CT Scan (Computerized Tomography)
A CT scan is a series of thin beams of x-rays that rotate around the body, and are then processed by a computer to produce cross-sectional pictures. These detailed images are of significant value when a physician is concerned with the proper diagnosis of his or her patient. A CT scan is normally used to look at bone and soft tissue.
Preparation for a CT scan can vary, however, typical instructions restrict eating and drinking two hours before the exam. Please notify the technologist if you are pregnant, breast feeding or are diabetic. You can also continue to take any prescribed medication unless otherwise instructed.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
MRIs use radiofrequency waves and a strong magnetic field to take pictures of your body in narrow slices. Once assembled in the computer, these pictures provide clear and detailed pictures of the problem area. An MRI is normally used to look at nerves and muscle.
Preparation for an MRI is fairly minor, however, be sure to notify the technologist if you are pregnant, breast feeding or are diabetic. Also remove all metal, including hairpins, hearing aids, jewelry, snaps and zippers as MRIs are highly magnetic and these objects can become a danger to anyone in the room. Please tell the technologist if you have an aneurysm, a pacemaker, prosthesis or any metal objects in your body.
3D Digital Mammography
Mammograms are x-rays that can find cancers and benign tumors that are too small to be found during a breast self-exam. Olympic Medical Center offers state-of-the-art 3D digital mammography. This service is provided in a warm, inviting setting that emphasizes patient safety, privacy and comfort.
3D digital mammography, or breast tomosynthesis, is an extraordinary breakthrough in cancer screening and detection. This innovative technology allows doctors to see breast tissue detail in a way never before possible to help find breast cancer at its earliest stages, when it is most treatable. The 3D images taken during an exam allow your radiologist to gain a better understanding of breast tissue during screening and the confidence to reduce the need for follow-up imaging.
Ultrasound imaging uses sound waves to see soft tissue in the body. Ultrasound has a wide variety of uses and is one of the most widely used medical technologies. Occasionally ultrasounds are also used to guide doctors in minimally invasive procedures. In an ultrasound exam, a small probe is placed on the skin. Sound waves are reflected back and are turned into visual representations by a computer. The procedure is completely painless.
Common preparations for ultrasound include avoiding food or drink for six hours prior to the test, or alternatively ensuring you are well-hydrated or have a full bladder, depending on the type of procedure.
Nuclear medicine utilizes radioactive isotopes to create images that show how well organs in the body are working as opposed to traditional anatomical imaging such as CT or MRI. The radiation exposure is similar to having ordinary x-rays.
Digital X-Ray / General Radiology
X-ray testing, also known as general radiology, is used on bones and soft tissue. It is commonly used for gastro exams of the stomach and intestines, urological exams of kidney and bladder, orthopedic exams for general bone and fractures, neurological exams of spine and spinal canal, surgical and portable exams, and vascular exams of venous and arterial blood vessels.
Bone density exams use DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorption) technology to scan and graph bone density as a test for osteoporosis, a condition where bones become thin and weak to the point of breaking. The earlier osteoporosis is found, the more likely future fractures can be prevented. Getting a bone density test at Olympic Medical Center is now easier and faster than ever with our new digital bone density scanners which provide a significant improvement in turnaround time compared to their paper-based counterparts, allowing us to deliver test results to our radiologists more quickly. The procedure is quick, painless and highly accurate.