Radiologic Diagnostic Imaging | UnityPoint Health Grinnell Regional Me

Radiologic Diagnostic Imaging

You can count on our team of skilled technologists and board-certified radiologists at UnityPoint Health – Grinnell Regional Medical Center for quality diagnostic imaging. Our state-of-the-art services include 3D digital mammography, X-ray, fluoroscopy, 64-slice CT, nuclear medicine and MRI. Our ultrasound department includes obstetrical imaging, women's health, abdominal, vascular and echocardiography services. Portable X-ray services are available for the comfort of our critical care and emergency patients. We also offer mobile x-ray services for convenience to our nursing home patients.

Our digital mammography services use computer-assisted diagnostic 3-D technology for a computerized "second look" for screening and diagnostic mammograms. PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System) replaces hard-copy diagnostic images with direct digital feeds from modern imaging equipment, which translates to faster service and a permanent digital record of your imaging study results.

The radiology department focuses on patient comforts, patient privacy, patient satisfaction and operational efficiency. The staff of 20 registered technologists and two office personnel provides coverage 24/7 at GRMC. These trained staff members conduct approximately 25,000 radiology procedures per year, from chest and extremity x-rays to CT, ultrasound, MRI and mammography.

Caring for Women is a Way of Life for Us

Your good health is our top priority. We are members of an elite group of facilities across the country that share an important commitment to raising the standard of care for every patient. We are proud to be recognized as a certified Pink Ribbon Facility.

As a Pink Ribbon Facility we take pride in providing every woman that comes to us for a mammogram with a digital mammography exam. Digital mammography produces images that appear on the technologist's monitor in a manner of seconds. There is no waiting for film to develop, which means a shorter time spent in the exam, and you may get the results faster.


Mammography is the x-ray examination of breast tissues. The goal is to detect breast cancer in its early stages for early treatment. Our digital 3-D mammography combines the latest technology in digital mammography with the use of breast cushions to decrease pain.

The goal of screening mammography is to detect cancer when it is still too small to be felt by the physician or the patient. Early detection of small breast cancers by screening mammography greatly improves a woman's chances for successful treatment. 

If you're having a mammography scan, here's what you can expect. The breast is compressed to spread the tissue apart and to allow a lower dose of x-ray. Although this may be temporarily uncomfortable, it is necessary in order to produce a good mammogram image. The compression is only in place a few seconds of the examination. The entire procedure for screening mammography takes about 10 minutes.

Recommended Breast Cancer Screening

The American College of Radiology (ACR) urges women to have a regular screening for breast cancer as part of their wellness plan using these guidelines:
  • Women aged 40 to 49 with average risk
  • Women aged 50 to 74 with average risk
  • Women aged 75 or older with average risk
  • Women at higher than average risk
  • Women with dense breasts

Screening with Mammography Annually

Screening with mammography should stop when life expectancy is less than 5 to 7 years on the basis of age or comorbid conditions. For BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers, untested family members of BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers, and women with a lifetime risk of 20% or greater (based on family history), screening should include annual mammography and annual MRI starting by age 30 years but not before age 25 years. For women with a history of chest irradiation between the ages of 10 and 30 years, annual mammography and annual MRI starting 8 years after treatment (mammography not recommended before age 25). In addition to mammography, ultrasound can be considered.


X-ray studies use low doses of radiation and are often performed as the initial examination to diagnose a wide variety of diseases and injuries and, later in treatment, to determine progress.

Computerized Tomography (CT)

We offer computerized tomography, a highly advanced, non-invasive procedure, to aid in diagnosis. CT combines x-rays and leading-edge computer technology. The latest in spiral CT technology is offered at UnityPoint Health – Grinnell Regional Medical Center making it possible for a virtual spiral image of a patient's body.

These scans use quick, non-invasive, hi-tech tools for looking inside the body without surgery. CT scans can create either two- or three-dimensional cross-section images of your body. Expert radiologists closely examine these images looking for abnormalities that may not show up on an ordinary x-ray. CT scans are particularly useful in evaluating the brain, spine, chest, abdomen and pelvis.


We offer cardiac, vascular, abdominal and obstetrical/pelvic ultrasounds.

Ultrasound imaging is a safe, painless diagnostic procedure. It bounces sound waves off internal organs or structures and then captures the returning echoes as a photograph or moving image on a monitor. There is no injection or radiation exposure associated with ultrasound studies.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRI is a non-invasive procedure that creates either a two- or three-dimensional view of internal organs or structures using strong electromagnetic fields and sophisticated computers.

An MRI uses a strong magnetic field to align the water molecules in your body tissues.

A radio signal (not an x-ray) is directed to the part of your body being examined, temporarily disrupting this alignment. When the radio signal stops, water molecules return to their alignment at different rates and emit signals that are received and processed in a computer. Computers assemble the data into a series of images.

Highly trained technologists monitor you and your test from behind a window in the control room. Radiologists evaluate the computer-generated images. They look for abnormalities to help make a diagnosis.

Bone Densitometry

We offer bone densitometry or bone density screening service. Everyone, both men and women, loses bone strength as they grow older. Women have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis than men as women often have smaller, thinner frames. Women also have an increased risk after menopause. Women produce less estrogen after menopause, and estrogen helps protect women against bone loss.

The bone scan takes less than 10 minutes on the scanner.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends that aging residents take four steps to lower the risk of osteoporosis and bone loss disorders:
  • Eat a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D.
  • Participate in weight-bearing exercise.
  • Enjoy a healthy lifestyle with no smoking and limited alcohol.
  • Have a bone density test completed and take medications when appropriate.


Positron emission tomography and computed tomography create a combined PET/CT image. This technology combines the best of nuclear medicine and CT. This service is provided through a mobile unit with Shared Medical Services. PET measures the amount of metabolic activity at a site in the body and a computer reassembles the signals into images. Cancer cells have higher metabolic rates than normal cells and show up as denser areas on a PET scan. PET is useful in diagnosing other health concerns such as cardiovascular and neurological disease, such as Alzheimer's disease.

PET is particularly effective in identifying whether cancer is present or not, if it has spread, if it is responsive to treatment and if a person is cancer free after treatment.

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine uses very small amounts of radioactive materials to diagnosis. The radioactive materials are detected by special types of cameras that work with computers to provide very precise pictures of the body.