Radiology

Lower Umpqua Hospital Radiology Department provides in-patients and out patients with access to a full range of radiological services, using state of the art equipment and with a skilled technical staff.

The department offers a staff with a wealth of experience and knowledge.  Each of our technologists has earned state licensure as well as national registration in their specific specialties.  The combined wealth of experience our technologists bring to our patients is worth nearly 100 years on the job!  Our board certified radiologists have years of experience that they bring to each and every imaging exam that they read.

Each technologist is nationally registered with the specialty board that provides guidance in their area of expertise; either the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) and the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB).  In addition, every technologist is licensed by the State of Oregon, Oregon Board of Medical Imaging (OBMI).  Our radiologists are doctors that specialize in radiology and are licensed to practice in the State of Oregon (OBME) as well as being Board Certified in radiology through the American Board of Radiology (ABR).  These licensures, certifications and registries help to ensure that our patients receive a professional, high quality imaging examination.

Our Radiology Department specializes in numerous types of imaging, including:

Diagnostic Radiology
X-rays are a type of radiation that is created using large amounts of electricity. X-rays are used in medical imaging much like a camera uses visible light to create an image. X-rays pass through the body and create an image on film based on how many x-rays get absorbed and how many pass through.   X-rays can be used to look at different parts of your body like your organs and bones.  X-ray exams can show broken bones, pneumonia, cancer and many other illnesses and diseases.

Bone Density Scan (DXA)
A DEXA scan (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) is a bone density test that assesses whether you have normal bone density, low bone density, or osteoporosis. The scan is a painless procedure that doesn’t take a lot of time.While lying on your back on a padded imaging table the scanner passes over your body. The DEXA scan emits a very low level of radiation, about one-tenth of the radiation that you get with a chest x-ray. The test takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends DEXA scans for:

  • women 65 years and older
  • men 70 years and older
  • people who have had a broken bone after age 50
  • women of menopausal age with risk factors for osteoporosis
  • post-menopausal women under age 65 with risk factors for osteoporosis
  • men 50-69 with risk factors for osteoporosis

A DEXA scan is also recommended if you have had spine x-rays showing a break or bone loss, back pain that may be related to spine fracture, or height loss (one half-inch or more within a year or 1-1/2 inches from total height).  For more information on DEXA click here.

Mammography
Please remember the American Cancer Society now recommends annual mammography screenings for women age 40 and over. This screening can save your life. Please contact your primary care physician before scheduling, as a prescription is required for insurance coverage. Women at high risk should have mammograms more often. The risk of breast cancer increases as a woman ages, if she has never had children, or if she had her first child after age 30. Studies also suggest that the risk may be higher for women who eat high-fat diets and those who smoke cigarettes. If you are not sure how frequently you should have a mammogram, consult your physician.

Echocardiogram
An echocardiogram is an ultrasound-based test that is used to diagnose cardiac illnesses or diseases.

To perform an echocardiogram, a gel is spread over the chest area. A technician will then use a hand-held probe (transducer) that is pressed against the chest area to produce two or three dimensional moving images of the heart.

This diagnostic test can provide these, as well as other, findings:

  • size and shape of the heart
  • abnormalities of heart valve function, including pattern of blood flow
  • coronary artery disease
  • cardiac tumors

An echocardiogram is non-invasive and has no known risks or side effects.

Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT) Scan
A CAT (computerized axial tomography) scan is a test that combines x-rays with computer imaging to give a very detailed picture of the human body. This test, also called a CT scan, provides x-ray pictures of cross-sectional views, like slices through a loaf of bread, of just about any organ or body party.

The test is done by a registered technologist in the Radiology Department. The radiologist, a doctor who specializes in the use of x-rays for medical diagnosis, will study the CT and report results to your personal physician. The test usually takes less than 10 minutes to complete.  Read more about CT here.

Nuclear Medicine
Nuclear medicine involves the use of radioactive materials, or isotopes, to obtain specific diagnostic information. These isotopes emit a pattern of rays representing the organ size, shape, and function. The rays are detected by a special camera that is then produced on a computer screen. Information gathered during a nuclear medicine exam is more comprehensive than other imaging procedures because it describes organ function, not just structure. The result is that many diseases and cancers can be diagnosed much earlier.

Ultrasound
Ultrasound, also known as sonography, is imaging that uses sound waves to produce images of organs, vessels and tissues in the body. A small hand-held device called a transducer is placed in contact with the patient’s skin at the area to be studied. The transducer emits high frequency sound waves that humans cannot hear. These sound waves pass through the body and send back echoes as they bounce off organs, vessels and tissues. With the help of computers, the echoes are then converted to an image.

Ultrasounds are safe to use for fetal imaging because they use sound waves instead of radiation. Having an ultrasound when you are pregnant helps to interpret the fetal position, delivery date, gender and multiple babies.

Ultrasounds are being used throughout medicine to help detect breast cysts and gallstones. They are also used to evaluate the liver, kidneys, pancreas, spleen, colon, and urinary bladder for vascular system.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI):
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.

MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and virtually all other internal body structures. The images can then be examined on a computer monitor, transmitted electronically, printed or copied to a CD. MRI does not use ionizing radiation (x-rays).

Detailed MR images allow physicians to evaluate various parts of the body and determine the presence of certain diseases.  For more information on MRI click here.

 

For more information on the services we provide, contact us at
541-271-2171 ext 226.