River Falls Area Hospital
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River Falls Area Hospital's Medical Imaging Department maintains a full range of advanced diagnostic technology for peering inside the human body to identify medical conditions or disease.
The 16-slice CT scanner is a doughnut-shaped machine that takes pictures of cross-sections of the body, called "slices."
An X-ray tube moves in a circular fashion around the area being scanned. The X-rays are picked up on a scanner, fed into a computer and seen on a computer screen.
Digital mammography captures images of the breasts in a digital format versus a traditional mammogram, which captures images on film. Digital mammograms transfer images to a high-resolution computer screen that allows the radiologist to enhance images and to zoom in on any areas of concern for a closer evaluation. Images of a patient's breast are stored digitally for years and can be used for comparisons over time.
PET/CT is a diagnostic imaging system. This hybrid technology combines the strengths of PET and CT in one imaging session to more accurately diagnose and locate cancers while increasing patient comfort.
PET monitors the biochemical functioning of cells by detecting how they process certain compounds, such as glucose (sugar). Cancer cells metabolize glucose at a much higher level than normal tissues. CT, or computed tomography, yields a detailed picture of the body's anatomical structures by taking cross-sectional images or X-ray slices of the body. The hybrid PET/CT system combines the strengths of both enabling doctors to accurately diagnose and locate cancers at an early stage.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses a strong magnetic field and very sensitive radio waves to create detailed pictures of your anatomy. These images are used by your health care provider to evaluate a wide range of conditions including stroke, musculoskeletal abnormalities, tumors and many other conditions.
River Falls Area Hospital also offers breast MRIs for women with a strong family history of breast cancer. Breast MRIs are more sensitive than mammography in early detection of breast cancer.
Diagnostic medical sonography utilizes high-frequency sound waves as the imaging tool. There is no radiation exposure, and unlike therapeutic ultrasound, it induces no physiological changes within body tissues. Ultrasound uses low energy sound waves, beyond the range of audible sound, to create images.
Diagnostic X-ray encompasses many different types of exams such as bone imaging, chest X-rays, abdomen plain films, fluoroscopy and studies using contrast agents.
Interventional radiology, one of the most complex and patient-care-oriented fields in radiology, is a medical specialty that uses image-guided, minimally invasive diagnostic and treatment techniques that are often an alternative to surgery.
DXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry), which is the "gold standard" procedure for measuring bone density, uses two beams of X-rays to measure bone structure deep within soft tissue, usually the hip and the spine. DXA exposes the patient to only 1/20 the amount of radiation of a routine chest X-ray and far less than full dental X-rays.
Nuclear medicine is a safe, painless and effective form of medical imaging that has been used worldwide for more than 60 years. This area of radiology uses small amounts of radioactive material (sometimes called a dose) to image the body and treat disease. Nuclear medicine differs from other areas of radiology because it looks at how a body part is working, not just what it looks like.