The Medical Imaging department at MDI Hospital provides state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging services typically found in large, urban facilities. Located on the Hospital’s first floor and staffed with highly skilled, certified technicians under the direction of John Benson, MD, FACR, the department provides convenient access to the latest imaging services.
The award is formal recognition for meeting a stringent set of standards in every aspect of medical imaging. "There is a great deal of satisfaction in being recognized with the DICOE award because it confirms our dedication and success in protecting the health of our rural, island-based population," said John Benson, MD, FACR, Medical Director of Medical Imaging at MDI Hospital. "Our patients know, and this honor confirms, that they will receive the best patient-centered diagnostic care when they come through our doors."
An X-ray is a quick, painless test that produces images of the structures inside your body — particularly your bones.
X-ray beams are passed through your body and are absorbed in different amounts depending on the density of the material they pass through. Dense materials, such as bone and metal, show up as white on X-rays. Air in your lungs shows up as black. Fat and muscle look like varying shades of gray.
For some types of X-ray tests, contrast medium — such as iodine or barium — is introduced into your body to provide greater detail on the X-ray images. Some people experience side effects from contrast material. X-ray beams also expose you to small doses of radiation, but the benefits from these tests far outweigh the risks.
X-rays are use to capture images of bone, lungs, an enlarged heart, and the abdomen. It can be used to help reveal arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer, infections, congestive heart failure, blocked blood vessels, and problems with the digestive tract.
All medical images at MDI Hospital are processed digitally, which for X-ray patients means fewer retakes, less radiation exposure, and a quicker review of the images. Our department has two state-of-the-art X-ray suites that are available 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
Most X-rays are available on a walk-in basis, however X-rays that require the presence of a radiologist, such as those for the upper GI tract, require and appointment.
All X-ray technicians at MDI Hospital are nationally credentialed through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).
An MRI is used to generate cross sectional images of organs, soft tissue, bone and virtually all other internal body structures. An MRI does not emit radiation because it uses a strong magnet, radio waves, and a computer to produce images.
At MDI Hospital, our MRI is available Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays through a partnership with Insight Imaging. This mobile unit enables us to offer MRI service conveniently and affordably and provides exactly the same type of imaging as a permanently installed instrument.
In general, there is little prior preparation before the exam. You will need to remove any metal objects you are wearing including clothing that contains metal fasteners or accents such as bras with metal clasps, pants with metal zippers, hairclips and bobby pins, and jewelry. You will be provided a gown and a secure place for your belongings.
You will be asked to lay on a table and the area to be scanned will enter a ring-like device. Scanning does produce a fair amount of noise and you will be provided with headphones to listen to soothing music while your procedure is underway. A typical scan takes 30-60 minutes plus any preparation time.
A nuclear medicine scan, you receive a small amount of a radioactive tracer material, known as a radiopharmaceutical. A camera scans your body to see how the material was absorbed. Nuclear medical exams are often used to detect and monitor many types of cancer, bone maladies, and lung scans. MDI Hospital’s imaging team also has the experience and software to overlay nuclear scan images with other types of medical images, such as CT or x-rays to provide an additional level of detail.
Some nuclear medicine scans may require you to come in for administration of the tracer and then return later that day for the scan. Some exams may require fasting prior to the exam while others may not. You will be provided with specific instructions at the time your appointment is made. The tracer material will pass from your body naturally, typically within 24 hours.
While it is true that you will be administer a small dose of radioactive elements, the dose is very small and results in minimal radiation exposure. The technology has been in use for more than 50 years and there are no known long-term adverse effects from such low-dose exposure.
Ultrasound imaging uses sound waves and not radiation to produce images. It can be used to evaluate organs, abdomen, pelvis, kidneys, testicles, extremities, and carotid and renal arteries. We also perform obstetric, Doppler, and venous ultrasounds. MDI Hospital’s sonography and imaging teams have the training and experience to facilitate specialized cardiac ultrasound procedures such as exercise echocardiography or stress echo that produces images of the heart during active conditions.
The depth of experience is also evident at MDI Hospital where two sonographers have earned the Advanced Practice Sonographer certification, a credential that is held by as few as 200 sonographers nationwide. Learn more about the team and their research projects here.
Most ultrasounds do not require any advance preparation. It is helpful to wear comfortable clothing around the area to be scanned. You may also be asked to wear a gown. For pelvic exams, please come to our office with a full bladder. For kidney exams, it is important that you are well hydrated.
The ultrasound technician (or sonographer) will place a gel on the area of the body to be imaged. The sonographer, or in some cases, a radiologist will press a handheld wand against the skin and sweeps it back and forth. The test is painless and can be completed in 30 to 60 minutes.
A CT scan is a diagnostic imaging test that is used to uncover medical conditions of internal organs, bones, soft tissue and blood vessels. Technically referred to as computer assisted tomography, the CT offers greater clarity and more detail than regular x-ray exams. At MDI Hospital, we use a state-of-the-art 64 slice CT scanner that greatly improves diagnostic abilities while reducing radiation exposure and improving patient comfort.
In some cases, your doctor may request that a dye is used to provide contrast in the scan. This is most frequently administered through an IV or by mouth. For exams that require contrast, an additional blood test is typically required to evaluate your kidney function prior to your CT scan.
In most cases, fasting before your exam is not necessary however special instructions may be provided by your doctor if you are a diabetic or have allergies.
Wear comfortable clothing around the area to be scanned. You may also be asked to wear a gown.
Learn more about CT scanning technology from the www.radiologyinfo.org.
Mammograms are very sensitive at detecting breast cancer but situations arise when additional imaging tests are needed. Breast Specific Gamma Imaging (BSGI) offers enhanced resolution and screening capabilities for women with questionable mammograms. BSGI is especially useful for younger women who have dense breast tissue or post-menopausal women using hormone replacement therapy.
In some instances, BSGI results can avoid a biopsy or mitigate the need for short interval follow ups, providing peace of mind for patients with questionable mammograms.
BSGI is a nuclear medicine diagnostic test that can differentiate cancerous from non-cancerous cells performed under the direction of the nuclear medicine laboratory. The woman receives a very small tracer dose of radiopharmaceutical. Standard breast images are taken by a mammography technologist using the BSGI device that employs a highly sensitive detector to create images for physicians to interpret.