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Diagnostic Imaging


BID Plymouth Diagnostic Imaging Program

Main Office
275 Sandwich Street
Plymouth, MA 02360
508-830-2120

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Satellite Office
45 Resnik Road, First Floor
Plymouth, MA 02360
508-747-1445

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About Our Diagnostic Imaging Services

BID Plymouth's Diagnostic Imaging Department offers many options from traditional x-rays to high-resolution ultrasounds to sophisticated Positron Emission Technology, known as PET scans. Two CT machines and two MRI machines are located at the hospital. In addition, a special MRI machine for extremities is located in Duxbury.

Our department is available for patients Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. All Diagnostic Imaging procedures, with the exception of routine screening mammography, require a written order from a physician. Many services require advance appointments, which are handled through BID Plymouth's Central Scheduling Department. Referring physicians provide patients with instructions on how to arrange these appointments through Central Scheduling. To schedule an appointment, please contact Central Scheduling by calling 508-830-2778. Central Scheduling will also provide patients with relevant information regarding visit preparation, arrival time, and parking.

What Is Diagnostic Imaging?

Imaging procedures utilize ionizing radiation, radioactive isotopes, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance to produce images of various parts of the body. These images are used by radiologists and your physician to diagnose, or aid in the diagnoses, of various medical conditions. Certain examinations (such as mammography) are used as a screening tool. Nursing care in our department is provided by registered nurses who have undergone specialized training is Diagnostic Imaging.

We provide the following diagnostic and therapeutic services to both inpatients and outpatients, including:

Angiography is a type of x-ray that is performed to image blood vessels in various parts of the body, including the heart brain, and kidneys, so as to determine whether the vessels are diseased, narrowed, enlarged or blocked altogether. After passing a catheter through an artery leading to the area being evaluated, an intravenous contrast is injected to highlight the vessels while x-rays are taken. Today, many catheter angiographic studies have been replaced by less invasive methods, such as computed tomography (CT) angiography and magnetic resonance (MR) angiography, that do not require that a catheter be inserted. Both CTA and MRA (non cardiac) are available at BID Plymouth. Catheter angiography is widely used still in patients who may undergo surgery, angioplasty, or stent placement.

Bone density testing or bone mineral testing is a quick and painless procedure similar to a routine x-ray, which allows for early detection of the loss of bone density, which could indicate osteoporosis or other metabolic bone diseases. The bone density equipment at BID Plymouth uses a very low dose of radiation to produce a computerized image of the lumbar spine, hips, and forearm. Patients should bring a list of all medications they are taking, and should avoid wearing denim if possible. The test takes about twenty minutes, and results are interpreted by a physician who is board certified in both rheumatology and internal medicine.

We offer a wide range of Computerized Tomography (CT) procedures. Two helical scanners produce cross sectional images of any anatomical area of interest. This technology also provides extremely rapid scanning. Intravenous CT contrast is administered as needed. A separate workstation provides 3D and CT Angiography capability.

All full time staff technologists are registered in CT by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists or are CT Registry eligible. Registry eligible technologists are required to sit for the registration examination within one year of hire. All technologists are CPR certified and trained in venipuncture by a Radiology registered nurse. All technologists meet continuing education requirements of the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists and the Radiation Control Program of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Radiology utilizes radiation to produce images. Routine diagnostic radiology procedures we offer include upper gastrointestinal (UGI) series, barium enemas, intravenous pyelograms (IVP) and arthrograms. Certain procedures, require an appointment and for a radiologist (a physician specializing in diagnostic imaging) to be present. Emergency procedures are available twenty-four hours per day through the BID Plymouth Emergency Department.

A full range of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) procedures are offered to include multiplanar imaging of the head, neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis, spine and joints. Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) is provided for evaluation of the abdominal, chest, neck, extremity and intercranial vessels.

Nuclear Imaging utilizes radionuclides (an isotope of artificial or natural origin that exhibits radioactivity) to produce images of bones and internal organs. One device, a nuclear imaging machine, employs a scintillation camera, which can rotate around the body to pick up radiation emitted by an injected radioactive substance. For instance, iodine localizes in the thyroid, and thallium localizes in the heart. Through computerization, a digitized image of a particular organ is produced. A full range of nuclear imaging services is offered to include functional imaging of most internal organs.

PET allows the study of organ function and is often used to detect cancer or the effects of cancer treatment. In fact, PET imaging adds a new dimension and sensitivity to the evaluation of cancer patients. CT scans show structural details of the body in cross-sections, while PET images detect the difference between diseased and healthy tissues, based on the particles they emit. This allows physicians to more sensitively localize a tumor, and be able to asses a tumor’s response to therapy.

In addition, a mobile unit provides a full range of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Imaging procedures.

Ultrasound examinations utilize high frequency sound waves to create cross sectional images of soft tissue organs. There is no radiation involved with this test. Sonographers (specially trained technologists) produce images in the abdomen and pelvis as well as the breast, thryroid, testicles, the pregnant uterus and the veins in the extremities. All exams require warm gel to be applied to the area of evaluation. A small instrument is placed on the skin to generate images. Some gynecologic ultrasounds require an internal scan as well. Some exams require no preparation, while others require fasting or drinking a certain amount of water beforehand. Preparations will be provided by the Central Scheduling staff at the time of booking.

All sonographers at BID Plymouth are board certified by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers in Abdomen as well as Obstetrics and Gynecology. Yearly continuing education is required to maintain board certification. All outpatient Ultrasound procedures require an appointment and a written order. The Diagnostic Imaging Department maintains imaging services in accordance with standards established by the American College of Radiology, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, and the appropriate state and federal regulatory agencies.