Clearly Focused on Your Care
When you're hurt or sick, UnityPoint Health-Pekin has a huge selection of advanced medical imaging services readily available to help speed your diagnosis and treatment - and they're always accessible, because we know emergencies often don't follow a clock. From technology to see structures inside your body to technology that guides doctors in tests and treatments, the most advanced diagnostic imaging is right here in Pekin.
In fact, we're Tazewell County's only full-service provider of diagnostic imaging services, offering
- Screening & Diagnostic Mammography and CAD
- LightSpeed® Computed Tomography (CT)
- Angiography and Interventional Services
- Diagnostic X-ray and Fluoroscopy
- Osteoporosis Testing
And more radiology services.
What is radiology?
Radiology is an area of medicine that treats and diagnoses diseases using imaging technology. Doctors use diagnostic radiology to see structures inside your body (examples include x-rays, MRI, mammograms, nuclear medicine, CT, and ultrasound). Interventional radiology helps guide them in diagnoses and treatments that require inserting catheters or wires (such as angiograms).
What are X-rays used for?
X-ray machines produce images of internal structures on film, TV or a computer monitor. Plain radiography (X-rays) is performed for broken bones and pneumonia; barium studies look for obstructions. The x-ray tech will ask you to stay still to prevent blurry images. X-rays are painless.
How does an MRI provide images?
MRI uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to provide clear and detailed pictures of internal organs and tissues. UnityPoint Health-Pekin provides MRI services at 1300 Park Avenue, located across the street from our hospital.
How should I prepare for an MRI?
Because the strong magnetic field used for MRI will pull on any ferromagnetic metal object implanted in the body, we will ask whether you have a prosthetic hip, an aneurysm clip in the brain, heart pacemaker (or artificial heart valve), implanted port (brand names Port-o-cath, Infusaport, Lifeport), intrauterine device (IUD), or any metal plates, pins, screws or surgical staples in your body. In most cases, surgical staples, plates, pins and screws pose no risk during MRI if they have been in place for more than four to six weeks.
Tooth fillings usually are not affected by the magnetic field, but they may distort images of the facial area or brain, so the radiologist should be aware of them. The same is true of braces, which may make it hard to "tune" the MRI unit to your body. You will be asked to remove anything that might degrade MR images of the head, including hairpins, jewelry, eyeglasses, hearing aids and any removable dental work.
The radiology technologist may ask if you have any drug allergies and whether you have undergone any surgery in the past. If you are or might be pregnant, mention it to the MRI technologist. MRI is generally avoided in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
What will I experience during MRI?
Some patients who undergo MRI in an enclosed unit may feel confined or claustrophobic, though the more open construction of newer MRI systems has done much to reduce that reaction. If you are not easily reassured, a sedative may be administered. Roughly one in 20 patients requires medication.
What is ultrasound?
Ultrasound scanning, or sonography, is a method of obtaining images from inside the human body through the use of high-frequency sound waves. The sound waves are recorded and displayed as real-time images. Ultrasound does not use ionizing radiation.
Common uses of ultrasound include:
- Guiding procedures such as needle biopsies and aspirations, in which a needle is used to sample tissue for laboratory testing
- Doppler Ultrasound to study major blood vessels for clots or plaque
What is an angiogram?
An angiogram is an X-ray procedure that visualizes arteries to help look for cardiovascular disease or other heart problems. Blockages or narrowing of blood vessels can affect any organ within the body. When an angiogram pinpoints this kind of problem, such as heart disease, your physician can choose the most appropriate method of treatment.
Your angiogram may be performed by a radiologist or a cardiologist, depending on the area of the body to be examined. For example, the radiologist would examine arteries of the legs, kidneys, and brain. The cardiologist would examine the arteries of the heart.
At UnityPoint Health-Pekin, all angiography is performed in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory (CCL). The nurses and radiologic technologists are Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certified, and advanced digital imaging is utilized for all procedures, including:
- Coronary angiography
- Emergent temporary pacemaker insertion
- Permanent pacemaker insertion
- Carotid/cerebral angiography
- Lower and upper extremity angiography
- Renal and visceral angiography
- Pain Clinic
What is nuclear medicine?
Nuclear medicine tests give a picture of how certain organs function and help diagnose and determine the extent of certain diseases. In nuclear medicine, a radioactive compound travels through the patient's body, giving off gamma rays or invisible radiation. Special equipment detects the rays and records them to create images of a specific body part under investigation. A nuclear medicine physician interprets the results.
Nuclear medicine involves six widely used tests, including brain scans, thyroid uptakes and scans, lung scans, cardiac imaging, liver and gallbladder imaging and bone scans. The exposure to radiation during nuclear medicine tests is low, and tests are carefully controlled. For more information, call the Nuclear Medicine Department at (309) 353-0368.
For more information, call (309) 353-0410