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Medical Imaging

Medical Imaging at FIBC

Fairbanks Imaging & Breast Center at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital offers a variety of imaging studies for all of your preventative, screening or diagnostic health care needs.

Medical imaging plays a key role in the accurate diagnosis and treatment of an array of medical conditions ranging from cancer and heart disease to orthopedics and emergency services. FIBC offers comprehensive care to meet all of your needs.

A board certified radiologist is always available to read every result promptly. This ensures your results get to your primary care provider as soon as possible. 

Fairbanks Memorial Hospital is at the forefront of technological advancements with their digital imaging services.  Utilizing Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) technology to ensure that community providers have immediate access to your images is one example of the commitment to our patients. 

Our medical imaging professionals work closely with your provider to provide the correct imaging study to help in your diagnosis. To provide the most accurate imaging services, our medical imaging professionals are certified by national organizations such as the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.


Computed Tomography

CT or Computed Tomography refers to images produced by an x-ray tube that rotates around the body.  The resulting images can be digitally “stacked” together, providing different views of the body and even 3D images.  

CT gives more detailed information than plain X-rays, and are used to view and diagnose many things including, but not limited to:

  • Fractures for surgical planning  
  • Cancer diagnosis or follow up during and after treatment 
  • Locate infections
  • Confirm blood clots
  • Detect internal injuries and bleeding after trauma 

Some CT exams include an injection of contrast to help highlight the areas of your body being examined. The iodinated contrast material is injected into an IV in your arm or PowerPort and highlights your blood vessels and internal organs. The IV contrast can give the radiologist much more information to make an accurate diagnosis.  

When imaging your intestines you may also be asked to drink water or oral contrast to assist with expanding your intestines for a better look inside. The type of contrast depends on the reason you are having the CT exam and is determined by your physician and the radiologist.


AT FHP WE OFFER

  • All general CT
  • All CT angiography
  • CT Guided Biopsies 
  • CT Guided Procedures including:
    1. Diagnostic and Therapeutic Lumbar Punctures
    2. Myelograms
    3. Nephrostomy Tube Placements and Exchanges
    4. Procedures for Acute Illnesses Such as Chest Tubes, Abscess Drains, Thoracentesis and Paracentesis  

SPECIALTY SERVICES

  • CT Lung Screening
  • CT Cardiac Angiography
  • CT Cardiac Calcium Scoring
  • CT Enterography
  • CT Parathyroid
  • CT Neuroperfusion (Stroke Imaging)

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine is a part of Medical Imaging that provides information on how different organs in the body are functioning. Radioactive tracers are introduced into the body by injection into the blood stream, inhaled or swallowed. Radioactive tracers are very small amounts of radioactivity that are attached to molecules that goes to the specific organ. The radioactive tracer emits gamma rays that is picked up by the Nuclear Medicine Gamma Camera. The camera is very sensitive, which allows us to use a very small amount of radioactivity. The tracers are extremely sensitive and allow for identification of disease in its earliest stages. 

Some of the common procedures in Nuclear Medicine are:

Bone Scan – The patient is injected with a radioactive tracer that acts similar to calcium in the body. When the patient is scanned under the gamma camera it is able to detect cancer that is in the bone or has spread to the bone from other areas. It is also able to detect infection in the bone. The gamma camera is sensitive enough to pick up stress fractures before they become positive on x-rays.

Hepatibiliary Study (Gallbladder Imaging) – The patient is injected with a radioactive tracer that used in the formation of bile. It will be picked up from the blood stream and excreted into the gallbladder. When the gallbladder contracts, it goes into the small bowel. This study demonstrates if there is any blockage in the Hepatobiliary system. This study can also quantify, by percentage, how well the gallbladder is functioning.

Gastric Empty – The patient eats a standardized meal of egg beaters, toast and jelly.  Cooked in the egg beaters is a small amount of a radioactive tracer. This tracer is followed over the course of 4 hours and will be able to determine how much of the meal was digested at each hour.

Thyroid Uptake and Scan – The patient swallows a small amount of radioactive iodine. This radioactive iodine will be collected by the thyroid gland. The patient will return later that day and the next day. This will demonstrate the percentage of tracer (the uptake) that is picked up each time and it will also show a picture of the thyroid gland (the scan).



CARDIAC NUCLEAR MEDICINE

Cardiac Nuclear Medicine is among the safest diagnostic imaging procedures available for the heart today. The Nuclear Medicine images are unique because it provides information about structure and function of the heart. 

A Nuclear Medicine Stress test measures the health of the heart muscle by studying how the heart reacts under stress conditions and rest conditions. The most common form of stress test combines some form of mild exercise on a treadmill with an electrocardiogram (EKG). If the patient is unable to exercise, medications are available to simulate stress without the patient having to walk on the treadmill. 

A small amount of a radioactive tracer is injected into the bloodstream while the patient is under stress conditions by either walking on the treadmill or utilizing a medication to simulate stress. Once the tracer is circulating through the heart muscle, images are taken on the gamma camera. Images are also taken when the patient is under resting conditions. 

This is a noninvasive, generally safe and painless test to gain invaluable information on the function of the heart. The Nuclear Medicine Stress is ordered for a number of reasons:

  • To diagnose heart conditions, such as coronary heart disease 
  • To diagnose a heart related course of symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath or lightheadedness.
  • To look at exercise capacity in heart failure patients who are being considered for a heart transplant or those who wish to increase their level of exercise.
  • To check the effectiveness of a cardiac stent, cardiac by-pass or other procedures.
  • To predict the future risk of dangerous heart related conditions such as ischemia.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound, or sonography, uses sound waves to image all different parts of the body. Using a small probe called a transducer and gel applied directly on the skin, high-frequency sound waves travel from the probe through the gel into the body. The probe collects the sounds that bounce back and a computer uses those sound waves to produce an image. Images are captured in real-time, showing the structure and movement of the body's internal organs, and even blood flowing through blood vessels.

Ultrasound is safe and painless, and uses no radiation. It is widely utilized for all body parts, including fetal, and all age patients, and provides images of soft tissues that don't show up on x-ray images. At Fairbanks Imaging & Breast Center, we offer both 2D or 3D imaging.

Our team is comprised of certified and credentialed ultrasound technologists, each registered through a rigid exam process by a national registry. FIBC is accredited by the American College of Radiology in Breast, Breast Biopsy and is a certified Breast Center of Excellence.

Ultrasounds usually vary in length 45-90 minutes depending on the exam requested by your provider. Some exams may require fasting or drinking additional amounts of water to fill your bladder before your appointment. 

Ultrasound is utilized to diagnose multiple different pathologies to include but not limited to the following:

  • Gallstones
  • Blood clots
  • Kidney stones
  • Thyroid nodules
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Breast masses
  • Liver disease
  • Carotid blockages 
  • Fetal surveillance
  • Biopsies


AT FHP WE OFFER

Abdominal Ultrasound
 Ultrasound imaging of the abdomen creates images of the structures within the upper abdomen. It is often used to evaluate the kidneys, liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, pancreas, spleen and abdominal aorta.

Obstetrical Ultrasound to include 3D images
 Obstetric ultrasounds uses sound waves to create pictures of an embryo or fetus within a pregnant woman, as well as her uterus and ovaries. As ultrasound does not use ionizing radiation, there is no known harmful effects and it is the preferred method for monitoring pregnant women.

Pelvis Ultrasound
Ultrasound imaging of the abdomen creates images of the organs within the lower abdomen and pelvis. Abdominal, vaginal (for women) and rectal (for men) pelvic ultrasounds are frequently used to evaluate the reproductive and urinary systems.

Scrotal Ultrasound
 Ultrasound imaging of the scrotum is the primary method to help evaluate disorders of the testicles, epididymis and scrotum. An ultrasound is safe and noninvasive. 

Thyroid Ultrasound
 Ultrasound imaging of the thyroid gland in the neck is commonly used to evaluate lumps or nodules found during  a routine physical or other imaging exam.  

Vascular Ultrasound
 Vascular ultrasound uses sound waves to evaluate the body's circulatory system. This is used to identify blocakges in the arteries and veins, like blood clots. A Doppler ultrasound study – a technique that evaluates blood flow through a blood vessel – is usually part of this exam. 

Breast Ultrasound
 Ultrasound imaging of the breasts produces pictures of the internal structures of the breast. It is primarily used to help diagnose breast lumps or other abnormalities.

General Ultrasound
As ultrasounds provide images of soft tissues that don't show up on x-ray images, it is often used to help diagnose the causes of pain, swelling and infection in the body's internal organs, and assess and diagnose organ damage. It is often also used to help guide biopsies.

X-Ray

Diagnostic x-rays help diagnose injuries to joints and bones, such as fractures, diseases of the chest, such as pneumonia or congestive heart failure, and diseases of the abdomen, such as kidney stones. Foundation Health Partners provides the most advanced X-ray imaging available.


PLAIN FILM

Digital radiography (DR) is an advanced form of x-ray which produces a digital radiographic image instantly on a computer. This technique uses x-ray sensitive plates to capture data during examination, which is immediately transferred to a computer without the use of a cassette. 

Advantages of digital radiography over conventional film:

  • Decreased radiation exposure
  • Increased image quality
  • Cost savings
  • Faster processing time
  • The ability to apply special image processing techniques that enhance overall display quality of the image.

FLUOROSCOPY

Fluoroscopy is an imaging test that uses X-rays to make “real-time” moving pictures of the body. Fluoroscopy allows the doctor to see organs and tissues working on a video screen, similar to watching a movie. Fluoroscopy helps diagnose and treat many conditions of the blood vessels, joints, and digestive, urinary, respiratory and reproductive systems.

A fluoroscopy exam itself is a noninvasive medical test and is generally painless. However, fluoroscopy tests can also involve the injection of a contrast agent.  Most fluoroscopy procedures are performed as outpatient procedures while the patient is awake. 

A contrast agent, or dye, is sometimes necessary to create the fluoroscopy images. When imaging your gastrointestinal tract, you may be asked to drink an oral contrast to assist with expanding your intestines for a better look inside. The most common type of these exams are:

  • Upper gastrointestinal exams (UGI)
  • Small Bowel 
  • Esophoagrams or Barium Swallows
  • Video Speech Studies 

 

Additional Fluoroscopy Procedures Performed at FHP 

  • Barium Enema
  • Bowel transit studies
  • Voiding Cystogram
  • Drainages/ Aspirations
  • Arthrograms
  • Hysterosalpingogram
  • Therapeutic Injections
  • Myelograms 
  • Lumbar Punctures
  • Patency studies 
  • Port-a Cath studies

Location/Hours

FMH Campus
19th & E. Cowles entrance
1650 Cowles Street
Fairbanks, AK 99701

Reception:
(907) 458-6900
Scheduling:
(907) 458-5588

Monday - Friday
6:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Lung Cancer Screening Program

We offer a low-dose CT lung cancer screening program for high-risk patients. Learn more:

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