AMG IMAGING CENTER

In 2015 AMG is excited to add imaging capabilities to the myriad of endoscopic services we currently offer.

AMG Imaging center offers both CT SCANS and Ultrasound imaging. AMG Imgaing center in Kinston currently offers onlu Ultrasound Imaging

Abdominal Ultrasound

About Abdominal Ultrasound

An abdominal ultrasound is a non-invasive imaging test that uses sound waves to create images of organs within the abdomen. The test is performed by placing a handheld device, also called a transducer, onto the skin over the organ(s) of interest. The transducer sends and receives sound waves through the body, then converts the waves into images on a monitor. Normal and abnormal tissues and organs contain different acoustic properties which are recorded by the sound waves during an ultrasound. For example, an ultrasound would be able to show the presence of a gallstone or cyst, as well as the swelling of the liver. An abdominal ultrasound can be used to evaluate the gallbladder, liver, bile ducts, pancreas, spleen, and kidneys.

Frequently Asked Questions about Abdominal Ultrasound

Q. Why is an abdominal ultrasound used? 
A.  It depends on your symptoms. A gastroenterologist may order this test to determine the cause of abdominal pain, detect gallbladder or kidney stones, identify the cause of abnormal blood tests, or monitor tumors. Among many other reasons, your doctor may use an abdominal ultrasound to look for damage after an injury or the cause of a fever, fluid retention or swelling of an abdominal organ.

Q. Is there any preparation for this procedure? 
A. Usually patients are asked to not to eat or drink for 6 to 8 hours before the procedure; however, preparation for the procedure depends on your age and the nature of your examination. Your health care provider will advise you of your preparation instructions based on your specific needs.

Q. What should I expect during the ultrasound? 
A. Depending on which area is being examined, you may need to take off any jewelry or clothing that will interfere with the ultrasound images. You will be given a cloth or paper covering to wear during the test.

While lying down, a clear, water-based conducting gel is applied to the skin on your abdomen to help transmit the sound waves. The transducer is then pressed against your abdomen and moved back and forth over the organ(s) of interest. You will feel light pressure as it passes over your abdomen. Typically, an ultrasound is not uncomfortable, but if the test is being done to check for damage from a recent injury, the slight pressure of the transducer may be painful. You will not hear or feel the sound waves as they pass through your abdomen; however, a picture of the organs and blood vessels can be seen on a video monitor.

During the ultrasound, it is important that you remain very still. You may be asked to hold your breath for short periods of time during the examination in order to get the clearest images possible of your abdomen. You may be asked to change position so that different areas can be examined (for example, you may be asked to lie on your stomach for a kidney ultrasound). The procedure usually takes less than 30 minutes, but could take up to 60 minutes depending on why the procedure is being performed and which areas are being viewed.

Q. Are there any risks? 
A. There are no documented risks to having an ultrasound regardless of age or health.

Q. What happens if a mass is found? 
A. Using abdominal ultrasound, the physician can usually distinguish among a simple fluid-filled cyst, a solid tumor, or another type of mass that needs further evaluation. If a solid tumor is found, an abdominal ultrasound cannot determine whether it is cancerous or noncancerous, and a biopsy may be needed. In that case, an ultrasound may be used during the biopsy to help guide the placement of a needle. The biopsied specimen will then be sent to a pathology lab for testing.

Q. What happens if a mass is found? 
A. Using abdominal ultrasound, the physician can usually distinguish among a simple fluid-filled cyst, a solid tumor, or another type of mass that needs further evaluation. If a solid tumor is found, an abdominal ultrasound cannot determine whether it is cancerous or noncancerous, and a biopsy may be needed. In that case, an ultrasound may be used during the biopsy to help guide the placement of a needle. The biopsied specimen will then be sent to a pathology lab for testing.

Q. What is a Doppler ultrasound? 
A. A continuous sound wave commonly known as “Doppler” may be used during the ultrasound procedure to evaluate blood flow to and from the intestinal tract or other organs. It can help diagnose many conditions including blood clots, decreased blood circulation or blocked arteries. A mesenteric Doppler ultrasound looks for any narrowing of the three main arteries that carry blood to the intestinal tract. Similarly, a Doppler ultrasound of the liver determines if the veins to and from the liver are narrowed or obstructed. This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or procedure.

CT Scan

About CT Scan

A computed tomography scan, or CT scan, is a non-invasive, diagnostic procedure that uses a large, doughnut-shaped X-ray machine to create multiple, high-resolution cross-sectional pictures of the abdomen and pelvic areas and the thorax, the area between the head and abdomen. With the aid of a computer, the machine can combine these images to create three-dimensional views of internal organs and body structure.

Frequently Asked Questions about CT Scan

Q. Why is a CT scan used? 
A. CT scans are used to verify the presence or absence of tumors, infection, abnormal anatomy, or to examine changes in the body as a result of trauma. Gastroenterologists may order this scan to evaluate abdominal pain or to examine organs such as the stomach, small intestine, liver, pancreas, gall bladder, and colon. An abdominal CT scan also can be extremely helpful in the diagnosis of conditions like Crohn’s disease, appendicitis or colon cancer.

Q. Is there any preparation for this procedure? 
A. Yes. To prepare for a CT scan, patients are often asked to avoid food and adhere to a clear liquid diet for 6 hours prior to the scan. Your physician may also ask you to temporarily stop certain medications.

The exam is usually done with an oral contrast (barium is most common), which you drink a few hours before the procedure. Additionally, the procedure may require another type of contrast, such as iodine, which is given by injection at the time of the procedure.

Q.  What should I expect during an abdominal CT scan?
 A. The actual scan will take only a few minutes; however, plan on being at the scanning facility for two and a half hours due to the preparations before and observation time after the procedure. You will be asked to remove all metallic materials and certain articles of clothing that could interfere with the clarity of the images.

During the procedure, you are placed on a table that slips into the center of the large, doughnut-shaped X-ray machine. Once the procedure begins, you must remain very still while the images are taken. The technician will tell you when to hold your breath and when to exhale during the scan. This helps ensure the clearest images for your physician.

Q. What happens after the scan? 
A. Typically after a CT scan, you can resume your normal diet. If you received contrast material, you may be given special instructions. For example, you may be told to drink plenty of water in order to flush your kidneys.  After the images are reviewed by the radiologist and the reports are provided to your physician, you will be notified of the results.

Q. Are there risks in obtaining a CT scan? 
A. A CT scan is a very low-risk procedure.  Some people experience a feeling of warmth throughout their body or the urge to urinate after receiving intravenous contrast material. These are temporary reactions and go away once the scan is complete and the contrast material has passed through your system. If you experience hives, itchiness of the skin or a scratchy throat, notify the technician during the scan. Although rare, there is a risk of allergic reaction to contrast materials.

The amount of radiation a person receives during a CT scan is minimal and has not been shown to produce any adverse effects. However, if a woman is pregnant, the risk to the fetus is unknown. It is critical that female patients inform the staff of pregnancy and discuss alternative methods of imaging.

Toxicity to the kidney is an extremely rare complication of the intravenous contrast material. Patients who are dehydrated, have diabetes or already have impaired kidney function are most vulnerable to this reaction. However, by following pre- and post-procedure instructions, patients can typically avoid any adverse reactions.

Q. Why do I need a CT scan instead of a traditional X-ray? 
A. While traditional X-rays are an excellent method of identifying solid objects in the body, like bones and kidney stones, they cannot show physicians the detail and depth of soft tissue organs such as the stomach, intestines and liver.

Q. What is CT Angiography? 
A. CT angiography is a procedure that produces detailed images of major blood vessels throughout the body. CT angiography is sometimes used to diagnose and precisely locate acute gastrointestinal bleeding.

Q. What is CT Enterography? 
A. CT enterography is a procedure specifically used to generate images of the small and large intestines. CT enterography is used to detect the presence and extent of Crohn’s disease and/or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). If an abnormality is discovered, important information such as the type of abnormality, location and severity can be further evaluated.

This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or procedure.