Radiology & Imaging Services
Advanced Tools for Your Diagnosis
Proper treatment of injury and disease relies on the proper diagnosis of a patient's underlying condition. Our diagnostic imaging technologies include
- Bone densitometry
- CT scan
- Nuclear medicine
- General radiology
Allen Hospital utilizes PACS (picture archiving & communication cystem), which means multiple users (radiologists, physicians and other health care providers) at multiple locations can access images and information simultaneously, increasing the ease with which consultations can occur between the medical staff and our dedicated expert radiologists.
A patient's comfort is as important to us as the level of expertise we offer. We understand that many diagnostic procedures, and the reasons for having them, may be stressful. For this reason, our knowledgeable technologists and staff perform diagnostic testing with personal care and attention, taking time to educate you on each procedure so you will know what to anticipate every step of the way. We encourage patients to ask questions if they want more information about a specific process or procedure.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
An MRI is a test using a machine with a sophisticated computer system to create detailed images of the inside of your body. These detailed images aid in the early detection of many conditions and help physicians make an accurate diagnosis so they can determine the appropriate treatment for you. The test is safe and painless. There is no X-ray radiation involved in an MRI scan. An MRI uses magnetic fields, radio frequency pulses and computer technology to produce images of your body.
The new large-bore design provides a comfortable, anxiety-free MRI experience. For virtually every exam, your feet go in first and your head remains outside of the magnet. When a head-first exam becomes necessary, you will have at least one foot of space above your nose. There's also more elbowroom. As the only large-bore MRI in the area, it's ideal for claustrophobic patients, children and larger patients.
We provide digital mammography for faster, better-quality images. We offer walk-in mammograms at all three locations from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please bring your referring physician's goldenrod form.
We will work with your family to ensure the safely and comfort of your child. Our technologists and radiologists have taken the pledge to participate in the "Image Gently" program. This program is devised by the The Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatrics to increase awareness and reduce overall radiation dosage for children, while still allowing these patients to benefit from the diagnostic abilities of CT.
128-slice CT Scanner
The Siemens 128-slice CT scanner is the biggest, fastest, clearest scanner in the Cedar Valley. The new scanner can do a complete body scan of an adult patient from head to toe in just 10 seconds. It scans patients weighing up to 485 pounds. It offers unmatched speed and clarity for diagnosing chest pain, trauma and patients who are unconscious, claustrophobic or obese.
Nuclear Medicine is a medical specialty which uses safe, painless and cost effective techniques both to image the body and treat disease. Nuclear Medicine imaging is unique in that it documents organ function and structure in contrast to diagnostic radiology which is based on anatomy. Nuclear Medicine allows your physician to gather medical information which may otherwise be unavailable, require surgery or necessitate more expensive diagnostic tests.
Nuclear Medicine uses very small amounts of radioactive materials, or radiopharmaceuticals, to diagnose and treat disease. Radiopharmaceuticals are substances that are attracted to specific organs, bones, or tissues. The radiopharmaceuticals used in nuclear medicine emit gamma rays which can be detected externally by special types of cameras called gamma cameras. These cameras work in conjunction with computers, and are used to create images which provide data and information about the area of the body being imaged.
Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography Imaging (PET/CT)
A PET scan can detect changes in cellular function, specifically how your cells are utilizing nutrients like sugar and oxygen. Since these functions take place before physical changes occur, PET can provide information that enables your provider to make an early diagnosis. A CT scan takes cross-sectional images of your body. Combined with the PET scan, they can provide anatomic details of the metabolic changes in your body.
When these two scans are fused together, a PET/CT Scan can allow your provider to view metabolic changes in the proper anatomical context of your body. It not only helps diagnose a problem, but it can also help predict likely outcomes of various therapeutic alternatives to pinpoint the best approach to treatment and monitor progress.
What to expect at your appointment
Although radiology exams and breast screenings can differ from procedure to procedure, most share the same basic guidelines. If you receive instructions specific to your exam please follow the written instructions you receive. Otherwise, we are happy to answer your questions and help you prepare for your exam.
Before your exam
- You should inform your physician of any medications you're currently taking and if you have any allergies, especially to contrast materials like barium or iodine.
- Women should inform their physician and x-ray technologist if there is a possibility they may be pregnant. Many tests are not performed during pregnancy as they may harm the fetus. If an x-ray is necessary, special precautions will be taken to protect the baby.
- For some imaging procedures, you may be asked not to eat or drink for several hours beforehand, especially if contrast material will be used in your exam.
Speed up the check-in process by registering online for your appointment.
When to arrive
For most exams, please arrive 20-30 minutes before your scheduled appointment.
Exam with contrast: If you are scheduled for an exam with contrast please arrive up to 1½ hours prior to your exam.
Where to park
Park in the P8, P8a or P8c parking lot and enter the hospital through Entrance 8.
What to wear
Wear comfortable clothing with no metal zippers, buttons or buckles.
What to bring
- Current list of medications.
- Current insurance information.
- A favorite magazine, book, or music with earphones to enjoy between appointments.
- If you are having a mammogram and have had prior images taken at a non-UnityPoint Health facility, please bring your most recent images with you. Please contact your doctor's office for help in obtaining the images.
What to expect when you arrive
When you arrive, check in at the registration desk near Entrance 8. Our staff will help you register for your appointment, verify your personal information, discuss your privacy rights and give you the opportunity to pay for the portion of your exam not covered by insurance. When you are finished with registration, our staff will direct you where to go for your examination. Wheelchairs and volunteers are available most of the day if you need assistance.
While you are here
We may ask your name and other questions repeatedly while you are here. Thanks in advance for being patient with our questions.
Due to the nature of the imaging process, no one is able to join patients in the room (with the exception of pregnancy ultrasounds where family members are allowed in the room). For all other procedures, if you are bringing a spouse, friend or children, we ask that they wait in the waiting room. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
Who will perform your exam
Board certified Radiologists and Registered Technologists will perform your exam and give you the highest quality care available.
After you leave
Our radiology physicians will review your images. Results will be communicated to the ordering provider within 24 hours of your exam.
For prior mammograms performed at non-UnityPoint Health facilities: providing your most recent images at the time of exam will ensure that today's results are completed in a timely manner. If no prior images are provided, delays in your current results will occur. Please contact your doctor's office for help in obtaining the images.