What is CT?
CT (computerized tomography) is most commonly known as a CAT scan. CT scans are a special x-ray procedure which produces a cross section image of your body in the same way you take a slice of bread out of a loaf. CT is able to detect some things that a regular x-ray cannot. Detailed images of bones, muscles, fat and organs can be seen in CT scans. CT helps in diagnosing tumors, internal bleeding and internal injury or damage.
What should I expect from the CT?
A technologist will position you on the scanner table. The table moves through a large circular opening in the CT scanner. The technologist monitors you throughout your procedure through a glass window. They can see you and talk to you the entire time. During the procedure the table moves slowly and you will hear the humming of the equipment.
You may be asked to hold your breath while some of the pictures are taken. It is always important to hold still during the procedure to get the highest quality images. You may have an IV in your arm if the exam requires use of a dye injection (contrast). Please inform your referring physician and the technologist of any allergies to food or medication that you have.
What happens after the CT scan?
A Board Certified Radiologist will interpret the images and a report will be sent to your physician. Your physician will give you the results of your CT scan, so you may want to arrange how you will receive the results (phone, or follow-up visit, etc) before the procedure.
What is MRI?
MRI(Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a diagnostic procedure that uses a computer, a large magnet and radiofrequencies to produce finely detailed images of the body. MRI makes it possible for radiologists to evaluate the liver, spleen, heart, pancreas, reproductive organs and musculoskeletal areas including tendons, ligaments, muscles, bone marrow and cartilage. Because of the extraordinary contrast seen in soft tissue, MRI is extremely helpful in evaluating disorders of the nervous system and the brain. MRI also displays detailed musculoskeletal anatomy in multiple planes.
What can I expect from the MRI?
Before the MRI you will be asked to change into a gown and we will discuss your medical history with you and answer any questions you may have. Because of the magnetic field you may be asked to remove items such as glasses, jewelry, hearing aids and belts. The technologist will position you on the table and make you as comfortable as possible. During the procedure it is important to remain relaxed and to hold still in order to get the highest quality images. You will hear humming and intermittent thumping from the operation of the equipment, which are normal during the scanning process. You may be given a contrast agent during the exam to enhance certain images.
What happens after my MRI?
A Board Certified Radiologist will interpret the images and a report will be sent to your physician. Your physician will give you the results of your MRI scan, so you may want to arrange how you will receive the results (phone, or follow-up visit, etc) before the procedure.
PET (Positron Emission Tomography) and CT (Computed Tomography) are joined together to allow physicians to more accurately diagnose and identify cancer, heart disease and brain disorders. PET scans demonstrate the biological function of the body before any anatomical change takes place. CT scans gives anatomical information such as shape, size and location. PET/CT allows us to gather all of this information in a single scan. Your physician is able to look at your entire body all at once and get a more complete picture making it easier to diagnose problems, determine the extent of the disease, develop a treatment plan, and track progress.
What should I expect from PET/CT?
You should expect to be at the center for one to two hours. A PET/CT scan is a non-invasive test which is painless and without side effects. You will fast for about four hours before the test. You will receive an injection of radioactive glucose. Then you will rest quietly for about 45 minutes after the injection while the glucose circulates through your body. Once the time is completed you will lie on the scanner table. The table will slowly pass through the scanner. The scanner records information from the organs that have absorbed the radioactive tracer.
What happens after my PET/CT?
Following the scan, a Board Certified Radiologist will interpret the images and a report will be sent to your physician. Your physician will give you the results of your PET/CT scan, so you may want to arrange how you will receive the results (phone, or follow-up visit, etc) before the procedure.
What is Ultrasound?
Ultrasound is commonly known as sonography, uses high frequency sound waves and a computer to generate pictures of internal organs as they function. Ultrasound is commonly used to evaluate organs such as the abdomen, female pelvis, breasts, thyroid, scrotum, and vascular system. Ultrasound is a common diagnostic procedure without any known dangers or side effects because it does not require radiation, contrast or anesthesia. The patients experience little or no discomfort.
What should I expect from my ultrasound?
A technologist will help you onto an exam table. A gel substance is applied to the body area being imaged. The technologist moves a hand held transducer over the body part. Sound waves pass through the body and bounce off certain organs and tissues creating echoes. The computer analyzes the echoes and creates a moving picture shown on a television screen. You may be asked to hold your breathe or to change body position so the technologist can obtain all the images needed for the highest quality exam.
What happens after my ultrasound?
Following the ultrasound, a Board Certified Radiologist will interpret the images and a report will be sent to your physician. Your physician will give you the results of your ultrasound, so you may want to arrange how you will receive the results (phone, or follow-up visit, etc) before the procedure.
What is general radiology?
General x-ray is the use of a variety of equipment and radiation to image various body parts. X-rays are used to help diagnose disease and potential other problems. X-rays can be used to look at parts of the body such as the head, spine, chest, digestive system, urinary system, and bones and joints. Fluoroscopy is a continuous x-ray beam that produces images of the body and its organs in real time. Fluoroscopy often requires the use of a contrast agent.
What should I expect?
A technologist will carefully position the part of your body being x-rayed on an x-ray table. A lead apron may be placed over certain body parts to protect them from x-ray exposure. You will be asked to hold very still while the technologist steps behind a window to take the image.
What happens after my x-ray?
Following the x-ray, a Board Certified Radiologist will interpret the images and a report will be sent to your physician. Your physician will give you the results of your x-ray, so you may want to arrange how you will receive the results (phone, or follow-up visit, etc) before the procedure.
Mammography is the use of low dose X-rays to image the breasts of both women and men. There are three types of mammograms. The first is a baseline mammogram, which means it is the first time the patient has had a mammogram. Screening mammograms are done on patients who have already had a baseline mammogram, and are used to identify breast cancer in its early stages in women without symptoms.
Screenings are also used to look for calcifications, cysts, and fibroadenomas( normal breast tissue forming solid lumps). A diagnostic mammogram indicates the patient is experiencing some type of problem such as a lump detected in the breast during a physical exam, and is used as a problem solving tool. Mammography is the best way to screen for small undetectable lumps or a group of micro calcifications.
Like standard film mammography, digital mammography uses x-rays to produce images of breast tissue. The difference is that with digital mammography, an electronic x-ray detector - phosphor screen - replaces the film cassette and coverts the x-ray photons to light, which in turn passes trough a fiber optic cable to a device that converts the light to a digitized signal for display on a computer monitor. The radiologist can alte the orientation, magnification, brightness and contrast of the images as desired.
As with film mammography, optimal positioning and compression are critical in identifying a suspicious lesion. From the patient's point of view, having a digital mammography study is exactly like film mammography except for a shorter wait time to know if the images are satisfactory. Unlike film mammography, which requires the technologist to develop films in a darkroom where the wait time ranges from two to fiv minutes, with digital mammography the technologist will know within 30 seconds whether the images are satisfactory.
Do I need a referral from my doctor?
Yes, you need an order from your doctor stating the procedure that should be done
How do I schedule an appointment?
You can schedule an appointment on your own, or you may have your doctor’s office schedule for you by calling the registration desk at (309) 452-5552.
Which Insurance does the Imaging Center accept?
It is always a good idea to check with your insurance carrier before schedule your appointment. We are available to answer questions Monday – Friday, from 8am – 4pm.
What happens after my exam?
The Radiologist will interpret your films and a report will be sent to your doctor’s office. Your doctor will contact you to discuss the results of your exam.