General w-ray is a simple imaging technique that utilizes x-rays to capture images of internal structures to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of patients' medical conditions. X-rays are most commonly used to look at bones, however, some procedures may include the introduction of a contrast agent to aid in the visualization of the structure and function of different body systems.
Androscoggin Valley Medical Arts Center
Franklin Health Orthopaedics
CAT scan (or CT scan) stands for Computerized Axial Tomography. It's a way of using a spinning x-ray and computer to make high-resolution images of the inside of your body. You lie flat on a table that moves through the machine quickly and takes many circular pictures. A computer then puts those pictures together to complete your exam. Any part of your body can be captured and a technologist instructs the CAT scan where to begin and end taking pictures. To enhance difficult to make out areas, some CAT scans are done after injecting you with a special contrast (dye) to clarify indistinct areas. You may also be asked to drink a mixture of contrast, which will highlight your stomach and colon.
MRI, or Magnetic Resonance Imaging, is used to generate images of internal organs and soft tissue inside of the body. This is done by creating a strong magnetic field and then using radio frequency waves to create a detailed picture. Generally, an MRI will be used to see tendons, ligaments, and cysts or other masses. It is the preferred exam for joint and spinal problems because it can provide remarkably clear pictures of soft-tissue structures near and around bones.
DEXA, which stands for Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry, is a bone density test that uses a very weak form of x-ray to scan your bones and measure BMD (Bone Mineral Density). Your BMD indicates your bone strength and ability to bear weight. This can be used to diagnose osteoporosis and bone loss. It can also predict your chances of a bone fracture in the future so that you can take steps to increase your bone structure and prevent fractures from happening.
Martha B. Webber Breast Care Center
Nuclear Medicine is the medical specialty that involves the use of radioactive isotopes in the diagnosis of various diseases. Franklin Memorial Hospital Nuclear Medicine offers all the same exams as much larger nuclear medicine facilities, including:
- Nuclear stress testing of the heart,
- Bone scanning
- Kidney scanning
- Gallbladder scanning
- Lung scanning
- Sentinel Node breast exams
- Thyroid scanning
- Tumor scanning
- Infection scanning
Ultrasound, also called sonography, is an imaging technique that uses high frequency sound waves to produce images of the inside of the body. These pictures are a useful way of examining the body’s internal organs, blood vessels, or a developing fetus. Ultrasound is a non-invasive, radiation free diagnostic test. During an ultrasound exam, a clear, jelly-like substance will be applied over the part of the body being examined. A special device called a transducer will then be gently pressed against the body. The transducer records high-frequency sound waves that are sent into the body, and a computer will use this information to produce pictures. These pictures will be evaluated by a Radiologist to help the physician diagnose and treat medical conditions.
The Franklin Memorial Hospital Imaging department has achieved accreditation from the American College of Radiology in the following modalities: CT Scan, mammography, MRI, nuclear medicine, and ultrasound.
The ACR awards reaccreditation to facilities for the achievement of high practice standards after a peer review evaluation of its practice. Image quality and patient safety. Image quality and procedure evaluations are conducted by board-certified radiologists and medical physicists who are experts in the field. The program also evaluates personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures, and quality assurance programs. All findings are reported to the American College of Radiology Committee on Accreditation, which subsequently provides the organization with a comprehensive report it can use for continuous practice improvement.
For More Information
Check out the following resources on radiation safety: