Whether your physician refers you to us for an MRI
, PET scan
, nuclear medicine
, CT scan
, interventional radiology
or other imaging service, rest assured that our diagnostic imaging department will provide you with high quality care. Board-certified radiologists employed by our partner, Green Bay Radiology
, promptly read and send signed reports of your images with their interpretations to your physician's office.
HSHS St. Vincent Hospital offers a number of imaging services. Here’s an overview of those services and what you can expect from the experience:
CT scan (computerized tomography)
During this test, the patient lies in a doughnut-shaped machine that takes pictures of the body. The scanner is used in combination with a digital computer to create "slices" of different organs of the body, making it possible to detect diseases sooner than with a regular X-ray. CT scans are conducted for calcium scoring at the Prevea Allouez Health Center.
To prepare for a CT scan
Wear loose, comfortable clothing free of metal snaps and zippers, if possible. When you arrive, you will be asked to remove metallic jewelry, watches, hair pins, hearing aids, removable dental work and glasses if they are in the area being scanned.
If you are having a CT scan of the abdominal area, you may need to drink a liquid contrast. This will be given to you, with instructions, in advance. You may be asked to not eat or drink anything for four hours before your scan. Your health care provider will instruct you which medications, if any, cannot be taken.
The scan typically takes 30 minutes or less. You will be asked to hold very still in specific positions as instructed by a technologist. You may be asked to hold your breath during some scans to reduce blurring on the images. If your scan requires the use of a contrast, you may be given another contrast material during the scan by IV injection. This may make you feel warm inside, but the sensation only lasts a few moments and is not painful. After the scan, you will be asked to drink plenty of fluids.
The CT scanner at HSHS St. Vincent Hospital is American College of Radiology (ACR) accredited.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
An MRI is a non-invasive and painless procedure in which radio waves and powerful magnets linked to a computer are used to create remarkably clear and detailed pictures of internal organs and tissues without the use of radiation.
To prepare for an MRI
An MRI may be performed through clothing but, for your safety, you may be asked to put on a patient gown for the test. Clothing with metal or pockets will not be allowed in the scanning room. Certain types of metal in the area being scanned can cause significant errors, called artifacts, in the images. It is important that metal objects are not brought into the scanning room. You will be asked to remove your jewelry, watch, hairpins, bobby pins and hearing aids. A typical exam lasts between 30 to 60 minutes for each body area being scanned. You should allow extra time because the exam may last longer than expected.
The magnet makes a “knocking” sound as images are being taken. In between scans, the machine is quiet. The MRI technologist will provide you with either ear plugs or headphones for you to listen to music during your exam.
The MRI at HSHS St. Vincent Hospital is American College of Radiology (ACR) accredited.
This scan combines functional information from a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) exam with the anatomical information from a computed tomography (CT) exam.
The advantage of CT is its ability to take cross-sectional images of your body. The PET exam pinpoints metabolic activity in cells and the CT exam provides an anatomical reference. When these two scans are fused together, your physician can view metabolic changes in the proper anatomical context of your body.
To prepare for a PET/CT scan
When you arrive for your appointment, we will review your history and any past exams. For the PET portion of the exam, you will receive a tracer material injection. For most studies, you will wait for the radiopharmaceutical to distribute itself in your body, typically 45 minutes to an hour. You are asked to relax and no reading or TV is permitted. Then, during the exam, you will lie very still on a comfortable table that will move slowly through the scanner as it acquires the information needed to generate diagnostic images. The PET/CT scan itself should last about 45 minutes, but the exam procedure can vary depending on what we are looking for and what we discover along the way. Plan to spend two to three hours with us.
Our PET/CT scans are accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission.
Interventional Radiology uses minimally invasive techniques such as port insertions, biopsies, and vertbroplasties to treat a number of conditions. Interventional procedures often carry less risk, require smaller incisions and take less recovery time than surgery. These procedures are done by a Interventional Radiologist who is a board-certified physician with advanced training in minimally invasive treatments that use imaging guidance.
Preparation for this scan varies by patient based on the test being conducted. To learn more, visit http://www.greenbayradiology.com/.
During an ultrasound, you lie on an examination table and a clear gel is applied to the areas of the body being studied. This helps the transducer make firm contact with your body. It is then moved back and forth over the area of interest and uses high frequency sound waves to obtain images.
Ultrasound at HSHS St. Vincent Hospital is accredited by ACR.
X-ray, commonly referred to as radiography, uses ionizing radiation to provide images of the body. Radiography is used in many ways to diagnose disease and injuries. Some common exams are X-rays, GI fluoroscopy exams and joint injections (arthrograms). Preparation for this scan varies by patient based on the test being conducted.
Nuclear medicine is a branch of medical imaging that uses small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose and determine the severity of, or treat, a variety of diseases, including cancers, heart disease, gastrointestinal, endocrine, skeletal and other abnormalities within the body.
Depending on the type of nuclear medicine exam, the radiotracer is injected into the body, swallowed or inhaled, and accumulates in the organ or area of the body being examined. Radioactive emissions from the radiotracer are detected by a special camera that produces pictures and provides information. Scanning can begin immediately after injection, or be delayed for several hours or even days. Scan time also varies, with some scans as short as 30 minutes and others several hours. Preparation for nuclear medicine exams varies, so instructions should be reviewed and followed carefully for each exam.
Cardiac stress test
One specific form of nuclear medicine is a cardiac or nuclear stress test, which measures blood flow to your heart at rest and during stress (exercise). This test may be performed over the course of one to two days. Each appointment will last four to five hours.
To prepare for your stress test, do not ingest caffeine for 24 hours prior to the test. This includes coffee, tea, soda, chocolate and medications such as Excedrin. In addition, do not eat or drink anything for four hours prior to the test. If you have questions about the test, please consult your physician.