Departments & Services

Radiology/Imaging

Since 2009, Matagorda Regional Medical Center (MRMC) has been affiliated with the Baylor School of Medicine’s Radiology Department. The Professional Interpretations of Diagnostic Imaging procedures at MRMC are performed by medical staff members of the Baylor Radiology department. Procedures include routine X-Ray, CT, MRI and Nuclear Medicine, Mammography and Ultrasound exams.

This new service gives the physicians of MRMC the ability to utilize all of the Baylor Radiology specialists to review any of the above procedures. Baylor has on staff Radiologists specializing in Neurology, Oncology and Orthopedics. With the use of MRMC Digital Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) the Baylor medical group can interpret radiology exams 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is especially important when a quick turnaround is needed for patients in the Emergency Department, for example a patient admitted with possible stroke symptoms. With a timely radiologist’s interpretation, important treatment can be started as soon as possible.

Photo-radiologyimagingCT What is a CT Scan?

CT stands for computerized tomography, which refers to the way this exam is performed. In actuality, a CT scan is an x-ray procedure enhanced by a computer. This results in a three-dimensional view (referred to as a “slice”) of a particular part of your body.

During a routine x-ray, dense tissues can block other areas. Aided by the computer, a CT scan puts together the different “slices” and creates a three-dimensional view, clearly showing both bone and soft tissue.

What Will the Exam Be Like?

You will meet your CT technologist whose primary concern is your care and well being. This technologist has completed a rigorous course of education and training, and works under close supervision from the radiologist to assure the most accurate results from your examination. A radiologist is a physician who specializes in the study of various imaged tests such as x-ray, ultrasound, mammography, CT, MRI and nuclear medicine.

Before he starts your CT exam, the technologist will explain the procedure to you. He wants to solicit your cooperation, but more importantly, he wants to put your mind at ease as to what is about to take place.

A contrast medium may be required. This is usually given by mouth or injection. It is normal to feel a warm sensation as the dye makes its way through your body. This substance is given to highlight various body parts and is eliminated in a day or two.

Next, you will be positioned gently and secured on the scan table. It is important that you be secured, because even the slightest movement during the split seconds of imaging can blur the picture and result in the need for repeated scans.

Then, you will be moved into the scanner, which is a small, air-conditioned chamber. The technologist will have you in full view at all times, and will be in constant communication via two-way microphones. During this brief time, you will hear the humming of the equipment as it produces the images. You may also feel slight movement of the table as it prepares for the next scan.

How Long Does the Exam Take?

The exam usually takes from 30 to 60 minutes. This allows for preparation as well as time for the computer to generate the image. Actual exposure time is minimal.

Time may vary significantly depending on the nature of the study and other factors.

How Will I Learn the Results?

The radiologist will study the results of your exam and discuss them with your doctor, who will then consult with you.

Tell your doctor or technologist if you are:

  • Pregnant or think you may be.
  • Allergic to iodine or other materials.
  • Undergoing radiation therapy.

You should also:

  • Wear comfortable clothing and avoid wearing jewelry and eye make-up. Metalics may interfere with the accuracy of the film image.
  • Be sure to ask any questions relating to your examination. They will help the evaluation.

Photo-departmentsandservicesWhat is MRI?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a revolutionary form of diagnostic imaging with great potential for diagnosing a variety of health problems at their earliest, most treatable stages. In some instances, MRI has proven to be superior to other forms of diagnostic imaging and its many clinical applications are just starting to be fully utilized. MRI uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to produce computer processed images of your inner body. Unlike x-ray or CT Scan, MRI does not require the use of ionizing radiation. There is no pain or discomfort and there are no known side effects.

Preparation

No special preparation is required for the MRI exam. You may eat or drink prior to the examination and take any prescribed medication. Since the procedure involves the use of a strong magnet, you should leave behind any metal or magnetic-sensitive objects such as watches, rings or other metal jewelry and credit cards. Women who think they may be pregnant should notify their physicians prior to the examination.

Upon arrival for your examination, the MRI staff will obtain some information before you enter the scanner room.

No one with a cardiac pacemaker, ferromagnetic aneurysm clip, neuro-stimulator, inner ear prosthesis, or metal foreign object in the eye will be allowed into the scanner room.

The Examination

You may be asked to change into a hospital gown for the examination. For the procedure, you simply lie on a table inside a cylinder for approximately one hour. During this time the computer will view your inner body from several different angles to provide a comprehensive diagnostic study. You will hear a loud knocking sound like a drum beat while the scan is in progress, and it is important to remain still at this time. Earplugs or headphones will be available if you wish to use them. Our technologist will be in constant touch with you during the entire procedure. You will be able to talk with the technologist at any time during the procedure through an intercom system. Depending on the area of the body to be examined, a contrast material may be needed to get sharper pictures. This material is injected into a vein. Use of contrast material will be determined and administered on an individual basis by the MRI physician.

Results

Magnetic Resonance Imaging provides a unique set of images, which will be studied by the MRI physician. The results will be reported directly to your physician. In many cases, MRI eliminates the need for additional diagnostic procedures.

Questions

If you have any additional questions about Magnetic Resonance Imaging, please call your physician or a member of our technical staff. We’re here to help.

Photo-radiologyimagingnuclearmedicine

Nuclear Medicine involves the use of radioactive materials, or isotopes, to obtain specific diagnostic information.

These isotopes transmit a pattern of rays representing the organ size, shape and function. The rays are detected by a special camera which, when coupled with a computer, produces a characteristic image on a screen.

What Will the Exam Be Like?

The individual who performs the examination is a Nuclear Medical technologist. This technologist has completed a rigorous course of education and training, and works under close supervision of the radiologist (a radiologist is a physician who specializes in the study of imaged tests, such as Ultrasound, x-rays, etc.) to assure the most accurate results from your exam.

Your technologist will gently position you on the scanning table under the camera. A radionuclide will then be injected or taken orally. This makes it possible for the camera to detect certain organs and their functions. The amount of radiation to which the patient is exposed is minimal and of no significant danger. The radionuclide or tracer material is eliminated from the body in a day or two. Complications or side effects are rare.

Most scans require many different images and perhaps a few position changes. You will be asked to lie still. Each scan will take about three minutes, although some may take longer. Movement may results in the need for additional scans.

How Long Will the Exam Take?

Time will vary significantly depending on the nature of the study and other factors. Exam lengths vary from 1-2 hours.

How Will I Learn the Results?

A nuclear medicine physician will study the examination and consult with your doctor, who will then advise you of the results.

Photo-radiologyimagingultrasoundWhat is Ultrasound?

Ultrasound is the use of sound waves to obtain a medical image or picture of various organs and tissues in the body. It is a painless and safe procedure.

Ultrasound produces precise images of your soft tissues (heart, blood vessels, uterus, bladder, etc.) and reveals internal motion such as heart beat and blood flow. It can detect diseased or damaged tissues, locate abnormal growths and identify a wide variety of changing conditions, which enables your doctor to make a quick and accurate diagnosis.

What Will the Exam Be Like?

The individual who will be performing your ultrasound is known as a sonographer. This technologist is highly skilled and educated and works under close supervision of the radiologist. The radiologist is a physician who specializes in the study of various imaged tests such as x-ray, ultrasound, mammography, CT, MRI and Nuclear Medicine.

The technologist will assist you on to the examination table. At this time, an oil or transmission gel will be applied to the area of your body that will be examined. A transducer will be moved slowly over the body part being imaged. The transducer sends a signal to an on-board computer that processes the data and produces the ultrasound image. It is from this image that the diagnosis is made.

You won’t feel a thing except for the slight pressure and movement of the transducer over the part of the body being imaged. It is important that you remain still and relaxed during the procedure. The ultrasound images will appear on a monitor similar to a TV screen and are recorded either on paper or film for a detailed study.

How Long Will the Exam Take?

The exam will probably last from 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the anatomy under study. You may be required to drink water to enhance the quality of the picture (sound travels better through water) and this could lengthen the time of the exam.

Other Uses for Ultrasound

Ultrasound is sometimes used in therapeutic applications for soft tissue injuries. It is also helpful in pre-natal care to determine the age, sex, and growth characteristics of the unborn child.

Things to Remember

  • Wear comfortable clothing.
  • Avoid wearing jewelry.
  • Follow all instructions received prior to the examination.
  • Avoid soft drinks before the exam. Carbonation develops bubbles that may interfere with the image.
  • Be sure to ask any questions relating to your examination. They will help the evaluation.

Photo-radiologyimagingmammography

At Matagorda Regional Medical Center, we are demonstrating how important a properly administered mammogram is to a woman’s health and peace of mind. At MRMC, you’ll find a staff of caring, certified professionals, highly skilled in all facets of mammography, whose main concern is your comfort and health. Your mammogram will be performed gently and – more importantly – accurately, by one of three certified technologists certified by the American College of Radiology. So you can relax knowing that at Matagorda Regional Medical Center, your good health comes first.

We know you have a choice of mammography providers. Our certified professionals make sure you get the quality care you deserve. Call Centralized Scheduling at 979-241-5966 to make an appointment for your mammogram today.