Advanced Imaging Services

...New Ways of Looking At Things

In the last two decades, the technological tools used to image parts of the body have revolutionized diagnostic imaging. Hays Imaging Center offers the latest technological advances along with standard imaging modalities - that are used for diagnostic, interventional and therapeutic purposes.

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. The new digital chest unit takes x-rays of the lungs and shows a variety of respiratory diseases including cancer, pneumonia, and emphysema, giving radiologists the ability to better see cancer at its earliest stages.
Fluoroscopy is another type of x-ray technology which is used to produce real-time images of internal body anatomy on a video screen, even while the movements are occurring. Images of diaphragm motion, swallowing coordination, and a barium-filled gastrointestinal tract can be recorded to be reviewed and evaluated at a later time.
Spiral Computed Tomography (CT)
Computed tomography is a highly advanced x-ray procedure which combines x-rays with computers to produce two-dimensional cross-section images of organs and other body parts. A CT scan is useful in evaluating thc brain, spine, chest, abdomen, and pelvis to determine the site, type and extent of disease or injury. CT can determine if internal bleeding is occurring, or visualize the size and extent of tumors. Spiral CT is the latest technology, particularly used during evaluation of cancer and trauma patients.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging produces two-dimensional visual images of internal structures in any plane using strong electromagnetic fields and powerful computers. In MRI, the patient is placed inside a powerful magnet that aligns the water molecules contained in the body tissues. A radio signal is directed to the body part being examined, temporarily disrupting this alignment. When thc radio signal stops, the water molecules return to alignment at different rates and emits signals that are received and processed at a computer, which converts the data to a series of images. MRI is currently the most sensitive, non-invasive way of imaging the nervous system and musculoskeletal structures.

MR Angiography is a special technique used to process MRI information of the blood vessels. This technique is a non-invasive alternative to catheter angiography.
Sono/Ultrasound produces images using high-frequency sound waves rather than x-rays. Sound waves are directed into the body from a transducer through the skin surface. When these sound waves come into contact with the internal structures, part of the sound energy is reflected back to the body surface, to the transducer where it is converted electronically into an image.

Since there is no x-ray involved, Sono/Ultrasound is commonly used during pregnancy to determine fetal position, age, and gross anatomy. It is also used to evaluate numerous other structures such as the gall bladder, spleen, liver, kidneys and thyroid.

Doppler Ultrasound detects blood flow in the veins and arteries and is used to evaluate and diagnose problems such as blood clots and atherosclerotic disease. These same techniques are used to evaluate thc heart at rest and for a stress echocardiogram.
Nuclear Medicine
Nuclear medicine involves the introduction of radioisotopes into the body, which emit gamma x-rays that are detected and processed to image organs, such as the heart, brain, liver, kidney, or gallbladder. Special cameras measure the intensity of the radiation released by the isotopes, permitting visualization of organs and assessment of organ functions, which cannot be accomplished with normal x-rays.

By combining nuclear imaging with exercise and pharmacological stress, the Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) test measures blood distribution to the cardiac heart muscle to evaluate previous myocardial infarction and atherosclerotic coronary artery disease.
Interventional Radiology/Special Procedures
Interventional Radiology/Special Procedures refers to a number of different procedures involving catheters, contrast media (dye), stents, drains, and needles placed through the skin surface into the body, without surgical intervention. These diagnostic and therapeutic techniques are often outpatient procedures and are generally less invasive than the corresponding surgical procedures.

  • Angiography. Catheters are placed within an artery or vein, via a needle inserted through the skin surface, using real-time fluoroscopic guidance. Contrast media is injected and multiple images of the opacified, dye-filled blood vessels are obtained for subsequent evaluation.
  • Balloon angioplasty and vascular stenting are interventional techniques designed to open blocked or narrowed arteries. Guided by fluoroscopy, a balloon-tipped catheter is inserted into the blocked or narrowed blood vessel. After a balloon is in place, it is inflated with sufficient pressure to open the vessel. A wire stent may be placed to help keep the blood vessel open.
  • Needle biopsy. Thin needles, or core biopsy devices, can be introduced through the skin to sample tissue from within the body, without the need for a surgical incision. CT, fluoroscopic or sono/ultrasound guidance permits the samples of the appropriate organ or mass to be obtained for subsequent evaluation by a pathologist. Some breast specimens are retrieved using a digital stereotactic biopsy device.
  • Stereotactic biopsy is a major advance in the diagnosis of breast cancer, which is now available at Hays Medical Center. Developed over the last 10 years, stereotactic biopsy is a procedure of computerized directed needle biopsy of the breast which provides tissue diagnosis of mammographic findings without surgery. Pathology results are available in two days.
  • Abscess Drainage. Abscesses can, in some cases, be drained without surgical incision, again using CT, fluoroscopic, or ultrasound guidance. A drain tube is left in place, open to the skin surface, while the abscess resolves.

Screening and diagnostic mammography, along with self-examination and a physician's breast exam, are powerful weapons for early detection of breast cancer when it is most apt to be curable.

Mammography is the x-ray examination of the breasts using special techniques to image breast tissues. The goal is to detect breast cancer in its early stages for early treatment. Mammography is accredited by the American College of Radiology and is certificd by the US Food and Drug Administration.
There are teleradiology send units located in approximately a dozen towns in Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado. The network was created by Hays Medical Center in conjunction with Radiology Associates of Hays. X-rays, CT scans, nuclear medicine scans and sono/ultrasound images are electronically transmitted to the Medical Center as digital signals over regular telephone lines.

These signals are then interpreted by radiologists. A member of the Radiology Associates of Hays is on-call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to relay the radiological interpretations back to the primary care physician to aid in patient care.