Imaging Services

Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) Imaging Services combines an exceptional team –radiologists, radiologic technologists and registered nurses – with an extensive menu of advanced imaging technologies. Armed with sophisticated technology, our Imaging Services team strives to provide patients of all ages:

  • A safe and complete examination
  • Precise and accurate information
  • A comfortable and caring environment

YRMC performs more than 120,000 diagnostic imaging procedures each year at YRMC East and YRMC West. Our imaging procedures include:

    Our excellent interventional radiology team uses diagnostic angiography to detect abnormalities or blockages in the blood vessels. These interventional radiologists study blood vessels by:
    • Guiding a tube through an artery or vein
    • Injecting a special dye
    • Gathering images of the blood vessels in order to make a diagnosis

     

    Angioplasty helps improve blood flow in the body’s arteries and veins. Our interventional radiologists use imaging techniques to guide a catheter – a thin plastic tube – into an artery or vein in order to open the blocked vessel. During angioplasty, a small wire mesh tube called a stent may be permanently placed in the newly opened artery or vein to help it stay open.

     

    During these kinds of biopsies, radiologists collect tissue from a specific area of the body – breast, lungs, liver, thyroid – for pathological evaluation. The patient rests in the CT-scanner and the images it produces helps the physician determine the exact position within the targeted tissue.

     

    Computed tomography (CT scan) is a type of x-ray that produces cross-sectional images that provide your physician detailed images to help with diagnosis. The images generated during a CT scan can be reformatted in multiple planes and three-dimensional images. CT images of internal organs, bones, soft tissue and blood vessels can provide greater detail than traditional x-rays.

     

    CT angiography combines a computerized tomography (CT) scan with an injection of contrast material (a special dye) to create images of blood vessels and tissues. The contrast material is injected through an intravenous (IV) line started in the arm or hand. While the contrast material flows through the blood vessels to the various organs, a CT scan is performed. A special computer is used to process and view the images in different planes and projections. CT angiography can help your physician diagnosis a range of conditions including aneurysms, blood clots, injuries and more.

     

    Fluoroscopy permits physicians to exam either the large bowel or the upper gastrointestinal tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach and the first small portion of the bowel or intestine. A fluoroscope is an x-ray unit combined with a television screen that allows a radiologist to observe the flow of a compound called liquid barium through the part of the body being examined.

     

    To learn more about important interventional heart studies performed by YRMC interventional radiologists, visit The James Family Heart Center.

     

    Interventional radiology procedures are minimally invasive. They’re used to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions such as arterial blockages, tumors and blood clots. Radiologists use small instruments, imaging technology and computers to perform these procedures. Interventional radiology procedures help prevent some surgical procedures and allow quick recovery for patients.

     

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic technique that uses a magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to generate detailed and cross-sectional images of the body. Because it produces better soft-tissue images than x-rays, MRI is most commonly used to create sharp images of the brain, spine, thorax, vascular system and musculoskeletal system (areas like the knee and the shoulder). MRI is safe and noninvasive and produces no x-ray radiation, although it is not typically recommended for pregnant women.

     

    Digital mammography uses solid-state detectors – much like those in digital cameras – to convert x-rays into an electronic image of the breast that can be seen on a computer screen. More information about breast health and breast care is available at our BreastCare Center.

     

    This exam is used to determine if someone is swallowing safely and effectively as well as to observe the function or structure of the esophagus to the stomach. While the patient swallows barium liquids and food, the radiologist uses a video x-ray called fluoroscopy to view the process real-time and to take images.

     

    During this diagnostic procedure, a radiologist uses contrast and fluoroscopy to detect problems in the spinal canal, including the spinal cord, nerve roots, and other tissues. The contrast – injected into the spinal column before the procedure – allows the radiologist to produce more detailed images of the body than standard x-rays. Sometimes this procedure is combined with a CT scan to better visualize the spine and surrounding tissues.

     

    Nuclear medicine uses small amounts of radioactive material – called radiotracers – to diagnose illness and to determine the severity of an illness. After the radiotracer is injected into a patient, it accumulates in the organ or part of the body that is being examined. A special camera detects radioactive emissions and then takes images of the area. These pictures provide information that physicians use to make a diagnosis.

     

    Positron emission tomography (PET) scan is a nuclear medicine imaging exam that helps doctors evaluate how well organs and tissues are functioning. Depending on the type of nuclear medicine exam, a small amount of radioactive material – called a radiopharmaceutical – is injected into the body. The radiopharmaceutical eventually accumulates in the part of the body that is being examined. An imaging device detects the emissions from the radiopharmaceutical and produces pictures as well as provides other information. PET scans can detect cancer, determine blood flow to the heart, and evaluate brain abnormalities.

     

    Ultrasound imaging uses sound waves – not radiation – to produce images of the body’s organs, vessels and tissues. During an ultrasound exam, inaudible sound waves create “echoes” as they bounce off organs and tissue. These echoes are then converted into an image on a computer screen. Ultrasound may be used to:
    • Evaluate blood flow
    • Detect cysts in the breasts
    • Search for gallstones
    • Assess the health of unborn babies
    • Examine the prostate, uterus, liver, kidneys, pancreas and bladder

     

    Ultrasound-guided biopsies are used to extract fluid, cells or tissue from many areas of the body, including the breast, liver and thyroid. A small amount of gel is placed on the patient’s skin. The radiologist then uses a hand-held device (transducer) that allows sound waves to travel between the body and the transducer. This produces images on a screen that the radiologist views to detect the specific area to be biopsied.

     

    Vascular ultrasound tests are non-invasive, safe and painless procedures that do not use radiation to locate blocked vessels and other conditions. During a vascular ultrasound a radiologic technologist places ultrasound gel directly on the skin. A small transducer transmits sound waves into the body. The transducer collects the sounds as it bounces back and a computer uses those sound waves to create images.

     

    Some children have an abnormality called VU reflux which causes urine in the valve or ureter to flow backwards. These children may need a bladder and lower urinary tract exam called voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG). Fluoroscopy and a small amount of contrast material are used to produce images of the urinary system, allowing the radiologist to see the child’s bladder and lower urinary tract as it functions and then to make a diagnosis.

    YRMC’s Imaging Services team understands that you will have questions about any medical exam your child needs to undergo. Our team is available to explain the procedure your physician has recommended for your child. Please visit Resources or FAQs for more information.

     

    X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used medical imaging procedure. X-rays help physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. X-rays expose a part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body.