At McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center our goal is to provide better, faster, more comfortable, and more comprehensive medical diagnoses. Each year, the Diagnostic Imaging staff performs thousands of imaging procedures. These highly trained medical professionals administer cutting-edge technology in both diagnostic and therapeutic imaging services.
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McKenzie-Willamette Diagnostic Imaging services is staffed seven days per week, 24 hours per day. The Diagnostic Imaging Department serves patients in the hospital (inpatients) and those who come into the Diagnostic Imaging Department for physician-ordered tests (outpatients) of all ages. Non-emergency studies are scheduled between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, with in-house staffing 24/7 for emergency studies.
To schedule a procedure, call our dedicated Diagnostic Imaging scheduling line: 747-HELP (4357).
Computer Tomography (CT)
Computer Tomography (CT), or CAT scan, uses a highly sophisticated, 64 slice Toshiba Aquilion X-ray unit to obtain image information from different angles around the body. The computer processes the information in just seconds to show a cross-section of body tissues and organs.
CT imaging is useful because it can image various types of tissue -- lung, bone, soft tissue and blood vessels -- with immense precision. Using specialized equipment and expertise to create and evaluate CT scans of the body, radiologists can fluently diagnose abnormalities such as cancers, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, trauma and musculoskeletal disorders.
Because it makes available detailed, cross-sectional examination of all types of tissue, CT is one of the finest tools for investigating the chest and abdomen. It is one of the favored methods for detecting various cancers, including lung, liver and pancreatic cancer, because the image permits a doctor to verify the presence of a tumor and measure its size, precise location, and the extent of the tumor's involvement with other nearby tissue. CT examinations are often used to guide biopsies and other minimally invasive procedures, and to plan surgeries.
CT can reveal even extremely diminutive bones, as well as immediate tissues such as muscle and blood vessels, making it invaluable in diagnosing and treating spinal problems and injuries to affected skeletal structures. In cases of extreme trauma, CT can quickly identify injuries to internal organs. CT can also play a significant role in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of vascular diseases that can lead to stroke, kidney failure, or death.
McKenzie-Willamette also performs Calcium Scoring procedures under CT. This is a simple, cost effective exam to check for build-up of calcium in plaque on the walls of the arteries of the heart (coronary arteries). This test is used to check for early-stage heart disease and determine severity.
Computerized Radiology (CR)
McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center utilizes the Konica Minolta, Regius Xpress Computerized Radiology readers, the latest in computerized radiology technology. Radiologists can view these X-ray images, which offer important information about your well-being and take part in an important function in assisting your physician, to make a precise diagnosis. In some cases, X-rays are used to assist with the placement of tubes or other devices in the body, or with other therapeutic procedures.
The decision to have an X-ray exam is a medical one, based on the likelihood of benefit from the exam, versus the potential risk from radiation. Any X-ray exam must be ordered by your physician. For low dose examinations, usually those that only involve X-rays taken by a technologist, this is generally an easy decision.
For those procedures involving the use of contrast materials (dyes) such as barium or iodine, the radiologist may want to consider both your clinical history and frequency of exposure to X-rays. If you have had frequent X-ray exams and change healthcare providers, it is a good idea to keep a record of your X-ray history for yourself. This can help your doctor make an informed decision. It is also very important to tell your doctor if you are pregnant before having an exam that involves the abdomen or pelvic region.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
McKenzie-Willamette's $2.6 million Siemens Magnetom Avanto Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner allows direct, cross-sectional imaging in three planes of any area of the body, with combinations of up to 76 different images taken at the same time. This results in fewer patient re-positionings and a much faster procedure time. The wider, shorter Siemens imaging bore (hollow cylinder that the patient is moved into for scanning) greatly reduces any sensations of claustrophobia.
The Siemens MRI scanner is a very complicated technology that provides an unparalleled view inside the human body. The level of detail is extraordinary compared with any other imaging modality. MRI is the method of choice for the diagnosis of many types of injuries and conditions because of the incredible ability to tailor the exam to the particular medical question being asked. More About MRI Technology.
What does an MRI scan show?
Using an MRI scanner, it is possible to make pictures of almost all the tissue in the body. The tissue that has the least hydrogen atoms (such as bones) turns out dark, while the tissue that has many hydrogen atoms (such as fatty tissue) looks much brighter. By changing the timing of the radio wave pulses it is possible to gain information about the different types of tissues that are present. An MRI scan is also able to provide clear pictures of parts of the body that are surrounded by bone tissue, so the technique is useful when examining the brain and spinal cord.
Because the MRI scan gives very detailed pictures it is the best technique when it comes to finding tumors (benign or malignant abnormal growths) in the brain. If a tumor is present the scan can also be used to find out if it has spread into nearby brain tissue.
The technique also allows us to focus on other details in the brain. For example, it makes it possible to see the strands of abnormal tissue that occur if someone has multiple sclerosis and it is possible to see changes occurring when there is bleeding in the brain, or find out if the brain tissue has suffered lack of oxygen after a stroke.
The MRI scan is also able to show both the heart and the large blood vessels in the surrounding tissue. This makes it possible to detect heart defects that have been building up since birth, as well as changes in the thickness of the muscles around the heart following a heart attack.
This sophisticated system allows direct cross sectional imaging in three planes of any area in the body including:
A subspecialty within the field of radiology, Nuclear Medicine diagnostic examinations result in images of body anatomy and function. The images are developed based on the detection of energy emitted from a radioactive substance given to the patient, either intravenously or by mouth. Nuclear medicine images assist the physician in diagnosing diseases. Tumors, infection, and other disorders can be detected by evaluating organ function.
Specifically, Nuclear Medicine can be used to:
- Analyze kidney function
- Image blood flow and function of the heart
- Scan lungs for respiratory and blood-flow problems
- Identify blockage of the gallbladder
- Evaluate bones for fracture, infection, arthritis or tumor
- Determine the presence or spread of cancer
- Identify bleeding into the bowel
- Locate the presence of infection
- Measure thyroid function to detect an overactive or underactive thyroid
Also known as ultrasound scanning or sonography, Ultrasound Imaging is a method of obtaining images from inside the human body through the use of high-frequency sound waves. The technique is similar to the echolocation used by bats, whales and dolphins, as well as SONAR used by submarines. The sound-wave echoes are recorded and displayed as a real-time, visual image. No ionizing radiation is involved in ultrasound imaging.
There are many situations in which ultrasound is performed. Perhaps you are pregnant, and your obstetrician wants you to have an ultrasound to check on the developing baby or determine the due date. Maybe you are having problems with blood circulation in a limb or your doctor has requested a Doppler ultrasound to look at the blood flow. Ultrasound has been a popular medical imaging technique for many years.
McKenzie Willamette Medical Center's ultrasound department is staffed with a highly, qualified, technologists certified with the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonogrophers (ARDMS).
Interventional Radiology Services
Interventional radiology offers an alternative to the surgical treatment of many conditions and, in some cases, can eliminate the need for hospitalization. Interventional radiologists diagnose disease and treat a wide range of conditions by using X-rays and other imaging techniques, such as MRI, CT and Ultrasound.
Services include CT- and ultrasound-guided biopsies, embolization therapy, line placement for administration of chemotherapy and kyphoplasty.
(Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive treatment for patients immobilized by the painful vertebral fractures associated with osteoporosis. The procedure can alleviate up to 90% of the pain caused by compression fractures. In addition to relieving pain, kyphoplasty can also stabilize the fracture, restore height, and reduce deformity.)
SPECIAL PROCEDURES NURSES. Diagnostic Imaging employs four full-time Critical Care Nurses. They credentialed nurses assist with all interventional procedures and specialize in administering sedation for both adult and pediatric patients needing moderate anesthesia during their exams.
Radiology Associates, PC (RAPC), by contract, provide diagnostic services at McKenzie-Willamette. Radiology Associates offers high profile medical imaging throughout the greater Northwest region. RAPC currently consists of 17 Eugene/Springfield-based radiologists, and the original practice dates back more than 20 years.
The professionals of RAPC received their medical training at prestigious medical institutions throughout the United States; all are subspecialty trained, adding to the diversity and technical expertise of services that McKenzie-Willamette offers. Members of the group have authored a wide range of medical articles related to the field of radiology. They sit on numerous medical staff and professional committees, along with holding memberships in various local and national medical professional societies.
In May 2006, McKenzie Willamette launched the Picture Archival Communication System (PACS). This is a system that manages digital images and eliminates the use of film-based imaging. It enables the hospital to electronically acquire, distribute, and archive diagnostic images and reports throughout the medical community.
Such immediate -- anytime, anywhere -- access to patient images and reports enables faster diagnosis, facilitates consultation with specialists, and leads to better patient care. Other PACS benefits include improved service to surgeons and referring physicians who have remote access to images and reports, as well as more clinical information delivered to radiologists for more precise, accurate diagnoses. PACS speeds turnaround time and increases efficiency. Patient Benefits Are Many. For example, in the middle of the night a patient undergoes an emergency MRI. Using PACS, physicians can view the images and consult -- from their office, home, or another hospital, optimizing the potential for quicker diagnosis and treatment than would be the case if doctors had to arrive on site.
If you wish to have a CD of your diagnostic imaging study, please make your request by calling the Diagnostic Imaging department Monday through Friday between the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at 541-726-4462.