Radiology

For more information, please call 304-526-2120

In the old days, the only reason to go to the Radiology Department was for an X-ray. Today, radiologists use a wide variety of equipment to produce images that help doctors understand the structures and systems of your body and how they are working. What's more, specially trained physicians now use these images to guide them as they perform procedures to improve your health. These procedures, which are often an alternative to surgery, may be performed to improve the functioning of your heart, lungs or brain, remove tumors, reduce some of the effects of a stroke and for other medical needs. There are even tests you can schedule on your own to help you monitor your heart and vascular health.

Your Visit to Radiology

Cabell Huntington Hospital's Radiology Department offers a complete range of modern radiology techniques to diagnose and treat illness and injury. The department is fully staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by an experienced, professional and caring staff that focuses on delivering quality care to our patients and quality service to physicians. Patients are treated with warmth, respect and compassion, and the results of any procedures are shared in a timely manner.

Here is some information to help you understand what your procedure will be like and help prepare for your visit to Radiology. Please write down any questions you may have and bring them to your appointment.

Computed Tomography Scan (CT)

A computerized tomography imaging, sometimes called a CAT scan or a CT scan, can help your physician diagnose a muscle or bone disorder; locate a tumor, infection or blood clot; or detect internal injuries and bleeding. In some cases, your doctor may even use a CT scan to guide procedures such as surgery, biopsy or radiation therapy. A CT scan uses special X-ray equipment to take pictures of the inside of your body from different angles. A computer then combines these pictures to form detailed, three-dimensional views of the area of your body being examined

What to expect during your test or treatment

Your technologist will take you to a special room where the pictures will be taken.

For most types of CT scans, you will be given a special dye, called a contrast material, so that the area of your body being examined will show up clearly in the pictures. In most cases, an IV needle will be placed in a vein in your arm, where this contrast material will be injected.

You may be given an oral contrast material to drink to show your upper digestive tract. This may take up to 60 minutes or longer, depending on the body part being scanned. For certain types of CT scans, you will be given the contrast material by enema.

You may briefly feel a warm sensation as the contrast material begins to circulate into your body.

You will lie on a special scanning table with your arms by your side or over your head. Lying very still during your test is extremely important because movement can make the pictures look blurry and unclear.

The table is attached to a large donut-shaped scanner, and the table will move inside this scanner where the pictures will be taken.

Your technologist will operate the scanning machine from another room and will talk to you through an intercom system.

The test itself only lasts about 15 minutes, but you will need to stay for a brief time afterward so your technologist can be sure the pictures are clear. If not, the pictures may be repeated.

Fluoroscopy

Fluoroscopy uses a continuous low-intensity X-ray beam to produce moving pictures of the part of your body being examined. These pictures show up on a video screen, much like a live X-ray movie. For example, fluoroscopy can show your doctor how blood is flowing through your arteries or the way food is traveling through your digestive system. Sometimes, fluoroscopy is used to help position a catheter or needle for a procedure, assist in realigning a broken bone, evaluate the urinary tract or study the way joints move.

What to expect during your test or treatment

Your technologist will take you to a special room where the pictures will be taken, and you will be asked to change into a hospital gown.

Your technologist will position you as comfortably as possible on the X-ray table. You may be standing for some exams.

You may be given an oral contrast material called barium to drink during your test. In some cases, this contrast is administered rectally, depending on the test ordered.

An IV needle may be inserted into a vein in your arm. A special dye, called a contrast material, may be injected into the IV needle so that the area being examined can be seen in greater detail. You may briefly feel a warm sensation as the contrast material begins to circulate into your body.

A special X-ray scanner will be used to produce moving pictures of the area being examined by sending a low beam X-ray through your body to a fluorescent plate on the other side.

If you find it uncomfortable to lie still during the test, please let us know if there is anything we can do to make you more comfortable.

Interventional Radiology

There are many minimally invasive treatments that may be an option to invasive surgery and can be performed on an outpatient basis, generally with less trauma and quicker recovery. Interventional radiologists use their expertise in reading X-rays, ultrasounds and other medical images to guide small instruments such as catheter tubes measuring just a few millimeters in diameter through blood vessels or other pathways to treat disease. These procedures typically are much less invasive and cost less than traditional surgery. 

What to expect during your test or treatment

Your nurse or technologist will walk you to a special room called the hold area to get you ready for your exam, and escort your family to the interventional waiting area.

Your nurse will help you prepare for your procedure, which may include changing to a hospital gown, having any additional tests (such as an EKG, X-rays or Lab work), starting an IV and/or reviewing your medical history.

The physician performing your procedure is an interventional radiologist. The physician or a physician’s assistant will come in to explain the procedure, address any questions or concerns that you or your family may have and finalize the consent forms for your procedure.

During your procedure, your family will remain in the interventional radiology waiting room and will be updated of any delays or progress.

After your procedure, the physician or the PA will talk to you and your family about the procedure you had.

Once you have recovered, you will be discharged with your family and given any discharge instructions you may need.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

An MRI scanner uses magnetism and radio waves to produce remarkably clear pictures of the inside of your head, spine or other body parts. An MRI uses a strong magnet equipped with a radio transmitter and receiver. These instruments produce soft-tissue images, which are used by radiologists to distinguish normal, healthy soft tissue from diseased tissue.

What to expect during your test or treatment

You will be asked to change into hospital scrubs and take off all metal items and place them in a locker. Please keep the key with you at all times.

Your technologist will go over a safety screening prior to your scan.

Your technologist will take you to a special room where the pictures will be taken.

Depending on which parts of your body are being examined, an IV needle may be inserted into your arm where you will be

given a special dye or contrast material to give you doctor more information about the body part being scanned.

You may briefly feel a cool sensation as the contrast material begins to circulate into your body.

The large magnet that takes the pictures during the test is inside a special machine. You will be comfortably positioned on a padded table that slides in and out of a hole. Depending on which part of your body is being examined, you may enter the magnet head first or feet first.

You will be given some earplugs to wear because you’ll hear a loud knocking sound during the MRI. This sound means the pictures are being taken.

If you are claustrophobic, you may be given an oral medication that has been ordered by your physician. You will need your prescription filled in your pharmacy prior to your appointment. The MRI technologists are not able to administer any type of medication.

At all times during the test, you and your technologist will be able to talk to one another through an intercom system.

It is important that you stay very still while the MRI technologist is taking the pictures because movement can make the images look blurry and unclear.

Nuclear Imaging

Nuclear imaging allows your doctor to see pictures of your organs to determine how well they are functioning and to detect conditions such as tumors, infections, bone fractures, arthritis and blood flow problems. You are given a special agent or medication, called a radioactive material, either by mouth or through a vein. As the radioactive material collects in the organ or body part being studied, a camera detects the material and produces detailed pictures of that area. The type of material used and the time it takes for the imaging to be completed can vary widely, depending on which parts of your body are being tested. Any instructions prior to procedure or after being given the radioactive material will be explained by the technologist.

What to expect during your test or treatment

Your technologist will take you to a special room where the pictures will be taken, and you may be asked to change into a hospital gown.

You will lie on a table and be positioned under a large camera.

An IV needle will be inserted into a vein in your arm, where a radiopharmaceutical will be injected. However, in some cases, you may be given the material by mouth instead, mixed with food or liquid.

Depending on which type of test you are receiving, the imaging may be done immediately, a few hours later, or even days after you receive the material. Your technologist will let you know if the pictures will be taken immediately or if you need to return at a later time. Some procedures require images done in several days’ succession.

It is important that you lie very still while the camera is working because movement can make the pictures look blurry and unclear.

Once the pictures are taken, your IV needle will be removed and you will be free to leave, unless directed otherwise by your doctor.

The time required to take the pictures can range from 20 minutes to two hours, depending upon the type of scan.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound is a safe, noninvasive and usually painless procedure that uses sound waves instead of radiation to view the body’s internal organs. A warm gel is applied to the skin above the organs to be studied. They are displayed on a nearby screen that looks like a computer monitor.

What to expect during your test or treatment

Your technologist will take you to a special room where the pictures will be taken, and you may be asked to change into a hospital gown.

Your technologist will position you on a padded table.

The technologist will then put a cool gel on the area of your body that will be examined.

A small, hand-held rolling device called a transducer will be placed on the areas of your skin where the gel has been applied. The transducer changes the sound waves into moving pictures that show up on the TV screen.

You should not feel any discomfort during your ultrasound. When the test is over, the gel will be wiped off.

Your ultrasound may take as little as 30 minutes or as long as two hours, depending on the organs being examined.

X-Ray

Digital X-ray services for the chest, abdomen, spine and extremities (legs and arms) provide greater detail and less radiation exposure for patients than standard film X-rays. No appointment is necessary; just bring the doctor’s written order for the necessary test and your insurance card. Fluoroscopy services used for specialized exams such as MRI arthrograms and pain injections of the hip and back also are available at Cabell Huntington Hospital, however, fluoroscopy and other special procedure require scheduled appointment times.

What to expect during your test or treatment

Your technologist will take you to a special room where your X-ray will be taken.

You may be asked to change into a gown and to remove jewelry, eyeglasses and any other metal objects that could show up in the picture.

Before taking the picture, your technologist may cover certain areas of your body with a lead apron to keep them from being exposed to the X-rays.

The technologist will either place you on an examination table or ask you to stand upright in a certain position, possibly using a pillow, sandbag or other device to help you hold the proper position.

The technologist will place a film holder next to the area of your body to be imaged.

You will be asked to remain very still and hold your breath for a few seconds while the picture is taken. This process might be repeated several times.

  • Last updated: 10/31/2013
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If You Need to Call Radiology

Main Number: 304-526-2120

Radiology: 304-526-2122

Fluoroscopy: 304-526-2181

CT: 304-526-2127

Ultrasound: 304-526-2131

Nuclear Medicine: 304-526-2129

Interventional Radiology: 304-526-2230

MRI: 304-399-6700

Scheduling: 304-526-2125