Specialty Testing

Learn more about our specialty radiological testing offered at specific locations.

Breast MR/Breast MR biopsy

(offered at Deaconess Hospital Main campus)

A Breast MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan is an imaging test that uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create pictures of the breast and surrounding tissue.  It does not use radiation (x-rays).
How the test is performed:
You will change into a hospital gown and pants. Most MRI breast exams require a special contrast (dye) called Gadolinium. If your MRI requires dye, a blood test may be done prior to the MRI to make sure your kidneys are functioning properly. If the results of the blood test are okay then an IV will be started in your arm or hand before the test starts. The dye helps the radiologist see certain areas more clearly.  You will lie on your stomach with your breasts suspended into cushioned openings. Compressing the breasts is not necessary for an MRI  The table slides into the MRI scanner, which is shaped like a tunnel  During the MRI, the technologist observes you from another room as she performs the scan. The test takes 30-60 minutes. It is very important for you to lie perfectly still. The MRI machine is very loud when it is scanning, but you will be given music or earplugs for the scan. 
How to prepare for the test: Tell your doctor if you are afraid of small spaces (claustrophobic). He may give you a medicine to help you relax for the test. If you are given meds to relax, you must bring someone to drive you home. Be prepared to change into hospital clothes. Don’t wear a lot of jewelry or hairpins since these will have to be removed prior to the test. Because the MRI scanner contains a very strong magnet, we can’t take any metal into the scan room. 
Before the test, tell your health care provider if you have:
  • Aneurysm clips
  • Heart valves
  • Stents
  • Pacemaker or Defibrillator
  • Surgery on inner ear or implanted devices in your ears
  • Kidney disease or dialysis (you may not be able to receive IV contrast)
  • Recent surgeries
  • Any metal in your body
  • Dentures or hearing aids
How the test will feel: An MRI exam of the breast may be a little uncomfortable because you must lie on your stomach. The table may be hard or cold. You will be given a warm blanket and made as comfortable as possible. The machine makes a lot of loud thumping and humming noises when it is scanning. You will be given music or earplugs, if you prefer, for the test. If you have difficulty lying still or are very nervous, tell your doctor so that he may prescribe a medication to help you relax. There is no recovery time. If you are given a medicine to help you relax, you will need someone to drive you home. After an MRI, you can resume your normal diet and activity. 

Why the test is performed: MRI provides detailed pictures of the breast. It also provides clear pictures of the breast that are hard to see clearly on an Ultrasound or Mammogram. Breast MRI may also be performed to:
  • Check for more cancer in the same breast or the other breast after cancer has been diagnosed.
  • Distinguish between scar tissue and tumors in the breast
  • Evaluate a lump (usually after a biopsy)
  • Evaluate an abnormal mammogram or breast Ultrasound
  • Evaluate for ruptured implants
  • Find any cancer that remains after surgery or chemotherapy
  • Guide a biopsy
  • Screen for cancer in women who are at very high risk (such as those with a strong family history)
  • Screen for cancer in women with very dense breasts
What abnormal results mean: Abnormal results may be due to cancer, cysts, or ruptured implants.  Consult your doctor with any questions or concerns.

Risks: MRI contains no radiation. To date, no side effects from the magnet and radio waves have been reported. The type of dye used in MRI is called gadolinium. It is very safe. Allergic reactions to the dye rarely occur. Gadolinium can be harmful to patients with kidney problems who require dialysis. If you have kidney problems, tell your doctor before the test. The strong magnetic fields created during an MRI can make heart pacemakers and other implants not work as well. It can also cause a piece of metal inside your body to move or shift.

Considerations: Breast MRI is more sensitive than mammograms, especially when it is performed with contrast (dye). However, Breast MRI may not always be able to distinguish breast cancer from noncancerous breast growths.  MRI also cannot pick up tiny pieces of calcium (micro calcifications), which mammo can detect.

Chemotherapy Embolizations

(offered at Deaconess Hospital Main campus)

Malignant tumors of the liver may be treated by a method of delivering a relatively large dose of chemotherapy directly to a liver tumor (Chemoembolization).

The chemotherapy drug is delivered through a catheter along with a blood vessel occluding agent right at the site of the tumor. The result is that a very highly concentrated dose of anti-tumoral drug is delivered to the blood vessels and is partially blocked with the occluding agent to starve the tumor of its blood supply. This can slow or stop tumor growth, and in some cases can even result in significant shrinkage of the tumor.

Your physician may recommend that you have several tests, including liver function blood tests, and a CT scan or an MRI of your liver prior to the chemoembolization procedure.

Infant Hip Dysplasia Testing

(offered at Midwest Radiology)

Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is a dislocation of the hip joint that is present at birth. The condition is found in babies or young children. The most common method of identifying the condition is a physical exam of the hips, which involves applying pressure while moving the hips. The health care provider listens for any clicks, clunks, or pops. Ultrasound of the hip is used in younger infants to confirm the problem. An x-ray of the hip joint may help diagnose the condition in older infants and children. Click for more information about Infant Hip Dysplasia testing.

Thyroid Therapy I131 Treatments

(offered at Deaconess Clinic Downtown)

I 131 Therapy- Radioiodine (sodium I-131) is a form of radiation therapy that has been used for many years to treat thyroid conditions. It is safe and effective but requires you to observe certain precautions to decrease the small amount of radiation that other people may receive from your body and bodily fluids.                                                                           
Radioiodine stays in your body for only a short time. Most of the radioiodine that does not go to thyroid tissue will be eliminated from your body during the first few days after treatment. Radioiodine leaves your body primarily through your urine, but very small amounts can be found in your saliva, sweat and bowel movements.
Radiation exposure to other people can be reduced by keeping a reasonable distance between yourself and others and keeping the time you are close to others to a minimum.

I131 Informed Consent Form    
Radionuclide Therapy After-Treatment

Xofigo Injections

(offered at Midwest Radiology)

Xofigo is a radiopharmaceutical agent used to treat cancer and is injected. Your doctor will prescribe your dose and schedule. A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine. Family members must not be exposed to radiation from this medicine. The fluids from your body can transfer radiation to another person who touches them. Practice good hygiene while you receive this medicine and for at least 1 week after your last dose. Flush the toilet several times after each use. Click for more information about Xofigo Injections.