Radiology

Our highly-trained, professional team of experts provide MRI, Ultrasound, CT Scans, Mammograms, Nuclear Medicine services and more. Whether your imaging need is routine or emergent, our low dose radiology technology is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

THE GOLD STANDARD IN CARE

Nationally Recognized & Award-Winning Services

ACR Accreditation_Mammography
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3D Mammography. At Mahaska Health, we offer state of the art breast imaging technology which produces three dimensional, clearer views that can lead to enhanced early detection. Medical imaging is vital to better health and preventive care and getting a mammogram is the first line of defense against breast cancer.

3D mammograms are covered by medicare, medicaid and many private insurers.

The Gold Standard in Care. Our Imaging Department is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR).  Among patients and physicians alike, ACR accreditation is recognized as the gold standard in medical imaging. We offer 3D mammography, Breast Ultrasound, Stereotactic Breast Biopsy and Ultrasound guided breast biopsy, all conveniently located right here, close to home.

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Our accomplished technologists and expert radiologists are dedicated to delivering the highest level of care. Our specialized expertise, advanced equipment and team-based approach to care allow us to perform radiology services faster and with greater accuracy.

Please call us with any questions, we would love to hear from you!

Monday – Friday 7:30am to 5:00pm 641.672.3322

Certifications:

Our team of radiographers hold national certifications and licenses from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists and the State of Iowa via the Iowa Department of Public Health. In addition, our Radiologic Technologists have pursued advanced national licensure in specific modalities including:

  • American Registry of Radiologic Technologists in Mammography
  • American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography
    • (AB) General Ultrasound
    • (RB) Registered Vascular Technologist
  • American Registry of Radiologic Technologists in Computed Tomography
  • American Registry of Radiologic Technologists in Magnetic Resonance Imaging
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Back row L-R: Heidi Bunnell, Amber Bates, Barb Sandegren, Jill Huddleston, Julie Hartke

Front row L-R: Nicole Walker, Haley Bacon, Sarah Flahive, Andrea Strachan

Imaging Services and Tips for Tests:

For your information and comfort, we have compiled a list of our most common tests performed by Radiology Services so you may better prepare for your appointment:

Radiology Services

Your examination will be taken in either an upright manner or with you lying down. Some examinations require the technologist to take several images and you may be re-positioned for additional views.

Tips and Instructions

For fluoroscopy exams, you will be instructed to not eat or drink the night before. We generally schedule exams such as UGI, barium enemas and esophagus studies in the morning for this reason. During the exam, the Radiologist will use “live” X-ray to view your anatomy, and then save the images. You may be asked to drink an oral contrast beverage, depending upon the exam. You will be given complete instructions for your exam at the time of scheduling.

An ultrasound produces images of internal structures, such as organs and blood vessels, that can be viewed on a computer screen in real time. It is used to detect tumors in the body, possible blockages in blood flow, certain heart conditions, to guide needles during biopsy, as well as to detect other conditions, such as swelling and infection.

Tips and Instructions

  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes
  • Remove any jewelry including piercings
  • There may be special instructions such as not eating or drinking prior to your exam. Your healthcare provider will give you those instructions when your exam is scheduled

What to expect
The technologist will help position you on the examination table. A gel will be applied to the area being scanned to help a wand to glide easily over the skin. The technologist will then move the wand over the area of interest, while images of the internal structures are viewed on a computer screen.

Ultrasound exams typically last between 20-30 minutes. If a biopsy is performed, it may take a little longer. Ultrasounds are usually painless; however, sometimes discomfort can occur from the pressure being applied to the area. Once the ultrasound is completed, the gel is wiped off and you can return to normal activity.

Photo printout and CD of photos are available for some scans.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a type of scan that uses a large, powerful magnet, radio waves and a computer to provide detailed images of various internal structures, such as bones, organs, blood vessels and other soft tissues.

Every effort is made by staff to make our patients as comfortable as possible during their exam. Music of the patient’s choice is provided through headphones using an iPad and music app. If you require special assistance for your exam, please feel free to call us at 641.672.3322 so special arrangements can be made.

Preparing for an MRI
Your healthcare provider will give you a list of instructions to follow for your particular exam type. Contact your healthcare provider or the Mahaska Health Radiology Department if you have any questions.

Clothing and Other Accessories
Depending on the type of scan you are having, you may be asked to change into a gown. In some cases, you may be able to wear your regular clothing, so you’re encouraged to wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes that do not have any metal fastenings, such as snaps, zippers or hooks.

You cannot enter the MRI unit with any metal or electronic items. Some of these items include:

  • Jewelry (including body piercings) and watches
  • Hair accessories with metal pieces, such as hairpins and barrettes
  • Clothing and undergarments with metal fastenings, belt buckles
  • Removable dental work
  • Hearing aids
  • Credit cards, pens, loose change

You will be asked to complete a safety screening form and answer questions pertaining to your medical history to make sure it is safe for you to enter the MRI suite.

Computed-tomography (CT) scan is a special type of X-ray that provides a more detailed view of organs, blood vessels, bones and soft tissue than regular X-rays. Mahaska Health’s CT scanner uses the lowest possible radiation dose to provide the most detailed scans. In addition, the system is much faster, allowing us to capture images from a larger area in a shorter amount of time; usually only requiring a seven second breath hold.

Preparing for a CT
Your healthcare provider will give you a list of instructions to follow for your particular exam type. If you are having a scan of the abdominal or pelvic area, you might be asked to drink a contrast beverage the night before and 1 to 2 hours prior to the exam. The oral contrast has a vanilla flavor, and most patients do not find it unpleasant.

You may have to arrive before your scan to have blood drawn to check the functioning of your kidneys. Well functioning kidneys are necessary to help filter and excrete the IV contrast that may be used in your exam.

Clothing
Depending on the type of scan you are having, you may be asked to change into a gown. In some cases, you may be able to wear your regular clothing, so we encourage you to wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes that have no metal.

Scanning
A technologist will position you on the examination table. Once in position, you will be moved through a doughnut shaped ring, which is the scanner. Patients can expect the entire CT process to take from 30 to 90 minutes.

Occasionally, patients may experience an allergic reaction to the contrast. Let the technologist know in advance if you have any known allergies to iodine, or if you experience any itching, rash, hives or difficulties with breathing or swallowing during the scan. Also inform the technologist if you have kidney problems, any diabetes medications you are taking, and if you are pregnant or think you may be before any contrast is administered.

After the scan, you can return to your normal activities and routine diet right away.

3D Mammography. At Mahaska Health, we offer state of the art breast imaging technology which produces three dimensional, clearer views that can lead to enhanced early detection. Medical imaging is vital to better health and preventive care and getting a mammogram is the first line of defense against breast cancer.

A mammogram is an x-ray exam of the breast used to detect and evaluate breast changes. Images are immediately displayed so the technologist can determine the best image. These images are then added to a patient’s electronic health record. In addition to viewing the current image, the Radiologist can compare prior images to detect very subtle changes in the breast.

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

Our new Siemens Mammomat Inspiration Digital Mammography System provides enhanced image quality, increased comfort for patients and computer assisted diagnosis (CAD). The new system features automated compression that adjusts for each patient and can capture images faster so compression time is reduced.

The Gold Standard in Care. Our Imaging Department has been awarded the gold seal of mammography by the American College of Radiology (ACR).  Among patients and physicians alike, ACR accreditation is recognized as the gold standard in medical imaging. We offer 3D mammography, Breast Ultrasound, Breast MRI, Stereotactic Breast Biopsy and Ultrasound guided breast biopsy, all conveniently located right here, close to home.

Nuclear medicine uses isotopes and relies on the process of radioactive decay in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. In nuclear medicine imaging, radiopharmaceuticals are injected through IV or ingested orally. Then, cameras capture and form images from the radiation emitted by the radiopharmaceuticals.

This kind of imaging is useful to look at certain diseases and anatomy such as gallbladders, stress fractures and different cancers. Your doctor may order this in conjunction with CT, MRI or ultrasound exams.

Preparing for your exam
These scans are offered at Mahaska Health every Thursday. We will notify patients on Wednesday of their appointment time and will share any special instructions. If you need to cancel, please call Radiology at 641.672.3322 before 9 pm on Wednesday. This will allow us to cancel the order for the isotope that is prepared the day ahead and prevent a patient billing for this pharmaceutical.

Financial Assistance for Mammogram 

(download form .pdf)

Location:

Radiology is best accessed by entering through the Main Registration Lobby, entrance #1, located off of C Avenue East under the large teal canopy. As you approach campus, you will see a large purple sign marked Entrance #1.