Owatonna 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 64-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 rays are picked up on a scanner, fed into a computer and seen on a computer screen.
Nuclear medicine is a safe, painless, and effective form of medical imaging which 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.
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, in order 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-ray 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.