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General X-ray procedures image the different parts of the body and evaluate for fractures, air and fluid levels, foreign bodies, tumors, and multiple other conditions. X-rays offer less radiation as compared to a CT Scan, but also only provide a two-dimensional image. General X-ray images are unique in that any part of the body whether it is a hand or an abdomen can be imaged quickly and captured in a diagnostic image.
An Upper GI (Gastrointestinal) Series is sometimes used as a diagnostic tool for patients dealing with abdominal pain, vomiting, unexplained weight loss, and or nausea. This procedure allows our Radiologists to evaluate for medical conditions such as ulcers, esophageal varices, diverticula, hiatal hernias, and any abnormal growths or conditions. Because we are imaging the Gastrointestinal tract a pre-procedural prep must be followed to clear out the digestive system, this prep should be provided by the ordering Physician.
During the procedure the patient will either sit or stand in front of an X-ray machine capable of real time imaging (fluoroscopy). The patient drinks barium liquid, which is often white and has a chalky consistency. The barium will coat the lining of the upper GI tract and the real time imaging will capture the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. Once these abdominal structures are filled with contrast the Radiographer and or Radiologist will ask the patient to turn and change position several times. This is done in order to completely view the abdominal structures and look for any additional problems that may be present.
Myelography is used to evaluate both the bony structure of the spine as well as the nerve structures. In preparation for this procedure the patient may be asked to remove any metal, hearing aids, and or removable dental work. The procedure requires the patient to follow a few preps that will be provided by your ordering physician.
The Myelogram procedure consists of two parts. During the first portion of this procedure the patient lies on his or her stomach while the generalized area on the spine is cleansed and numbed with a local anesthetic. A small spinal needle is guided into the back of the patient using fluoroscopy (real time imaging). Once the needle is in place Contrast Dye is injected into the cerebral spinal fluid which coats the spinal canal. This contrast dye will coat the spinal canal, the spinal cord, and the nerve roots, which will illuminate any malformations in the spine during the imaging portion of the procedure. The imaging portion of the procedure requires the use of gravity and the table to tilt in different directions.
During the second portion of the procedure the patient will be transferred to the CT Department and asked to lie on his or her back. Positioning sponges and Velcro may be used to reduce motion and aligning the spine for the scan. The technologist will center the area being scanned using the laser lights on the scanner. Shortly after the technologist leaves the room the table will then move through the scanner producing a “scout” image. There will be a slight pause while the technologist uses the scout image to set up the exam. The table will then move through the scanner at least one more time for the examination. Patients are not permitted to drive immediately following this procedure and will need to make arrangements for transportation home.
An Epidural Steroid Injection is a procedure involving the injection of a steroid directly into the epidural space of the spine. This steroid is designed to reduce inflammation and ideally reduce pain. A Radiologist preps the skin on the patients back and uses a local anesthetic to numb the area. A small spinal needle will then be placed into the epidural space using Fluoroscopic imaging. During this procedure the patient will be prone (on his or her stomach) for approximately 15 to 30 minutes. Once the injection of the steroid is completed the needle is removed and a band aid is placed over the patient’s skin. The patient will transfer to a cart where he or she will wait for a minimum of 15 minutes to ensure there is no reaction to the steroid. Patients are not permitted to drive immediately following this procedure and will need to make arrangements for transportation home.
This procedure assesses the process of swallowing while eating and or drinking. A Speech Pathologist and Radiologist evaluate the patient for signs of aspiration during these activities. Contrast medium of different consistencies is used to evaluate any complications throughout the procedure. During this procedure patients are positioned usually in the upright position and instructed to swallow the contrast while a fluoroscopy (real time imaging) unit is used to record the activity. This study is reviewed and interpreted by the Radiologist for any complications. A pre-procedural prep may be needed for this procedure and will be provided by the ordering physician.
This procedure uses a combination of x-ray images and fluoroscopy (real time imaging) to evaluate the large intestine and rectum. It is a study that requires the use of contrast to fill and coat the walls of the large intestine so that a Radiologist may evaluate the study for diseases such as but not limited to Colon Cancer, Polyps, Diverticulitis, Ulcerative Colitis, and Acute Appendicitis. This procedure requires a pre-procedural prep that will be provided by the ordering physician. During this examination the patient will change in to a gown, remove all metal objects, and be asked to lie flat on his or her back on the X-ray table. An image will be taken prior to the contrast portion of the exam. The patient will then be asked to lie on his or her side and the Radiographer will insert a well-lubricated enema tube into the rectum. This enema tube is connected to an enema bag which holds a contrast medium, usually barium sulfate. Via gravity the liquid will fill the large intestine of the patient and allow the Radiologist to visualize the colon walls. A small balloon on the tip of the enema may be inflated to help keep the liquid barium sulfate inside the colon. The patient will be asked to turn in multiple positions so that the large intestine will completely fill and a series of x-ray images will be taken. Additional procedural steps may be taken depending on the diagnosis for the patient; one such additional step includes inserting air into the colon in addition to the barium sulfate to expand the walls of the large intestine allowing for better imaging.
Patients may experience the feeling of fullness, cramping, and they may feel the need to have a bowel movement. Patients who experience these types of discomfort should attempt to take in long, deep breaths and try to relax.
During this procedure the Urinary System, which consists of the Kidneys, Ureters, and Bladder will be evaluated for conditions including but not limited to cancer, kidney stones, enlarged prostate glands, and urinary system function. Intravenous Contrast in injected in the patient’s veins and ends up in the Urinary tract after the kidneys filter the blood. This collection in the kidneys and urinary tract enhances these areas and shows as a bright white on our images, which allows us to evaluate the system. Once the injection of Intravenous Contrast is injected a series of timed images will be taken. Because IV Contrast is used during this study a pre-procedural prep is needed and will be provided by the ordering physician. Note: this procedure is an Enhanced Study and calls for IV contrast. If you are allergic, diabetic, or experiencing lower kidney functions inform the ordering physician and the technologist.
An Arthrogram is a study that evaluates the joints such as the shoulder, knee, hip, wrist, and or ankle for conditions involving arthritis and persistent / unexplained pain. This procedure involves the use a fluoroscopic (real time imaging) unit and a contrast dye that is injected in the patient. The skin is cleansed with an antiseptic and a local anesthetic will be used to numb the area of interest. The Radiologist will then insert a needle into the joint space using the fluoroscopic unit and inject the contrast dye into the joint space. Once the contrast in is the joint capsule the patient will be asked to maintain several positions for an image series of the joint space. A Radiologist will review the images and interpret them for any disease. Note: this procedure is an Enhanced Study and calls for a form of IV contrast to be used. If you are allergic, diabetic, or experiencing lower kidney functions inform the ordering physician and the technologist.
This procedure is a dedicated study of the female reproductive anatomy and commonly used for those patients who have difficulty becoming pregnant. This study is primarily used to evaluate the shape and structure of the uterus, the openness of the fallopian tubes, inspecting the medical devices that prevent pregnancy such as (IUD) Intrauterine Devices, and also to assess for scarring. If you think you may be pregnant please inform the technologist prior to the exam. During this procedure the patient is asked to lie on their back with their knees bent or in stirrups. A speculum is inserted into the patient’s vagina, followed by a catheter into the cervix which has been cleansed. The speculum is then removed and the catheter allows the uterine cavity to fill with contrast. The patient will then be imaged using a fluoroscopic technique (real time imaging). Once the image series has been completed the catheter in the cervix will be removed and the patient will be allowed to sit up.
A cystogram is an x-ray exam that images the urinary bladder and its function. This procedure is used to diagnose several conditions consisting of reflux, urinary tract infections, tumors, polyps, and to ensure the bladder is intact after traumatic injuries to the pelvis. Prior to starting the procedure the Radiographer will ask the patient to void all urine in the bladder and change into a gown. The patient will be positioned on his or her back and the pubic area will then be cleansed. A urinary catheter will be placed into the bladder and a series of images will be taken. The function of the urinary bladder may be imaged under fluoroscopy (real time imaging) while voiding the contents of the bladder, this is referred to as a Voiding Cystogram. Once the imaging portion of the procedure is completed the catheter is removed and the patient is allowed to use the rest room.
This study involves multiple x-rays of the bony anatomy including image series of the spine, skull, and long bones. This procedure is used to evaluate for and diagnose the presence of multiple myeloma lesions in bone, arthritis, and multiple other medical conditions.
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