The Department of Diagnostic Imaging (DI) has undergone major changes and additions over the past year. When it comes to screening and imaging, the most accurate care begins with a clear and confident diagnosis on the heels of DI. South County Health recently expanded its technology and some of the offerings found in the Outpatient Diagnostic Imaging Center at South County Hospital as well as at the Medical & Wellness Center in Westerly. To find out what’s new and exciting in South County diagnostic imaging, we spoke with Lenor Durand, manager of the department.
SCH: The system was able to expand its DI service offerings into Westerly in the past year. What imaging services are now available there?
Lenor Durand (LD): Our growth into Westerly this past year has been very successful. We have a digital x-ray department that can accommodate any doctor’s orders. If you visit our Express Care and require an x-ray, the technologists are ready and available to accommodate you.
In addition to x-ray, we have a full-service ultrasound department. Abdominal, pelvic and obstetrical studies are performed in addition to almost any other study, such as a thyroid or extremity in question of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Call our scheduling department at the Hospital at extension 1486 to book your appointment.
SCH: How does 3D mammography differ from previous breast screening technology and why is it more advanced?
LD: A woman’s chance of developing breast cancer in her lifetime is 1 in 8, proving the importance of having your screenings performed with the most advanced technology. Our Hologic mammography systems have proven to detect 41% more invasive breast cancers and reduce false positives reports by up to 40%.
We have the latest in mammography technology in all of our centers, including the Medical & Wellness Center in Westerly. This technology is called “tomosynthesis,” which is 3-dimensional mammography. The 3D part of the exam is procedurally very similar to the traditional 2D study. There is no additional compression and it takes only a few additional seconds to complete the 3D views. This technology provides a more detailed study of the breast tissue and helps the radiologist identify any abnormality or change in the breast much sooner than with older systems.
SCH: What is new in DI at SCH this year?
LD: A more advanced 1.5 MRI system was recently installed at the Hospital. The advantages of this new unit are immeasurable. Among the benefits:
- Faster scan time. A scan that used to take 45 minutes takes about 25 minutes on the new scanner.
- We can do many studies “feet first.” This will help people who feel confined and do not like tight, closed spaces.
- Breast MRI and biopsy capabilities are a tremendous addition in our Cancer Center.
- We can now provide prostate scans which we did not have the technology to do before.
- Patients with compatible, MRI conditional cardiac pacemakers can now have MRI exams when needed. Previously, no one with a pacemaker could have an MRI.
For more information on diagnostic imaging at South County Health, call 401 788-1486.