Most people are familiar with the term 'radiology' and often think immediately about x-ray. While we do provide comprehensive x-ray services, the Effingham Health System Medical Imaging program is so much more.
Effingham Health System provides comprehensive and advanced diagnostic imaging services that include:
- Bone Densitometry (DEXA)
- Computed Tomography (CT)
Certified technologists perform radiology services under the supervision of a board-certified radiologist who then interprets the studies and after, provides the information to the referring physician. Many of these imaging techniques are used for routine health screenings, while others are designed specifically to provide your doctor with essential information about your condition or symptoms so that treatment can begin.
In addition to the medical imaging services available at the main hospital, we offer patients new state-of-the-art imaging technology in our warm friendly and comfortable Outpatient Imaging/Women's Center and, our new Open MRI Center, both located in Rincon. Through these centers, you and every member of your family can receive high quality imaging services with very low wait times and fast result reporting to your provider.
Our Women's Center provides today's busy and health conscious women with digital mammography, ultrasound and bone density screening (DEXA), in an environment that ensures comfort and privacy.
Medical Imaging Technology At-A-Glance
CT, MRI, DEXA, what does it all mean? As a part of our service to you, we also take as many opportunities as we can to help you become a well-informed patient.
Women grow their bone mass until approx. age 20. Their bones hold their strength until approx. age 35 and then bones begin to weaken. Once a woman is post-menopausal (not had a period for 1 year), she will be at a higher risk due to the loss of hormones.
Osteoporosis is a silent disease. It does not manifest itself until you break a bone. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 24% of people (or 1 in 4) who break a hip from Osteoporosis will die within the first year following that fracture. A bone density scan is an enhanced form of x-ray technology that is used to measure bone loss and is most often performed on the lower spine and hips. In children and some adults, the whole body is sometimes scanned.
You Should Know...
- Bone densitometry is a simple, quick and noninvasive procedure.
- No anesthesia is required.
- The amount of radiation used is extremely small-less than one-tenth the dose of a standard chest x-ray, and less than a day's exposure to natural radiation.
- Bone density testing is the most accurate method available for the diagnosis of osteoporosis and is considered an accurate estimator of fracture risk.
- No radiation remains in a patient's body after an x-ray examination.
- X-rays usually have no side effects in the diagnostic range.
CT scanning-sometimes called CAT scanning-is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.
CT imaging combines special x-ray equipment with sophisticated computers to produce multiple images or pictures of the inside of the body. The cross-sectional images of the area being studied can then be examined on a computer monitor or printed. CT scans of internal organs, bone, soft tissue and blood vessels provide greater clarity and reveal more details than regular x-ray exams. Using specialized equipment and expertise to create and interpret CT scans of the body, radiologists can more easily diagnose problems such as cancers, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, trauma and musculoskeletal disorders.
Mammography is performed to screen women (and men) for signs of breast cancer. It is also used to follow up on findings from screenings or to evaluate a woman who has symptoms of breast disease, such as a lump, nipple discharge, breast pain, dimpling of the skin on the breast, or retraction of the nipple. Mammography is important because it can detect cancers before you can feel them with your fingers. Mammography is the best test for breast cancer detection. Scientific evidence confirms that annual screening mammograms, beginning at age 40, reduce death from breast cancer.
MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging, is one of the latest advances in medical imaging today. Unlike standard x-ray exams, MRI uses a large magnet to obtain images; there is no radiation used. The scans show detailed anatomy, as well as soft tissue detail, which is not possible with x-rays.
Effingham Health System's Open MRI Center, provides physicians and patients with high quality Open MRI Services in a pleasant outpatient setting. The open design is ideally suited for all patients, but is especially beneficial to children who need parental support, larger adults who may not fit comfortably in a closed MRI, and anxious or claustrophobic patients.
Ultrasound produces sound waves that are beamed into the body causing return echoes that are recorded to "visualize" structures beneath the skin. The ability to measure different echoes reflected from a variety of tissues allows a shadow picture to be constructed. The technology is especially accurate at seeing the interface between solid and fluid filled spaces. These are actually the same principles that allow SONAR on boats to see the bottom of the ocean.