Radiology Imaging Services at Touchette Regional Hospital

Radiology is the medical specialty directing medical imaging technologies to diagnose and sometimes treat diseases. Radiologist are medical doctors (MD's) or doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs) who specialize in diagnosing diseases and injuries using medical imaging techniques, such as X-rays, Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Nuclear Medicine and Ultrasound.

Radiologist graduate from accredited medical schools, pass a licensing examination, and then go on to complete a residency of at least four years of unique post-graduate education in medicine. These physicians often complete fellowships of one to two years of specialized training in a particular area of radiology, such as breast imaging, cardiovascular radiology or nuclear medicine.

Radiology physicians are board certified by the American Board of Radiology (for a doctor of medicine) American Osteopathic Board of Radiology (for an osteopathic doctor); an indication of a high level of training demonstrated excellence in the field.

For More Information Call 618-332-5463

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Radiology Imaging Services Definitions

Ultrasound - Uses high sonic waves to visualize internal organs, vascular structures and masses often that can not be detected on conventional x-ray. It most often used in obstetrics fetal size and growth while in the womb.

Nuclear Medicine - Is a painless procedure used to diagnose diseases of the thyroid, bone, lung, liver, gallbladder and heart. A very small radioactive dose is either injected or swallowed, which then travels to the intended area in question. A special camera called a gamma camera records the activity of radioactive dose in the form of an image.

Computed Tomography (CT) - Utilizes a series of multiple x-rays taken at a fast rate of speed to produce several images of a particular area and reconstructing them as axial images of the internal organs and bones. The process is similar to taking a loaf of bread and slicing it in multiple slices. Patients are often required to drink a barium solution and an injection of no-ionic contrast often referred to as dye to help visualize internal organs and abnormalities in greater detail.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) - is a non-invasive procedure, and there are no known side effects. The procedure is painless; in fact you won't see or feel anything. A faint knocking sound will be heard which is simply the imaging process in operation. MRI utilizes the properties of magnetic fields, radio waves, and computers to generate images of the soft tissues within the body. It is commonly used as a primary diagnostic tool. It can help provide a more accurate diagnosis for the referring physician which in some situations can reduce the need for exploratory surgery and other high risk procedures.

Mammography - is a low dose form of x-ray and is one of the most accurate tests for detecting breast cancer. It can detect cancers before the tumors can be felt by hand and is an instrumental weapon in the fight against breast cancer.

Routine Diagnostic Imaging (Diagnostic Radiology X-Ray) is the main tool used to visualize bony structures within the body such as fractures, some soft tissue abnormalities and foreign materials. It also gives the physician a quick way to determine if more advanced imaging procedures like MRI, Nuclear Medicine, CT, or Ultrasound may be needed to accurately diagnose the problem.

Touchette’s mobile MRI unit features the latest in equipment technology, including a GE 1.5 tesla-strength magnet with 8-channel scanning capabilities. MRI appointments are available every Friday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and can be scheduled by calling 618-332-5462.


What is an Upper GI?

An Upper GI, also known as an Upper Gastrointestinal examination, is an examination of the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine. A special form of x-ray called fluoroscopy and an orally ingested contrast material called barium (a slightly flavored thick drink) is used. Fluoroscopy makes it possible to see the organs in motion inside the body. When the upper GI tract is coated with barium, the radiologist is able to view and assess the anatomy and function of the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine. In addition to drinking barium, some patients are also given baking soda crystals (similar to Alka-Seltzer) to further improve the images. This procedure is called an air-contrast or double-contrast upper GI.

How should you prepare?

To ensure the best possible image quality, your stomach must be empty of food. Therefore you will be asked not to eat or drink anything after midnight (including any medications taken by mouth, especially antacids) and to refrain from chewing gum and smoking on the day of the examination. You can bring your oral medication (medication that you take by mouth) with you so they can be taken after the exam is complete. You will be asked to remove most or all clothing and be given a gown to wear during the examination. You may want to leave jewelry at home because metal objects can interfere with the x-ray images.

What to do upon arrival to the Hospital:

  • First allow yourself plenty of time to go through patient registration.
  • Report the Outpatient Registration Department with your physician order, copy of driver's license or ID, and insurance card or medical coverage card
  • Outpatient Registry is located on the first floor (see map)
  • After registration report to Radiology also located on the first floor (see map). Give a copy of your order to the Radiology Receptionist.
  • This exam will take approximately 25 to 35 minutes

Barium Enema Information

What is a Barium Enema?

A Barium Enema, also called a lower GI, is an x-ray examination of the large intestine, also know as the colon. This examination evaluates the entire large intestine and the rectum. The Barium Enema uses a special form of x-ray called fluoroscopy and a contrast material called barium or a water soluble iodinated contrast. Fluoroscopy makes it possible to see internal organs in motion. When the intestines are filled with barium, the radiologist is able to view and assess the anatomy and the function of the rectum, colon and sometimes part of the small intestine.

How Should You Prepare for the Procedure?

Your doctor will give you detailed instructions on how to prepare. You should inform your doctor of any medications you are taking and if you have any allergies, especially to barium or iodinated contrast materials. On the day before the procedure you will likely be asked not to eat, and to drink only clear liquids like apple juice, tea, black coffee, cola or broth, and to avoid dairy products. After midnight, you should not eat anything. Also you will be instructed to take a laxative to help cleanse your large intestine of any stool. You can take your usual prescribed oral medication with limited amounts of water.

You will be asked to remove some or all of your clothing and wear a gown during the exam. You may want to leave jewelry at home because metal objects can interfere with the x-ray images.

What to do upon arrival to the Hospital:

  • First allow yourself plenty of time to go through patient registration.
  • Report to the Outpatient Registration Department with your physician order, driver's license or ID, and insurance card or medical coverage card.
  • Outpatient Registry is located on the first floor (see map)
  • After registration report to Radiology also located on the first floor (see map). Give a copy of your order to the Radiology Receptionist.

This exam should take approximately 35 to 45 minutes


REQUESTING COPIES OF YOUR STUDY

When can I pick up a copy of my exam?

The Radiology Department is open 7 days a week and runs 24 hrs a day. Patients needing a copy of their exam to take to their physician or specialist can do so at anytime. To make the process faster we do encourage that you come during daytime hours (7am to 5pm) due to limited staffing during evening and night hours.

What do I need to bring to obtain a copy?

When coming to pick up a copy of your imaging exam, you need to have your driver's license or valid state ID. You will be required to fill out and sign an authorization to release your medical information.

What if I need to pick up a copy of a family member's exam?

Parents can pick of copies of their children's exam as long as the child or children are under the age of 18. Those that are over 18 and other adults such as mother or father and wife or husband must provide written permission to allow someone other than then their self to pick of a copy of their exam. Federal Law prohibits facilities to release patient information without the patient's approval. You need bring a copy of the patient's driver's license or valid state ID (for adult patients only).