Diagnostic Imaging and Radiology

The Radiology Department, in conjunction with Valley Radiologists Professional Association, offers routine radiology services, digital mammography, ultrasonography, MRI, CT Scan, bone mineral analysis, and nuclear medicine. We offer radiological services at New London Hospital and at the Newport Health Center.

Digital Mammography

New London Hospital was the one of the first hospitals in the State of New Hampshire to offer 3D Tomosynthesis digital mammography. 3D mammography is accurate, fast and offers greater flexibility and magnification for women with denser breast tissue. Breast images produced through computerization rather than X-ray film are clear, easy to read, and can be viewed within seconds. NLH also uses I-CAD which is a computer aided detection system. This provides a computerized analysis of a patient’s mammogram to supplement the radiologist’s interpretation. The 3D Tomosynthesis technology improves detection of cancer can help reduce the need for repeat mammograms. Our technologists are all registered radiologic technologists certified in mammography, and all images are interpreted by Board Certified Radiologists.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound images help in the diagnosis of a wide range of diseases and conditions, including stomach problems. During an ultrasound test, high-frequency sound waves, inaudible to the human ear, are transmitted through body tissues using an instrument called a transducer, which transmits the information to a computer that displays the information on a monitor.

Ultrasound is used to create images of soft tissue structures, such as the gallbladder, liver, heart, kidneys, pancreas, bladder, thyroid gland, prostate, female reproductive organs, and even of babies in the uterus. Ultrasound can also measure the flow of blood in the arteries to detect blockages.

Our equipment is a GE Logic E9 Ultrasound machine. All technologists are registered diagnostic medical sonographers.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (M.R.I.)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of organs and structures inside the body. In many cases, MRI gives different information about structures in the body than can be seen with an X-ray, ultrasound, or computed tomography (CT) scan. MRI also may show problems that cannot be seen with other imaging methods.

For an MRI test, the area of the body being studied is placed inside a special machine that contains a strong magnet. Pictures from an MRI scan are digital images that can be saved and stored on a computer for more study. The images also can be reviewed remotely, such as in a clinic or an operating room. In some cases, contrast material may be used during the MRI scan to show certain structures more clearly.

New London Hospital's 1.5T MRI services are available every Tuesday, Thursday and with an open MRI on Saturday.

Computed Tomography (C.T. Scan)

A computed tomography (CT) scan uses X-rays to make detailed pictures of structures inside of the body.

During the test, patients lie on a table that is attached to the CT scanner, which is a large doughnut-shaped machine. The CT scanner sends X-rays through the body area being studied. Each rotation of the scanner takes less than a second and provides a picture of a thin slice of the organ or area. All of the pictures are saved as a group on a computer. They also can be printed.

An iodine dye (contrast material) is often used to make structures and organs easier to see on the CT pictures. The dye may be used to check blood flow, find tumors, and look for other problems. The dye can be used in different ways. It may be put in a vein (IV) in the arm, or it may be placed into other parts of the body (such as the rectum or a joint) to see those areas better. For some types of CT scans patients are asked to drink the dye. CT pictures may be taken before and after the dye is used.

A CT scan can be used to study all parts of the body, such as the chest, belly, pelvis, or an arm or leg. It can take pictures of body organs, such as the liver, pancreas, intestines, kidneys, bladder, adrenal glands, lungs, and heart. It also can study blood vessels, bones, and the spinal cord.

New London Hospital's CT scanner is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The scanner is a state-of-the-art GE BrightSpeed 16-slice and is available for a wide range of imaging procedures. All technologists are registered radiologic technologists.

Bone Mineral Density

A bone density test called DEXA Scan is a test that can diagnose osteoporosis before a broken bone occurs. This test helps estimate the density of your bones and your chance of breaking a bone. The procedure is painless and safe and usually takes 10 – 15 minutes. To prepare for your DEXA Scan, dress comfortably wearing clothes without metal buttons, buckles or zippers. Bone Mineral Density scans are available every Monday through Friday using our state of the art, GE Lunar Prodigy machine.

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine is a branch of radiology that uses radioactive materials to determine if certain organs such as the heart, kidneys, liver, thyroid, brain and lungs are working properly. It is also used to examine the bones for cancer, infection or trauma.

Before the test begins, patients receive a small amount of radioactive material called a radioisotope which is injected or swallowed. In many cases, a delay exists between the time the material is administered and the test begins. This allows the isotope to flow through the body and concentrate in the organ that is being examined. By tracking the isotope as it moves through the organ, doctors receive valuable information about how a specific bodily organ is functioning. In most studies, the patient lies comfortably on a table. A large camera is positioned over the body and is moved or rotated around the patient. The camera senses the radioactive material and highlights and displays the information on a screen or film.

Nuclear medicine is a safe, painless and cost effective way to gather information that may otherwise be unavailable. The amount of radiopharmaceutical is very small, resulting in an exposure similar to or less than a diagnostic x-ray. The isotope is without side effects and is safely cleared from the body by natural processes.

Prostate Ultrasound and Biopsy

Through our affiliation with the Concord Hospital Center for Urologic Care, New London Hospital now offers prostate ultrasound and biopsy. This test is used to evaluate abnormal results of a digital rectal exam or an elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. This diagnostic test helps doctors identify disorders and diseases of the prostate. If cancer is found, the doctor will be able to determine its seriousness and likelihood of spreading.

The ultrasound portion of the examination involves a probe that emits harmless high-frequency sound waves, inaudible to the human ear, that bounce off the surface of the prostate. The sound waves are recorded and transformed into video or photographic images of the prostate gland.

The prostate biopsy (tissue sample) portion of the test uses ultrasound guidance to obtain tissue samples of the abnormal areas in the prostate. Approximately six samples are obtained to test various areas of the prostate. The tissue samples are then analyzed in a laboratory.

Prostate ultrasound and biopsies are safe and usually painless procedures that can provide doctors with valuable information about a patient’s prostate.

For more information, please visit www.radiologyinfo.org.