What is Digital Mammography?
Digital mammography refers to an x-ray examination of the breast. Mammography is used to detect and diagnose breast disease in women who are asymptomatic and women who have symptoms.
This procedure produces a black and white image that is sent directly to the Radiologist's computer for interpretation. This digital technology allows the Radiologist to manipulate the image thus enabling him/her to enhance the image for a clearer more concise diagnosis. The digital technology is further enhanced by our R2 checker (computer aided detection) software to provide you and your physician with peace of mind.
There are two types of mammograms that are performed:
- Screening Mammography
- Diagnostic Mammography
Screening Mammography is a radiological examination to detect unsuspected breast cancer in asymptomatic women.
Screening mammography is indicated in asymptomatic women who fit the following criteria:
- Women at least 35 to 40 years of age. (Screening can be performed at an earlier age with warranted conditions);
- Women with high risk factors such as:
A very strong family history of breast cancer in close relatives such as mother, sister or daughter; Changes in particular genes (BRCA 1, BRCA 2 and others) increase the risk of breast cancer and women who have tested positively for these genes can be screened at an earlier age; Young women who have been exposed to radiation treatments (such as treatment for thyroid carcinoma and Hodgkin's Lymphoma). Also a high risk factor is a significant intake of alcohol.
Diagnostic Mammography is a radiographic examination performed on patients who have signs and/or symptoms.
Diagnostic mammography is indicated for women who fit the following criteria:
- Breast lumps;
- Nipple discharge;
- Breast thickening;
- Breast trauma;
- Axilliary lymph adenopathy;
- Persistent history of prior breast cancer (patients who have undergone prior lumpectomy and mastectomy);
- Augmented breast (implants);
- Six month follow up (BIRADS #) patients who are returning for a short interview follow up to reassess a specific finding that was initially not considered to be suspicious enough to merit an intervention;
- Patients returning for a finding screen on a screening mammography the requires further investigation.
Symptomatic patients under 30 years of age should be scheduled for an ultrasound first. Mammography will be done at the discretion of the radiologist unless otherwise indicated by the provider to follow a specific concern.
Prior to Your Exam:
If you have had mammograms at another facility, you should arrange for those films to be transferred to St. Mary's so that they are available for the Radiologist to review and compare with your current films.
The Day of Your Exam:
You should avoid wearing deodorant on the day of your exam. The deodorant could interfere with the images.
The optimal time to have a mammogram is one week after your period.
If you are experiencing any breast symptoms or problems please discuss them with the technologist prior to the start of your exam. Also if there is any family history this should be shared with the technologist on the day of your exam.
What is a CT Scan
CT is an advanced x-ray that is used to produce highly accurate images of the body. The images provide your physician with a detailed view of the structures in the body and how they relate with one another, thus assisting in the diagnostic process.
The Day of Your Exam
Please arrive 20 to 30 minutes prior to your scheduled exam time so that you may complete the registration process upon your arrival. Once you have registered for your exam you will be directed to the Medical Imaging Department. The exams generally take approximately 15 to 30 minutes. If you are having a CT of the abdomen or pelvis, you will be required to change into a hospital gown. Some exams such as abdomen and pelvis require contrast. In some cases it could be oral and/or I.V. contrast. If this is a requirement for your particular exam, the technologist will explain the process to you and then you will be asked to sign a written consent prior to the exam. Once you are positioned on the table, it will be moved into the scanner and the exam will begin. Instructions will be given throughout. During the exam, the table will move very gently and slowly. Once the exam is complete, the technologist will assist you off of the table; you may then change and leave.
The results of your exam will be forwarded to your referring physician who will then discuss them with you. Your Physician will have results in two business days.
DexaScanDXA (Bone Density) procedure
Bone densitometry, using an advanced technology called DXA involves lying on a padded surface. It safely and accurately measures the bone mineral density in the hip and spine. For the hip scan, legs are extended with the feet held in a positioning block. For the lower spine span, legs are elevated on a cushion. Each scan takes five to ten minutes. There is no discomfort, and there are no injections or special dyes. Unlike other x-ray machines the radiation exposure is extremely low.
Who Should Have a DXA Scan
- Women approaching or past menopause
- If you are thin or small framed
- If you have a family history of Osteoporosis
- If you take steroids or thyroid medication
- If you smoke or drink alcohol in excess
- If you have a sedentary lifestyle and do not do weight-bearing exercises
There is no need to disrobe if you wear clothes without buttons, zippers or plastic closures. We suggest a warm-up suit or shorts or pants with an elastic waistband. You should not have the exam within one week after any kind of barium x-ray or bone scan studies. Do not take any calcium or vitamin supplements the day of the exam.
Your Physician will have results in two business days.
What is an MRI
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an imaging technique used in medical setting to produce high-quality images of the inside of the human body. At St. Mary's Hospital in Amsterdam, we offer a patient friendly, short bore, 1.5 tesla high field strength state-of-the-art MRI system.
While there is no preparation required for this particular imaging technique there are contraindications that should be considered.
You CANNOT have a MRI if you have any of the following:
- A Pacemaker
- Aneurysm Clips
- Cochlear (ear) implants
- Cardioverter defibrillators
If you have any metal in your body (e.g. artificial joints, metallic valves, shrapnel) you must inform us upon scheduling your appointment. Depending on what the metal is you may not be able to have this type of exam. Some patients are claustrophobic and are anxious about having this exam. At St. Mary's Hospital at Amsterdam, the rate of patients unable to complete this exam due to claustrophobia is only 1 out of 200 patients. For some patients, your physician can order a mild sedation. In such cases, you must be accompanied by a person who will drive you home.
The day of your exam
Please arrive 20 to 30 minutes prior to your scheduled time so that you may complete the registration process. Once the registration process is complete, you will be directed to the Medical Imaging Department and a certified MRI technologist will explain the exam to you. You will be asked to fill out a brief questionnaire that the Technologist will review with you.
Prior to your exam it is necessary for you to remove all metallic objects (e.g. jewelry, glasses, and clothing with zippers) and put on a patient gown. If your exam requires contrast, the technologist will explain the procedure to you
and you will then be asked to sign a consent form prior to the administration of the contrast.
You will be placed onto the exam table and moved into the scanner. During the exam you will hear a knocking or thumping noise but we will provide you with earplugs or earphones for your comfort. During the exam you must lie still so that the technologists can obtain the images. There is a microphone inside of the unit should you or the technologist needs to communicate with each other. Most exams take between twenty (20) minutes to forty (40) minutes from start to finish.
Once your exam is complete you may leave and your results will be forwarded to your physician to explain to you. Your Pysician will have results in two business days.
Nuclear medicine uses a combination of computers, detectors and radioactive substances to obtain images of the body. Nuclear body imaging may be used to detect suspected tumors, aneurysms, blood flow, blood cell disorders, and poor function of organs. The tests ordered will depend upon the symptoms of the patient.
We perform the following tests:
- Bone Scan
- Cardiolite Scan
- Dual Isotope Scan
- MUGA Scan
- Thyroid Scan
- Biliary Scan
- Gallium Scan
- Liver/Spleen Scan
- Renal Scan
- Lung Scan
- Testicle Scan
- Thallium Rest/Redistribution Scan
The day of your exam
Please arrive 20 to 30 minutes prior to your scheduled time so that you may complete the registration process.Once the registration process is complete, you will be directed to the Medical Imaging Department and a certified Nuclear Medicine technologist will explain the exam to you. Prior to your exam it is necessary for you to remove all metallic objects that are in the field of view and put on a patient gown.A short lived Isotope will be injected before you are scanned. You will be placed onto the exam table and moved into the scanner. During the exam you must lie still so that the technologists can obtain the images. Most exams take between one hour and four hours from start to finish and you may need to be imaged more than once during this time.Your Physician will have results by two business days.
What is a PET/CT Scan
A PET/CT scanner combines Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Computed Tomography (CT) images. PET images show the function of cells in the body. CT images show body anatomy such as vessels, lymph nodes and organs.
Combining PET and CT images helps doctors diagnose, monitor, and determine treatment for cancer. PET/CT scans can help your doctor determine the extent of cancer, which may reduce the need for biopsy or surgery.
Preparing for your PET/CT Exam
Prepare for your exam by following the strict guidelines below. Contact the scheduling department with any questions you may have.
» Don’t eat or drink anything except plain water for 4 - 6 hours before your exam.
» Take your medication as directed by your doctor.
» Avoid rigorous activity for 24 hours before your exam.
» Dress warmly and comfortably.
» If you are diabetic, eat a small meal four hours before your exam and take your insulin or oral diabetic medication, if necessary. Ensure that your glucose levels are within normal limits, or the exam will need to be rescheduled.
Make every effort to keep your appointment. If you must reschedule, notify our office at least 24 hours in advance.
What to expect during the Exam
In preparation for the exam, you receive a small injection of radioactive tracer. You rest comfortably for 45 – 90 minutes while the radioactive tracer moves through your body. Then the technologist brings you to the scanner. You may be asked to hold your breath for several seconds during the exam. Try to remain still while the scan is in process. The length of the exam depends upon the body area being scanned. The radiologist will review your scans and send results to your doctor.
Benefits of PET/CT
PET/CT helps doctors accurately diagnose, stage and treat cancer. PET/CT can help determine:
» Size and location of the growth
» Whether the cancer is spreading
» The best form of treatment
» Whether therapy is working
» Whether there has been a recurrence
We look forward to caring for you.
Consult your doctor prior to your PET/CT scan if:
» You are or may be pregnant
» You are allergic to any drugs or foods
» You are currently being treated for an infection
» You are unsure if you should take your medications
To schedule an appointment call (518) 841-7224
What is an ultrasound
Ultrasound is a technique that uses sound waves to image different areas of the body. This exam is most commonly used to diagnose the abdomen, pelvis, blood vessels and also to view the fetus during pregnancy. Because this technique is so safe and non-invasive it is an invaluable diagnostic tool.
The Day of Your Exam
Please arrive 20 to 30 minutes prior to your scheduled time so that you may complete the registration process. Once the registration process is complete, you will be directed to the Medical Imaging Department and a registered “ultrasonnagrapher” will bring you to the exam room and you will be asked to change into a patient gown.
You will be asked to lie down on the exam table and the ultrasonnagrapher will apply a small amount of warm gel onto the area that will be scanned. The technologist will then glide a small transducer over the gel while applying a small amount of pressure to obtain the images.The ultrasound exams generally take anywhere from thirty (30) minutes to one (1) hour to complete.
Once your exam is finished you may change and leave. Your results will be forwarded to your physician who will then explain them to you. Your Physician will have results by two business days.
This year, St. Mary's Hospital at Amsterdam completely updated its X-ray technology and now offers computerized radiography. With our advanced system, the radiologist and your physician can "manipulate" the x-ray images in order to get the most valuable information from them. The images can also be sent electronically anywhere in the world so that second opinions can easily be obtained by any expert in the field.
St. Mary's Hospital provides a full range of computerized radiography services. For your convenience and in case of an emergency x-ray services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
For more information on the x-ray department please call (518) 841-7201.
The day of your exam
- Please arrive 20 to 30 minutes prior to your scheduled time so that you may complete the registration process.
- Once the registration process is complete, you will be directed to the Medical Imaging Department and a certified MRI technologist will explain the exam to you.You will be asked to fill out a brief questionnaire that the Technologist will review with you.
- Prior to your exam it is necessary for you to remove all metallic objects that might be in the X-ray field of view. You may be asked to put on a patient gown.
- Most exams take between 10 minutes to 15 minutes from start to finish.
Once your exam is complete you may leave and your results will be forwarded to your physician to explain to you.Your Physician will have results in two business days.