In the previous weekly column, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) was discussed as an advanced way of looking inside the body. Radio waves and a magnetic field are used to provide cross0sectional detailed images of particular parts of the body.
MRI is one of the most advanced diagnostic imaging procedures available today. But, more than a 100 years ago, people who practiced medicine couldn't see inside the body to view injuries like broken bones, or diagnose illnesses. Not until scientists and doctors developed many different ways of investigating the internal human body did this become possible.
There are many forms of diagnostic imaging available in today's healthcare environment, and it all started with the "X-ray."
The x-ray was discovered in 1895 by Wilhelm Roentgen. In the 107 years since, x-ray science has been brought into the computer age where diagnostic imaging is a common, safe and vital part of modern medicine.
The diagnostic imaging tools available at Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center include:
* CT Scans
* Nuclear Medicine
Ultrasound is the use of sound waves to obtain a medical image or picture of various organs and tissues in the body. It is a painless and safe procedure. Ultrasound produces very precise images of soft tissues (heart, blood vessels, uterus, bladder, etc.) and reveals internal motions such as heart beat and blood flow. It can detect diseased or damaged tissues, locate abnormal growths and identify a wide variety of changing conditions, which enables doctors to make a quick and accurate diagnosis.
A CT scan (computerized tomography) is an x-ray procedure enhanced by a computer. This results in a three-dimensional view (referred to as a "slice" of a particular part of the body. During a routine x-ray, dense tissues can block other areas; but, aided by the computer, a CT scan is able to put together different "slices" and create a three-dimensional view clearly showing both bone and soft tissue.
Nuclear medicine involves the use of radioactive materials, or isotopes, to obtain specific diagnostic information. These isotopes transmit a pattern of rays representing the organ size, shape and function. The rays are detected by a special camera which, when coupled with a computer, produces a characteristic image on screen.
Mammography is a safe, low-dose x-ray procedure that films the internal tissues of breasts in an effort to diagnose cancer in its early stages or other irregularities within the breast. mammograms are a simple exam, performed as a standard diagnostic study. They can reveal irregular areas too small or too deep to feel in routine monthly self-breast exams or annual physicals.
Twin Lakes Regional has two radiologists on staff: Kenneth Dennison, M.D. , and Art McLaughlin, M.D.
For more information about the diagnostic imaging capabilities available "close to home" at Twin Lakes Regional, call the Radiology Department at 259-9490.