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Radiology is a medical specialty that uses images or “pictures” to diagnose and treat disease that can be seen in the body. Radiologists (doctors of Radiology) use a wide range of imaging technologies such as X-ray, Ultrasound, Computed Tomography (CT), Nuclear Medicine, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to diagnose or treat diseases.
Medical imaging is usually carried out by a radiology technician. The radiologist then interprets or "reads" the images and produces a report of their findings and impression or diagnosis. The report is then sent to the ordering physician.
Some specialty physicians may also read certain radiologic exams performed on their own patients, i.e. Orthopedic surgeons read X-rays and MRI's of bones and joints, Cardiologists read cardiac nuclear medicine and perform and read Coronary Artery Angiograms, Obstetricians read pregnancy ultrasounds, Pulmonologists read chest X-rays and chest CT scans, etc.
DaVita Medical Group has three radiologists on staff and an array of radiologic services to support our primary and specialty physicians and clinics. See below for the imaging technologies we offer.
Standard X-ray images (Radiographs) usually provide an excellent evaluation of bones and the structures of the chest. They are a good first level evaluation of the joints, and often depict the sinuses fairly well. They do not show the abdominal and pelvic structures well and provide minimal information concerning the brain.
|Briargate||Monday - Friday||8:30am - 5:00pm|
|East||Monday - Friday||8:30am - 5:30pm|
|Medical Center Point||Monday - Friday
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|Saturday||8:00am - 5:00pm|
|Sunday||8:00am - 3:00pm|
|Southwest||Monday - Friday||8:30am - 5:30pm|
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Monday - Friday
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8:00am - 5:00pm
8:00am - 3:00pm
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) will usually (there are some exceptions) provide the most complete and detailed evaluation of the brain, spinal cord and soft tissues (especially the ligaments, tendons and cartilage in and around the joints). It can help to further evaluate the abdomen, pelvis and blood vessels if ultrasound and CT are inconclusive. MRI is usually not helpful in evaluating the lungs.
Physicians are able to use the MRI to detect and/or evaluate:
The MRI exam can take anywhere from 15 to 90 minutes to complete.
Note: In most cases, you will need a referral from your physician and authorization from your insurance company to be covered for an MRI exam.
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CT, or Computed Tomography, combines the use of X-rays with computer technology to obtain images from different angles around the body. The images are then processed to show a cross-section of body tissues and organs. CT is used to assist in diagnosis and treatment of a variety of health problems, and is especially helpful because it can show several tissues such as lung, bone, muscle, and blood vessels with much more clarity than a traditional x-ray.
What does the scanner look like?
The scanner is a large, square machine with a hole in the center. The patient lies on a padded table which slides into the machine, placing the body part to be examined into the “donut hole.” The square portion of the machine houses an x-ray tube which rotates and takes pictures. During the exam, the patient can communicate with the technologist who is located just outside the exam room.
How do I prepare for the exam?
What happens during the procedure?
Prior to the exam, you may be asked to drink a liquid that makes it easier to see the area of the body being examined. This liquid, called contrast, may be injected, swallowed, or administered by enema, depending upon the exam. Before receiving the contrast material, the technologist will ask about allergies and medical conditions which may indicate a risk of an adverse reaction. To begin the exam, the technologist will position you on the table. As the exam continues, the table will move slowly through the “donut hole.” You may or may not feel the movement of the table. The actual exam usually lasts between 15 and 30 minutes. You may be in the office for up to one hour depending upon the type of exam.
Note: In most cases, you will need a referral from your physician and authorization from your insurance company to be covered for a CT exam.
|Medical Center Point||Monday - Friday||7:30am - 7:00pm|
Mammography is a special type of X-ray used to detect and diagnose breast disease. Mammography is a proven means of early detection of breast cancer, the leading cause of death in women between the ages of 35 and 54 according to the American Cancer Society. Women over the age of 40 or those with certain risk factors should have a mammogram once a year or more frequently if recommended by their physician.
Risk factors include:
DaVita Medical Group is an ACR certified mammography center. Additionally, DaVita Medical Group mammography technicians continually receive high praise from patients for the level of care they provide.
We offer walk-in mammography at our Briargate location.
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Monday - Thursday
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Ultrasound, also known as Sonography, utilizes high frequency sound waves to create images of internal organs. The range of frequencies used is 2-17 MHz, above what humans can hear. This type of sonar is very useful in evaluating soft tissue organs and fluid-filled structures, including veins and arteries.
Ultrasound is excellent as an initial evaluation of the pelvis and upper abdomen, especially the uterus, ovaries, liver, and gallbladder, (and better than CT for gallstones). It is often very helpful in evaluating thyroid and breast abnormalities. Because of its accuracy and lack of x-ray-type radiation, ultrasound is the exam of choice of Obstetrics.
Ultrasound imaging has been in use for over 40 years without any evidence of harmful effects. There is no radiation used in the Ultrasound examination.
|Briargate||Monday - Friday||7:30am - 5:30pm|
|East||Monday - Friday||7:30am - 5:30pm|
|Medical Center Point||Monday - Friday
||7:30am - 8:00pm
|Southwest||Monday - Friday||7:30am - 5:30pm|
Cardiac Stress Echocardiography is a test that uses ultrasound or sound waves to create a moving picture of your heart. It determines how the heart muscle responds to stress and is mainly used to diagnose and evaluate Coronary Artery Disease.
How do I prepare for the test?
Ask your health care provider if you should take any of your routine medications the day of the test (especially if you are taking heart medication). Some medications may interfere with test results. Take your normal medications unless your provider tells you not to.
You may eat a light meal prior to the test, like a small bowl of cereal or a slice of toast. Do not drink caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, or cola’s. Instead, drink plenty of fluids like water and juice before your arrive.
How is the test performed?
First, a trained sonographer performs the ultrasound part of the test. An instrument called a transducer that transmits high-frequency sound waves is placed on your ribs near the breast bone and directed toward the heart. The transducer picks up the echoes of the sound waves and transmits them as electrical impulses that the Echocardiography machine converts into moving pictures.
An Echocardiogram allows doctors to see the heart beating and to see many of the structures of the heart. Occasionally, your lungs, ribs, or body tissue may prevent the sound waves and echoes from providing a clear picture of heart function. If so, a nurse may inject a small amount of liquid (contrast) through an IV to better see the inside of the heart.
Second, you will exercise on a treadmill or be given medication* until you reach a target heart rate. This helps reveal how your heart works when you are active. Your blood pressure and heart rhythm (ECG) will be monitored throughout the procedure. Tell the doctor how you are feeling during this part of the test.
Finally, another Echocardiogram is taken immediately after your target heart rate has been reached.
* If you are not able to exercise, you will receive medication through a vein (intravenous line). This type of medication will make your heart beat faster and harder, similar to when you exercise.
|Medical Center Point||Monday - Friday||7:30am - 4:00pm|
A Cardiac Calcium Scoring test is a non-invasive procedure that uses X-rays to scan your heart for signs of calcium or plaque build-up in the arteries around your heart. Plaque buildup slows the flow of blood to the heart muscle and increases your chance of heart attacks and coronary heart disease. It also makes it more likely that blood clots will form in your coronary arteries. Blood clots can partly or completely block blood flow to part of your heart muscle. This can cause chest pain or discomfort called angina (an-JI-nuh or AN-juh-nuh) or a heart attack. The extent of calcification is an indicator of the likelihood of a heart attack.
A doctor’s referral is not necessary to have the test. It is available to anyone who wants to assess his/her risk of heart disease. The test is not recommended for people who have certain heart conditions or for women who are considering becoming pregnant.
As with most screening tests, this procedure is not covered by most insurance companies or Medicare. However, you are encouraged to confirm your benefits with your insurance company.
This test includes the CT scan and the interpretation provided by one of our board certified radiologists. Full payment by cash, check or credit card is expected at the time of service. Please call 719-667-4139 for price information.
Once your exam is completed the test will be processed and forwarded to a radiologist for interpretation. The results of the test will be mailed to you and your physician within 5 days of your procedure. If heart disease is indicated, we encourage you to discuss these findings with your physician.
There is no preparation needed for this test, simply contact us to schedule an appointment.
|Medical Center Point|
Nuclear Medicine is a diagnostic tool that your provider uses to aid in you medical care. It uses radiopharmaceuticals to evaluate the function of the organs in your body. The field of nuclear medicine has been in use since the late 1940s. The tests are performed everyday all over the world. Each test is organ specific, and use different radiopharmaceuticals for each test. There are many different tests in nuclear medicine. Each test has different preparations and the radiopharmaceuticals are specially ordered for that test. The following are preparations for the more common studies performed at our nuclear medicine lab. The preparations will also be discussed upon scheduling.
Nuclear Medicine Stress Test (Myocardial Perfusion Study)
- Avoid caffeine 24 hours prior to the study, this includes coffee, tea, soda, decaffeinated products, chocolate and anything that may have caffeine.
- Have a light meal 2 hours prior to the study. For example, just one of the following: toast, cereal, fruit, granola, and juice. Nothing too heavy or a large meal.
- Medications will be discussed with your doctor for any discontinuance the day of the test.
- Apply no creams, lotions, or powder to your chest the day of the test.
- Wear comfortable clothing and walking shoes.
- The test takes about 2 hours the first day, and 30 – 40 minutes the second day.
HIDA (hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid scan, also called Cholescintigraphy)
- Have a fatty meal 4 hrs prior to the study. This does not need to be a big meal, just high fat content. For example, eggs and bacon, toast and peanut butter, slice of pizza, bagel and cream.
- Nothing to eat or drink after this meal. If you have an early morning appointment this meal can be consumed the night before.
- When you wake up have nothing to eat or drink til the end of the study.
- Do not take pain narcotics 24 hours prior to the study.
- The test usually takes an hour and a half. It may take up to 4 hours which is very rare.
Thyroid Uptake Scan
- The patient must be off thyroid medication up to 6 weeks prior to the study.
- No recent CT scans or any medical testing involving iodine based injections.
- The patient will come to the department three times for the study. Twice the first day, and once the following day.
- No patient prep needed. We do encourage extra fluids.
- Nothing to eat or drink after midnight on the day before the study.
- The test takes 4 hours.
Some other examples of studies performed in the nuclear medicine lab:
These are just a few of the more common studies that we perform. The prep and explanation of the study will be discussed at the time of scheduling.
The radiopharmaceutical is specially ordered for you and your test. Please give 24 hours notice for any cancellation.
|Medical Center Point||Monday - Friday||7:00am - 4:00pm|
PAD (Peripheral Artery Disease) occurs when there is a buildup of cholesterol and plaque in the arteries of the lower extremities, causing decreased blood flow to the legs and feet. Arterial testing with the non-invasive BioMedix® system can provide early detection of PAD when treatment options are broadest (including lifestyle changes as well as non-invasive and invasive therapeutic options). The system detects blockages in arteries and the quality of blood flow using pulse volume recordings and segmental blood pressure measurements.
Blood pressures are recorded at the arms and ankles. The Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) is determined by the ratio between these pressures. An abnormal index maybe indicative of PAD.
You will lie down on the exam table. Pressure cuffs will be wrapped snugly around your arms, above the knees, calves, ankles, and toes. The technician will inflate the cuffs, and sensors in the machine will record the pulse volume waveforms that correspond to each beat of your heart. You may be asked to exercise until symptoms are induced. After exercise, you will lie down on the exam table for additional arm and ankle tests.
Available at: Medical Center Point
DaTscan is an imaging drug that will be injected into the bloodstream to help your doctor assess a chemical involved in controlling movement, called Dopamine. A special device, called a gamma camera, will take pictures of your brain. These pictures and a report will be sent to your doctor, who can discuss the test results with you. The DaTscan results may help determine if the symptoms you are experiencing are the result of a Parkinsonian syndrome.
Parkinsonian syndromes occur when the brain is not getting enough of the dopamine it needs to perform certain functions. This affects the ability of the brain to control movement and other muscle functions.
There are different types of Parkinsonian syndromes. The most common is Parkinson’s disease, also known as PD. Other types include multiple system atrophy and progressive supranuclear palsy. DaTscan cannot distinguish between these different syndromes. In combination with other tests and the clinical assessment of your particular symptoms, DaTscan may help your doctor determine if you are suffering from a Parkinsonian syndrome.
DaTscan is for adult patients who have signs or symptoms of Parkinsonian syndromes, such as shaking or stiffness. DaTscan is available only with a prescription from your doctor, and only your doctor can decide if this test is right for you.
This test is NOT for:
This test may not be right for:
Available at: Medical Center Point