Imaging

OCOM Imaging

OCOM Imaging is dedicated to providing the latest in imaging technology. OCOM Imaging installed the first General Electric 3.0 Tesla MRI in the state. The 3.0 Tesla MRI generates exceptional image quality and allows for shorter scan times. Everyone wins with the new 3.0 Tesla MRI, our radiologists rave about the robust images and patients are in the scanner for a shorter period of time. Add in OCOM Imaging’s 3 “gold standard” 1.5 Tesla high speed MRI scanners and you will have the most technologically advanced collection of MRI technology in the state. All of these scanners have increased patient openings to decrease claustrophobia and a higher table weight limit of 350 lbs. to accommodate a greater percentage of the population.  The quality of these scanners is unmatched in the Oklahoma City area.

OCOM Imaging also offers CT Scan at the 13301 N. Meridian and 230 SW 80th locations. The CT scanners are a multi-slice helical, which are at the leading edge of technology. In addition to CT and MRI, OCOM Imaging also offers X-Ray, Arthrography, and CT DEXA for bone densitometry.

OCOM Imaging is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR). The ACR has established rigid guidelines for the MRI scanners, technologists and radiologists. OCOM Imaging has met or exceeded all of the requirements set forth by the ACR.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive, painless way to look inside the body at your organs and other body tissues. MRI is the modality of choice for evaluating many different types of injuries and conditions due to its ability to tailor exams to the particular medical questions being asked.

A “CT” or “CAT” scan is used to describe a radiological test known as computed tomography. This test is an innovative way of looking at the inside of the body. The CT scanner is donut-like in shape. The images it produces are cross-sectional, much like slices of bread in a loaf. By taking a series of such images, a CT scan can create a multidimensional view of your body.

CT scans may be done with or without contrast. Contrast refers to a substance taken by mouth or injection into an intravenous (IV) line that causes organs and tissues under study to be highlighted. You may be required to fast for a certain period of time before the procedure. Your doctor will notify you of this prior to the procedure.

Radiology, also known as “x-ray”, is the oldest and most commonly used type of medical imaging. X-rays are created by a photon tube which emits ionizing radiation that is directed through a specific area of the body. The resultant radiation is captured on an imaging plate that is processed in a digital reader, producing a visual image on a monitor.

During a fluoroscopy exam, you may be asked to drink a liquid called barium; this liquid is harmless and blocks the radiation from reaching the imaging plate. Fluoroscopy is a “real-time” x-ray; the images look like a movie of your inner anatomy. This imaging technique is often used to look at the internal organs that play a part in swallowing and digestion, like the esophagus, stomach and colon.

Conventional arthrography is the x-ray examination of a joint that uses fluoroscopy and a contrast material that is injected into the specific area. Arthrographic images help physicians evaluate alterations in structure and function of a joint and help to determine the possible need for treatment, including surgery and in some cases joint replacement. The procedure is most often used to identify abnormalities within the shoulder, wrist, hip, knee and ankle.

A myelogram is a diagnostic imaging procedure that combines the use of a contrast substance with X-rays or CT to evaluate abnormalities of the spinal canal, including the spinal cord, nerve roots, and other tissues. This test uses a special contrast material that mixes with and highlights the spinal fluid for imaging. Myelograms are useful for those who cannot have MRIs, including patients with pacemakers, neural stimulators and cochlear implants.

Ultrasound is not a radiation producing modality. It uses a transducer and sound waves to produce a diagnostic image. We offer the complete spectrum of ultrasound procedures: General, OB and Vascular. We do not perform cardiac ultrasounds (Echocardiograms) which require additional specialized equipment.

Technology which provides economical storage of and convenient access to, images. This eliminates the need to manually file, retrieve, or transport film jackets. Combined with “web” based viewing technology PACS has the ability to deliver timely and efficient access to images, interpretations, and related data to all of our referring physicians. PACS breaks down the physical and time barriers associated with traditional film-based image retrieval, distribution, and display.

Types of Exams

What happens during a CT Scan?

When it’s time for your scan, you may be asked to change into an exam gown. Clothing with snaps and zippers may interfere with the scan. For abdomen CT scans, you may be told not to eat or drink for four hours before the exam. During the scan, you’ll lie on a padded table that is connected to the CT scanner. The table will move a short distance every few seconds to position you in the scanner. The machine will not touch you and the scan should be painless. It’s very important that you lie completely still during the scan.

Sometimes, a contrast material (X-ray dye) is used to outline blood vessels or organs to make them easier to see. If you receive a contrast medium through an IV, it will be given at this time. You may feel a brief flush or a metallic taste in your mouth from the contrast. This should pass.

Before the scan, it’s important that you let us know if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to X-ray dye or if you’re allergic to iodine.

Should you have any discomfort during the test or after the injection, inform the technologist. The average time for any CT exam is 15-20 minutes.

 

How Do I Prepare for the CT Scan?

Depending on the type of study being done, you may be asked to drink contrast material. CT scans without contrast usually do not require special preparation. If your referring physician needs to order an abdominal CT scan with an oral (by mouth) contrast, you may be asked to arrive an hour before your scan so you have enough time to drink the contrast before the CT is performed.

Usually, you can take any medicines you might need with a small sip of water during these four hours. Your physician will give you any special instructions that you may need before your scan. Be sure to follow the instructions or ask questions if you do not fully understand.

It’s important that you notify us if you are, or think you might be, pregnant.

If you’re diabetic, please let us know if you are taking Glucophage, Gloucovancel or Metformin. If so, the staff will ask you to stop taking your medication 48 hours after the CT.

 

What happens after the CT Scan?

A radiologist reads your CT scan, and the results are reported directly back to your physician. Your insurance is filed for the scan. You’re responsible for any co pays, co insurance or deductibles that have not been met. Co pays, coinsurance and the deductibles are due at the time of service.

What happens during an MRI?

During the MRI, you’ll lie on a padded table. The table then moves into the MRI machine. During most MRI exams, you may hear loud thumping or knocking sounds while the machine is working. Headphones are available for your comfort during most exams. You’ll be able to speak with the technologist during the MRI by intercom. It’s very important that you lie as still as possible so the clearest picture can be obtained.

The MRI takes approximately 60 minutes depending on the area you are having scanned.

A contrast material may be used for some MRI studies. If contrast is needed, it will be injected by IV during the MRI.

Should you feel any discomfort from the contrast, please inform the technologist.

 

What do I need to do to get ready?

Since MRI uses a magnet, certain types of metal will interfere with the study. An MRI may not be performed if you have a pacemaker, metal clips in the brain (placed to stop bleeding), or cochlear implants in the ear. You will be asked several questions about past surgeries or injuries to ensure you can safely have the MRI exam. Please let the technologist know of any metal you have on, or in, your body.

If you’re pregnant, or think you might be pregnant, call us prior to your appointment.

If you have documentation or an implant identification card, please bring this information with you. The technologist will research the implant(s) to check for safety and compatibility before you enter the magnet room.

Before entering the MRI room, please remove glasses, pens and pencils, hearing aids, hair accessories, dentures and partial plates, infusion insulin pumps, jewelry, TENS units, coins, credit cards and bank cards, wallets and purses, keys, pocket knives, pagers, phones and safety pins. Women may be asked to remove makeup for certain types of MRI exams.

We recommend that you wear comfortable, athletic-style clothing without metal snaps or zippers for the MRI. You may need to wear an exam gown during the study because snaps, zippers, hooks, belt buckles and any other metal objects on your clothing affect the MRI. You may eat or drink before having your MRI. If you feel you may be claustrophobic, please arrange to have anti-anxiety medications ordered through your referring physician.

 

What happens after the MRI?

A radiologist reads your MRI, and the results are reported directly back to your physician. Your insurance is filed for the MRI. You’re responsible for any copayments, coinsurance or deductibles that have not been met. Some insurance providers require a preauthorization process before your imaging appointment. Please check with your insurance provider before your appointment on copayments, coinsurance and the deductible amounts, as these are due at the time of service.

What happens during an arthrography exam?

In an arthrogram, contrast is injected into a joint under local anesthesia followed by imaging. The injection is typically performed using X-ray guidance. The arthrogram is commonly followed by high-field MRI (1.5 Tesla) or CT Imaging. This is called an MR arthrogram or a CT arthrogram.

In patients with known severe or life-threatening iodinated contrast allergy, steroid premedication is advised. Although contrast is injected into the joint rather than intravenous, there is some absorption of intra-articular contrast into the bloodstream.

 

How do I prepare for an arthrography?

No special preparation is usually necessary before arthrography. Food and fluid do not need to be restricted. You should inform your physician of any medications you are taking and if you have any allergies, especially to barium or iodinated contrast materials. Also, inform your physician about recent illnesses or other medical conditions.

What to Expect

Your physician will inject the special dye into your spinal sac via a spinal tap. You will lie on a tilting table, and as the table tilts, dye will outline your spinal sac. Then multiple X-rays are taken to show the physician the flow of the dye, helping to determine if there are any unusual indentations.

 

Common Uses

Myelograms are helpful in determining if there is pressure on the spinal nerves. The dye that is injected shows the bones and spinal fluid. If there is something pushing into the nerves, the dye would show an indentation or mark in the spinal sac. Pressure could be caused by a herniated or bulging disc, lesions, tumors or injury to the spinal nerve roots. A myelogram is also performed to determine the cause of arm or leg numbness, weakness or pain.

 

Risks

Since this scan requires a spinal tap, there are more risks than other imaging tests. Risks include headache, allergic reactions to the dye, meningitis (infection of the spinal fluid) and exposure to radiation.

Oklahoma Center for Orthopaedic and Multispecialty Surgery offers comprehensive individualized treatments using the latest in modern technology, combining state-of-the-art treatment with exceptional care.

For more information on our Imaging department, you can call or email us.

Our mission is to treat each patient and their family as if they were our own. Each patient, each family, each and every time.

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