself uses a magnetic field combined with radio waves to generate detailed images of what’s going on inside certain areas of the body. The main difference between and MRI and a CT scan is how they obtain the images of your body. A CT scan uses X-ray technology, MRIs use magnets and radio waves.
What to Expect When Having an MRI:
Some of our patients worry about having an MRI. However, the process is painless. A patient lies down and is glided into the MRI machine. The only thing the patient will experience is the slight noise from the MRI machine. The entire process lasts only about half an hour. The final product is a 3-D image representing the area that was examined. This is extremely helpful for our doctors, as they are able to diagnose and treat patients accurately after utilizing this incredible piece of technology.
Types of MRI Uses
MRIs can be used for all of the following purposes:
Head: MRIs can identify tumors, aneurysms, bleeding in the brain, or any damage associated with having a stroke.
Spine – Discs and nerves can be seen clearly.
Abdomen and Pelvis – The liver, kidneys, bladder and other organs in the abdomen can be assessed for blockages, infections, or tumors.
Blood Vessels – Blockages are able to be identified, among other things.
Bones and Joints – MRIs can check for things like arthritis, bone marrow issues, torn ligaments, or infections in the bones and joints.
Nuclear Medicine is one of the most up to date and state-of-the-art specialties we have in our radiology department at Union General Hospital. Nuclear Medicine is revolutionizing the way we are able to diagnose and treat illnesses. With Nuclear Medicine it’s painless, safe and extremely effective.
Nuclear Medicine “refers to a medicine (a pharmaceutical) that is attached to a small quantity of radioactive material (a radio scope). This combination is known as a radio-pharmaceutical. There are a variety of different radiopharmaceuticals available for different parts of the body.” The radiopharmaceuticals are easily received by the patient’s body through an injection, swallowing, or inhalation. These radiopharmaceuticals have been tested and approved by the FDA.
Once the patient has received the radio-pharmaceutical, the substance, or “radio tracer” is seen detected by using a special camera. The camera allows the doctor to see what’s going on inside the body. The gamma camera is placed a few inches above and below the patient’s body. Pictures are taken, and as a result, doctors can diagnose diseases quicker than they would by using any other device.
That’s the advantage with using Nuclear Medicine— early detection.
Below is a list of common reasons that we use Nuclear Medicine:
- Lesions in the body can be detected without surgery.
- Organ functionality is easily detected.
- Nuclear Medicine is able to determine how well the heart is pumping as well as determine if the brain, stomach, or kidneys are functioning properly.
- The tiniest of injuries to a bone can be detected through nuclear medicine. These types of fractures typically wouldn’t show up on an X-ray.
- It aids in identifying locations of seizures from diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
- This specialty can be used to see how well cancer is responding to treatment, as well as monitor bone recovery.
- If the patient received a new organ through a transplant, physicians are able to see how well the new organ is working.
- Nuclear Medicine procedures are able to assess damage to the heart after experiencing a heart attack.
Nuclear Medicine is a new, innovative specialty that is saving lives. We’re proud to be able to utilize this technology in order to offer our patients the best, newest, updated level of care.
A mammogram is something that radiologists use to examine breast tissue. It’s a low-dose X-ray machine that generates film pictures or, alternatively, a digital image that the doctor can look at on a computer screen.
Typically, women begin having mammograms at age 40. However, if a woman has a family history involving breast cancer, it’s suggested that she begins having mammograms by age 30. Breast health is a very important aspect of women’s health.
Mammograms are able to see and detect things that a typical self-breast exam wouldn’t be able to. A lump felt in an at-home breast exam can be further explored through use of a mammogram. However, it’s key to remember that some breasts naturally contain more lumps than others.
What is it like to have a mammogram?
To start the mammogram, you stand in front of the x-ray machine. The radiologist, one at a time, places each breast between a plastic plate and the x-ray plate. The breasts are then compressed and flattened, and pictures are taken. Most women describe the experience as uncomfortable rather than painful. The discomfort generally lasts for only a few seconds
What can mammograms show?
- Calcifications – These are small flecks made of calcium, or sometimes larger, “macrocalcifications.” It’s very rare, but sometimes, these small flecks of calcium can indicate areas where cancer has recently begun. Rarely, the smaller “microcalcifications” may indicate areas where cancer has recently begun.2
- Cysts – These are masses filled with fluid that are quite common and rarely associated with cancer.
- Fibroadenomas – These are solid, round lumps that move inside the breast. They’re the most common, especially for younger women. Fibroadenomas are typically removed to ensure that they are not cancerous.2
NEW: Digital Mammography
Digital mammography is the newest alternative to film mammography. With digital, studies have shown that it, “was significantly better than film mammography,” especially for women who were under 50 or had dense breasts. The image is typically much clearer than film, because the high resolution monitors can identify masses more accurately.3
If you are interested in learning more about our mammography services or would like to schedule an appointment, we’d love to hear from you.
Mammography Records Request
At Union General Hospital, we offer state-of-the-art ultrasound technology in our radiology department. Ultrasound terminology can be confusing and we are here to help you understand the differences so that you can get the help that you need. Sonograms, diagnostic sonography, or ultrasonography can be used interchangeably and are all referring to the same device. In many cases, our doctors consider ultrasounds to be safer because they don’t cause as much radiation as other technologies like a CT scan, for instance.
An ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves and creates images of various parts of the body. These images allow doctors to see what’s going on inside the body. When some people hear the word “ultrasound” they may think of it as the device used to check the health of a baby. However, ultrasounds can be used in many other areas of the body such as:
- Blood vessels
Ultrasounds can be used for a variety of purposes and in a variety of health departments, too. Here are some common examples of ways we utilize our ultrasound technology here at Union General Hospital:
- Cardiology – Doctors can view 3D images of the heart and veins.
- Newborn infants – Sonographers are able to check for abnormalities in the brain.
- Neurology – Sonographers can detect blood flow in certain arteries.
- Obstetric Ultrasonography – Images of the fetus are able to be seen. It’s through ultrasonography that doctors are able to determine the sex of the baby.
- Abdominal Sonography – Sometimes, appendicitis is able to be detected through the use of a sonogram.
- Breast Health – Ultrasounds are able to spot lumps and abnormalities inside the breasts.
Bone Density (DXA)
A bone density scan, often referred to as a duel-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), is a tool used at Union General Hospital to measure bone density. These scans are non-invasive, painless and quick. A part of the body is exposed to a small amount of ionizing radiation in order to generate pictures from inside the body.
DXA is most commonly performed on areas of the body like the hips or spine. Through use of a bone density scan, doctors can diagnose things like osteoporosis and bone density loss, as well as evaluate fractures.
A computerized tomography (CT) scan “combines a series of X-ray images taken from different angels and uses computer processing to create cross-sectional images, or slices, of the bones, blood vessels and soft tissues inside the body.” Doctors typically prefer a CT scan over an X-ray if they’re looking into internal injuries because CT scans are more detailed than an X-ray. CT scans are similar to MRIs, but the main difference between the two is how the image is obtained. With CT scans, X-ray technology is used. With MRIs, radio waves and magnets are used. CT scans are also obtained a bit quicker than MRIs. CT scans take about 5-7 minutes, whereas MRIs can take up to 30 minutes.
CT scans are used for a variety of purposes:
- To diagnose things like bone tumors or fractures
- To discover the location of a specific tumor, infection site, or a blood clot
- To detect and keep track of diseases and conditions like cancer, liver masses, or heart disease
- To explore internal injuries or trauma
- To aid in performing procedures like a biopsy or radiation therapy
- To monitor the progress of treatments for cancer or other diseases
Similar to an MRI machine, you lay on a table and are glided into the machine. If you’re doing a head CT scan, it’s common to have a special cradle around your head to ensure your head stays still. You’re able to communicate with the doctor through an intercom. There’s no pain. The only thing you may find unusual is the slight noises from the machine.