Whidbey General Hospital

Diagnostic Imaging

Whidbey General is proud to offer fully digital diagnostic imaging featuring nine different imaging modalities. Our team is committed to clinical excellence, with the expertise to offer a full, comprehensive range of radiology services to patients of all ages.

Using state-of-the-art imaging equipment and innovative treatment options, we deliver the highest quality patient care in a compassionate, caring environment, close to home.

To schedule a diagnostic imaging appointment, please call:

    • 360-678-7656, ext. 2301, 2316 or 2317 or
    • 360-321-7656, ext. 2301, 2316 or 2317

Call 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The all-digital diagnostic imaging at the main hospital campus in Coupeville includes:

 

Bone Density Scanning

HandsBone density scanning is a quick, painless exam that is used to measure bone loss.

Also called dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry or bone densitometry, bone density scanning is an enhanced form of X-ray technology that is today’s standard for measuring bone mineral density (BMD).

Bone density scanning is frequently used to diagnose osteoporosis, a condition often affecting women after menopause but which may also be found in men and occasionally, although rarely, in children. Osteoporosis involves structural changes and a gradual loss of calcium, causing bones to become thinner, more fragile and more likely to break.

Bone density scanning is also effective in tracking the effects of treatment for osteoporosis and other conditions that cause bone loss. Whidbey General uses a device that measures bone density in the hip, lower spine and at times, the forearm.

Routine evaluations every two years may be needed to see a significant change (increase or decrease) in BMD. Some individuals, such as patients on high dose steroid medication, may need follow-up at six months.

 

Breast MRI Scan and Biopsy

Breast MRIWhidbey General acquired a Breast MRI scan and biopsy system in 2013.

Breast MRI scanning is a 45-minute, noninvasive imaging technique that uses no compression, X-rays or radiation. Scans generate multiple, highly detailed digital images that a radiologist can examine on a computer.

Breast MRI is effective at finding invasive breast cancer, imaging around breast implants, detecting the possible spread of cancer beyond the primary tumor and providing information on a tumor’s response to treatment. Breast MRI scanning does not replace a mammogram, ultrasound or biopsy – it is used in addition to these other procedures.

Biopsy remains the best diagnostic tool to distinguish between benign and malignant areas. An MRI-guided breast biopsy costs less than a surgical biopsy, can be completed in less than an hour and has few complications.

 

Computed Tomography (CT)

Also known as Computed Axial Tomography (CAT), Computed Tomography (CT) uses X-ray and computers to produce three-dimensional images of the human body. Unlike traditional X-rays, which are used primarily for dense body parts such as bones, CT provides detailed views of the body’s soft tissues, including blood vessels, muscle tissue and organs such as the brain.

To make such exams as fast, safe and accurate as possible, Whidbey General installed a state-of-the-art CT system in late 2012. The new equipment provides faster exams at lower doses and with higher quality images than the previous technology.

 

Digital Mammography

A mammogram is an examination of the breast using low dose X-rays. Most experts agree that successful treatment of breast cancer is often linked to early detection. Mammography is considered the gold standard or most effective tool in the early detection of breast disease.

 

Screening Exams

Mammography sealWhidbey General Hospital is an American College of Radiology-accredited facility using full field digital mammography that allows the radiologist to manipulate the magnification, orientation, brightness and contrast of images.

Computer-aided detection (CAD) searches for areas of abnormal density, mass or calcifications in the breast. The CAD system highlights these areas on the images, alerting the radiologist to perform further analysis.

Screening mammography is also available at Whidbey General South and Whidbey General North.

 

Diagnostic Exams

MammographyDiagnostic exams evaluate a patient with abnormal clinical findings - such as a breast lump or pain - that have been found by the woman or her doctor. Diagnostic mammography may also be done after an abnormal screening mammogram in order to evaluate the area of concern on the screening exam.

 

Interventional Procedures

Stereotactic Biopsy

Lumps or abnormalities in the breast are often detected by physical examination, mammography or other imaging studies. However, these imaging tests do not always indicate whether a growth is benign or cancerous.

In stereotactic breast biopsy, a special mammography machine uses X-rays to help guide the radiologist’s instruments to the site of abnormal tissue. Image-guided needle biopsy is not designed to remove the entire lesion, but rather a representative sample of surrounding tissue. Stereotactic breast biopsy is also performed when the patient or physician strongly prefers a non-surgical method of assessing a breast abnormality.

Preoperative Wire Localization

When a lumpectomy or excisional biopsy is required, the surgeon needs a guide to be able to remove the lesion with a small amount of surrounding tissue.

On the day of surgery, a small wire is inserted through the lesion using mammographic or ultrasound guidance. The wire stays in the breast long enough to help the surgeon find and remove the lesion.

 

Echocardiography

Echocardiography use sound waves to evaluate the structure and function of the heart and associated vessels. Most studies are interpreted within 24 hours by a cardiologist at the Everett Clinic.

 

Whidbey General MRIMagnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses a very strong magnetic field to create images of organs and other parts of the body. MRIs sometimes reveal problems that go undetected in other tests. They can also provide different kinds of information than other procedures. Our MRI unit (pictured at right) is one of the latest models available.

 

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear MedicineWhidbey General provides accredited nuclear medicine services right here on Whidbey Island.

Nuclear medicine — sometimes referred to as molecular imaging — is the specialty that utilizes radiotracers and other medications to provide safe and effective diagnoses and facilitate appropriate therapy. Unlike other imaging techniques, nuclear medicine provides detailed information on how well an organ is functioning.

Our department maintains accreditation with American College of Radiology and is staffed by a licensed nuclear medicine technologist.

 

We provide these nuclear medicine procedures:

    • Bone Scans (cancer detection, joint prosthesis, stress fractures, inflammation and arthritis)
    • Myocardial Perfusion Scans (cardiac ischemia, coronary artery disease)
    • Gastric Emptying (stomach function and emptying rate)
    • Thyroid scans (thyroid disorders such as hyperthyroidism, nodules, function levels)
    • Lung Scans (pulmonary blood clots, COPD, pre-surgical evaluation)
    • Renal Scans (kidney function and excretion rate)
    • Gall Bladder, sometimes referred to as HIDA scans (various gall bladder disease states and physiologic dysfunction of the gall bladder)
    • Lymph Node Localization (breast cancer and melanoma staging)

Our Nuclear Medicine Department also acts as a liaison for advanced nuclear medicine exams referred to larger off-island nuclear medicine departments.

Whidbey General accepts nuclear medicine referrals from your local or off-island provider, and quite often provides next day appointments for your nuclear medicine examination.

 

Ultrasound

Ultrasound scans use sound waves to create images of internal organs. Warm gel is applied to the skin to acquire optimal images of specific organs of interest.

 

X-ray

X-ray uses ionizing radiation to make images of bones and internal organs. It is used to determine whether diseases, fractures or blockages are present in the body.

X-ray is is also available at Whidbey General South and Whidbey General North.

To schedule a diagnostic imaging appointment, please call:

    • 360-678-7656, ext. 2301, 2316 or 2317 or
    • 360-321-7656, ext. 2301, 2316 or 2317

Call 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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