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Imaging

Professional staff at Lincoln Hospital are trained in:

  • Ultrasound imaging.
  • 3D Mammography.
  • DEXA scan bone density testing.
  • Computed tomography (CT) scanning.
  • Mobile MRI unit once a week.
  • General x-ray procedures including orthopedic x-rays, trauma x-rays, lung and heart imaging radiography, urinary tract studies.

We focus on you

  • Flexible scheduling often with same-day or next-day service.
  • Personalalized care
  • Local access saves time and travel.
  • State of the art equipment throughout department.
  • 24-hour access to top radiologists to read images for timely diagnosis. Our partnered Telemedicine service makes the radiologists at Spokane's Inland Imaging available 24 hours daily to read and interpret films. This not only saves lives, but saves our patients time and travel expense.

Any patient with a provider's order for an ultrasound, MRI, CT scan, x-ray, or DEXA Scan can get an appointment at Lincoln Hospital. 3D Mammography screenings are available without an order from your provider—just call us. Why travel when leading-edge technology is right here at home?

40 Slice CT Technology

What is CT and how does it work?

CT scanning is the process of making a series of cross-sectional x-ray images through a portion of the body. During a CT scan, an x-ray beam passes through the body and is recorded by electronic detectors as individual cross-sections or slices. These detectors send this information to a computer where the thin slices are put together to generate an image of the internal anatomy. The thinner the slices are, the sharper the detail in the resulting image. CT scans are quickly taking the place of more invasive diagnostic techniques such as exploratory surgery or biopsy.

Lincoln Hospital's 40 Slice CT scanner is the industry standard for CT scanning. This incredible machine opens new doors for assessing some of today's most pressing healthcare conditions such as stroke, heart disease and lung cancer.

CT technology has many advantages. It is painless, noninvasive and accurate. Other major benefits include:

  • Speed—a full-body trauma scan takes only 60 seconds.
  • Patient comfort—because the tube is open, there is no anxiety over being in a cramped or coffin-like space. There is also minimal time on the exam table and the room is generally warm since special cooling system is needed.
  • Low radiation dose—as technology becomes more advanced, lower doses are needed for high quality images. The amount of radiation required is also decreased due to the quickness of the machine.
  • Highest quality images—the 40 slice scan is very accurate. The ability to scan an entire organ permits evaluation of blood flow, size, shape and location of a tumor or lesion.
  • Multiple tests from one scan—because the 40 slice scanner takes so many images and the "slices" of data are so thin, radiology techs can reconstruct information from a single scan to find data for follow-up tests. This saves the patient a second scan or return trip.
  • Less stress—because of the speed, children, infants and the elderly need little or no sedation to lie still, and breath holding time has also been minimized. All of this is a plus for trauma victims and those in major pain.

Why choose Lincoln Hospital for your CT scan?

Our 40 Slice scanner is highly effective. It is fast, accurate and able to perform more studies with incredible clarity. Our technologists are highly trained, caring and there is little to no wait for an appointment. All CT images at Lincoln Hospital are read by the area's top radiologists at Spokane's Inland Imaging, then results are immediately forwarded to your physician.

MRI/ultrasound

What is MRI and how does it work?

The great advantage of using MRI technology is that there are no side effects. MRI uses magnetic signals to see through the body instead of radiation, which is used in an x-ray. The magnet actually aligns itself with water cells in the body, then uses radio frequencies to send pictures and signals to the computer allowing technicians to "see" inside the body.

MRI has very high resolution and can show details which cannot be seen with other imaging techniques.

MRI technology is widely used to examine patients for injuries to bones and muscles, and in diagnosing neurological diseases or injuries to the brain and spine. It is also useful to evaluate conditions of the abdomen and pelvis, such as bladder dysfunction, kidney and liver disease, bowel obstructions, trauma to the abdomen and pelvis, and conditions affecting the male and female reproductive systems.

Why should I choose Lincoln Hospital?

Lincoln Hospital, which has partnered with Inland Imaging of Spokane to provide professional radiology reads using the same protocols as Inland Imaging.

Because there is such a high demand for MRI, getting an appointment at an imaging center in Spokane often requires several weeks of waiting. By requesting your exam at Lincoln Hospital, you can often get service on the same week or week after your physician writes the order. More timely appointments mean fast results and a quicker diagnosis.

MRI exams are done once a week at Lincoln Hospital and exams work much the same as having an appointment at one of Inland Imaging's facilities. Patients referred by their personal provider schedule appointments by calling 509.725.2975. A technologist conducts the MRI study and electronically sends the images to radiologists in Spokane to be read. The results are then forwarded to the patient's personal provider immediately. Why travel when the best is right here at home?

Mammography

Lincoln Hospital promotes the Three Steps to Breast Health plan:

  1. Monthly breast self-exams.
  2. Annual professional exam.
  3. Regular mammograms starting at age 40.

Because mammography is able to find small tumors, this practice can catch lumps long before manual exams or symptoms begin. Catching cancer early increases chances of positive outcomes.

Mammography has an overall accuracy rate of 90 percent and is highly regulated for image quality. Mammography technologists are required to have extensive specialized training. They also must read a minimum number of films each year to keep their qualifications. Lincoln Hospital and its technologists are approved by the FDA for quality mammograms. Lincoln Hospital uses a state of the art 3DMammography machine which provides your physician with crisp, clear images for highly accurate readings.

Putting something off?

There are many excuses for putting off having a mammogram. Lack of family risk factors, fear of mammography, fear of pain, and fear of a positive finding are the most common. The FDA says most positive findings are not cancer, but benign tumors. Special tests such as biopsies are used to discern whether a lump is cancerous. Delaying the diagnosis of breast cancer does not change the diagnosis, it only increases your risk of a worse outcome—even death.

Risk factors

  • Age (risk increases after age 40).
  • Geographical variation (Lincoln County statistics are high for breast cancer).
  • Early menarche (onset of menstruation) and late menopause. Typically, women who had their first period before age 12 and women who experienced menopause after age 55.
  • Age at first pregnancy (women who give birth to their first child after age 35 have increased risk).
  • Family history of breast cancer.

Who needs one?

All women should get a mammogram by age 40 to establish a baseline. This baseline mammogram should be followed up every 12 months. Younger women who have a high incidence of breast cancer in their family should set up a personal mammography/exam regimen with their health care provider. If all women followed these guidelines, the death rate from breast cancer could be reduced by 30 percent—that's 13,000 lives each year.

What can I expect?

A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray of the breast. The breast is placed on a device that flattens it, spreading the breast out so the x-rays can produce a precise image. The technologists at Lincoln Hospital work with each patient to find a comfortable angle and level of compression while maintaining highest quality images.

Typically, the technologist will take two views of each breast, one from above and one from the side. The entire procedure takes about 20 minutes. Films taken at Lincoln Hospital are read immediately by the region's top radiologists.

If the radiologist decides further pictures are needed, don't panic. The vast majority of lumps found are not cancerous, but it is important to find those that are so treatment can begin.

Bone density test (DEXA scan)

As we age, the threat of bone fractures, osteoporosis and losing height becomes more of a reality. These conditions can be predicted, slowed down and even prevented through a simple, painless radiological exam available locally at Lincoln Hospital.

DEXA scans measures bone density, which is directly related to bone strength. Doctors can predict the potential for fracture and osteoporosis through DEXA scan results.

A DEXA scan uses an extremely low dose of radiation—one-quarter to one-tenth that of a regular chest x-ray—and is considered safe for use on any age patient.

DEXA scans are so sensitive they picks up tiny fractures in the spinal column and can detect as little as 1 percent bone loss in the spine, hips and extremities, including the wrist. It is the gold standard of diagnosing bone mass and is instrumental in helping providersfind osteoporosis before a fracture.

Who needs one?

Generally, women over 50 should get a DEXA scan, although it's good for those in their early 40's to have a baseline scan for comparison in the years to come.Men, women under the age of 50, and even children might also benefit from a bone density test since bone loss can strike anyone. Consider the following risk factors:

  • Past fracture or broken bone (after 40 years old)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Low bone mass (Osteopenia)
  • Medications that can cause bone loss
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Estrogen deficiency
  • Testosterone deficiency
  • Celiac or Sprue disease
  • COPD/Emphysema
  • Gastric bypass/gastrectomy
  • Hypercalciuria with or without kidney stones
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Diabetes – types 1 and 2
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • AIDS/HIV
  • Cushing's Syndrome
  • Organ transplant
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta

What can I expect?

A bone density scan is a simple, painless and noninvasive procedure. It uses an extremely low dose of radiation and takes approximately 30 minutes.

During your DEXA scan, you will be asked to wear a comfortable, two-piece outfit that has no metal buckles, buttons or zippers. Active wearworks very well. You will likely not be asked to change into a robe or drape.

You will be asked to lay on your back on a padded exam table. At some point, your legs will be elevated. During your exam, an overhead arm which houses the camera will travel above your body to take readings. It is important that you lie completely still so that images are clear and crisp. You can breathe normally.

Your physician will contact you with the results of the scan.

What about the results?

Your DEXA scan will generate a computerized printout with pictures and an explanation of the images for you and your doctor to discuss.

If osteoporosis or tiny fractures are found, you and your healthcare provider will map out a plan of action, which may include medication and the following lifestyle changes:

  • Increased calcium and vitamin D intake.
  • Weight-bearing exercise such as walking and stair climbing.
  • Strength training such as lifting weights—even soup cans or plastic bottles filled with water if you don't have access to equipment.
  • Stretching exercises for balance, posture and agility.
  • A well-balanced diet.
  • Smoking cessation.
  • Reducing amount of soft drinks and other caffeinated beverages.
  • Follow-up DEXA scans to keep track of bone health.

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