Radiology Services

At Delaney Radiologists our patients are our number one priority. Our highly skilled radiologists and technologists are dedicated to providing you with the highest quality imaging and services. We strive to provide you with the best possible care from the time you enter our facility to the completion of your exam.

Interventional Radiology (Hospital Locations Only)

  • Musculoskeletal
  • Embolization and SIRT
  • Uterine Fibroid Embolization
  • Angiography
  • Angioplasty and Stenting
  • Thrombolysis
  • Facet Injections
  • Neurointerventional Therapy
  • Radiofrequency Tumor Ablation
  • Biopsy
  • Drainage Procedures
  • Urological Procedures
  • Vascular Access (PICCs and Ports)
For more comprehensive information, please visit the Patient Information website produced jointly by the American College of Radiology and the Radiological Society of North America at www.radiologyinfo.org.

MRI

MRI scan

Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to provide clear and detailed diagnostic images of internal body organs and tissues. MRI is a valuable tool for the diagnosis of a broad range of conditions, including:

  • cancer
  • heart and vascular disease
  • stroke
  • joint and musculoskeletal disorders

MRI allows evaluation of some body structures that may not be visible with any other diagnostic imaging methods.

How should I prepare for an MRI?

  • Before your MRI exam, remove all accessories including hair pins, jewelry, eyeglasses, hearing aids, wigs, dentures.  During the exam, these metal objects may interfere with the magnetic field, affecting the quality of the MRI images taken.
  • Notify your technologist if you have:
    • any artificial joints – hip, knee
    • a heart pacemaker, defibrillator or artificial heart valve
    • an intrauterine device (IUD),
    • any metal plates, pins, screws, or surgical staples in your body
    • tattoos and permanent make-up
    • a bullet or shrapnel in your body, or if you ever worked with sheet metal or milling.
    • if you might be pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant.
    • if you are claustrophobic. Some patients are more comfortable with the use of a sedative.

What should I expect during this procedure?

Depending on how many images are needed, the exam generally takes 15 to 45 minutes. However, very detailed studies may take longer.

  • You will lie down on a sliding table and be comfortably positioned.
  • Even though the technologist must leave the room, you will be able to communicate with them at any time using an intercom.
  • If necessary, many MRI centers allow a friend or family member to stay in the room with you during the exam. 
  • You will be asked remain still during the actual imaging process. However, between sequences, which last between 2-15 minutes, slight movement is allowed.
  • Depending on the part of the body being examined, intravenous contrast material may be used to enhance the visibility of certain tissues or blood vessels. If this need is planned or anticipated, an IV will be placed in your hand or arm before the scan.
CT scan

CT (Computed Tomography)

What is CT?

CT (computed tomography), also called a CAT scan, uses x-ray and computers to produce cross-sectional images of the body.

What are some common uses of CT?

  • Locating internal bleeding and organ damage in trauma patients.
  • Detecting stroke, and determining whether it is caused by arterial blockage or bleeding into the brain.
  • Detecting and staging tumors of various body parts.
  • Diagnosis and analysis of fractures and other bone abnormalities, especially if complex.
  • Detecting deep abscesses and sources of infection.
  • Detecting urinary stone disease.
  • Performing non-invasive blood vessel imaging (CT angiography).
  • Planning radiation therapy treatment fields.
  • Guiding needle biopsies and drainage procedures.
CT scanning machine

How should I prepare for a CT scan?

  • On the day of your exam, wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Avoid clothing with zippers and snaps as metal objects can affect the image.
  • Depending on the part of the body that is being scanned, you may also be asked to remove hair pins, jewelry, eyeglasses, hearing aids, or dentures.
  • You may be asked not to eat or drink anything for one or more hours before the exam.
  • Women should inform their doctor or CT technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.

What can I expect during this procedure?

A CT examination usually takes five minutes to half an hour.

Results from a CT scan
  • The technologist positions you on the CT table and pillows are used to help keep you still and in the proper position during the scan. The table will move slowly into the CT scanner opening. Depending on the area of the body being examined, the increments of movement may be very small and almost undetectable, or large enough to feel the motion.
  • To enhance the visibility of certain tissues or blood vessels, use of different contrast materials (“x-ray dye”) may be required. Depending on the type of examination, contrast material may be injected through an IV, swallowed or administered by enema. Before administering the contrast material, you should inform the radiologist or technologist of the following:
    • Any allergies, especially prior allergic reactions to radiologic contrast agents.
    • Whether you have a history of diabetes, asthma, kidney problems, heart or thyroid conditions. These conditions may indicate a higher risk of reaction to the contrast material or potential problems eliminating the material from the patient's system after the exam.
  • The CT technologist will step out of the CT exam room into an adjacent control room, but will be in constant visual and verbal contact with you during the brief time that the scan is actually being performed.
  • To determine if more images are needed, you may be asked to wait until the images are reviewed.

Digital X-Ray

CR Xray

What is an x-ray?

X-ray is the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging. X-rays can produce diagnostic images of the human body on film (conventional radiography) or on computer monitor (computed radiography) that allow doctors to view and assess bones and soft tissues. Mammography is a specialized form of radiography.

How should I prepare for an x-ray?

There is no special preparation required for most bone x-rays. You may be asked to change into a gown before your examination and remove jewelry, eyeglasses and any metal objects during the exam.

Women should always inform the technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.

What can I expect during this procedure?

An x-ray exam usually takes five minutes to half an hour.

  • You might be positioned standing or sitting, or perhaps lying down on an x-ray table, depending on exactly the type of exam or the body part being imaged.
  • Cushions or supports may be used to help you hold the proper position.
  • Then the technologist steps behind a radiation barrier and asks you to hold very still, and may ask you to hold your breath for a few seconds.
  • The x-ray equipment is activated, and the x-rays penetrate the body part and are detected after they exit by a special detector device.
  • The technologist then repositions you for another view, and the process is repeated as necessary. 
  • When your x-rays are completed you will be asked to wait until the technologist checks the images. Sometimes the radiologist will ask for additional views.

Women’s Imaging

Women's Imaging

Delaney Radiologists Group is dedicated to Women’s Health. In addition to providing state-of-the-art breast imaging and diagnosis for over twenty years, we have long been leaders in the community, with key involvement in activities of the American Cancer Society, Pink Ribbon Campaign, New Hanover Regional Medical Center Foundation, and the Susan B. Komen Foundation. We are proud sponsors of the new Women and Children’s Pavilion of New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

We are accredited by the American College of Radiology in Mammography, Pelvic and Breast Ultrasonography, and MRI.

Our imaging technologists are specially trained and certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technology or American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography in their particular areas of expertise, whether in mammography or sonography. All of our radiologists are certified by the American Board of Radiology, and maintain continuing medical education in the latest knowledge and techniques of breast diagnosis.

Digital Mammography

What is Mammography?

digital mammography

A mammogram is an examination of the breasts using low dose x-rays. Mammography is considered the single most effective tool for early breast cancer detection. Most medical experts agree that successful treatment of breast cancer is linked to early diagnosis. Mammography plays a central part in early detection of breast cancer because it can show evidence of a cancer months or years before a woman or her doctor can feel a tumor within the breast on physical exam.

Extending our breast imaging capabilities further, tomosynthesis, or 3D mammography, was implemented in September 2016. This add on feature utilizes advanced technology to produce a 3D image of the breast by acquiring multiple slices through the tissue during the digital 2D mammogram. Breast tomography, in addition to computer-aided detection, or CAD, offers patients the improved ability to find small cancers and better define larger tumors that may be obscured by dense tissue on conventional 2D mammograms.

What are the advantages of 3D Digital Mammography and CAD?

  • The advanced technology of 3D digital mammography makes for more accurate detection of breast cancers, especially in women with dense breasts.
  • A study in the American Journal of Radiology showed that tomosynthesis has improved detection of invasive aggressive breast cancers up to 41%, with a 29% increase in the detection of all breast cancers. In addition, there is a 15% decrease in patients recalled for additional mammographic imaging, further serving to decrease patient anxiety.
  • Computer-aided detection, or CAD, is integrated into the mammography review software, and provides instant analysis of the images, highlighting areas of possible abnormal calcification, mass, density or architecture.

How often should I have a mammogram?

Current guidelines from the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) recommend screening mammography every year for women beginning at age 40. 

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recommends that women who have had breast cancer and those who are at increased risk due to a family history of breast cancer should seek expert medical advice about whether they should begin screening before age 40 and about the frequency of screening.

Isn’t the radiation from a mammogram dangerous?

Current mammographic techniques (including tomography) use very low-dose radiation. Our equipment undergoes rigorous daily, weekly, monthly, and annual testing to insure optimal performance. There is no scientific evidence that having regular mammograms increases your risk of developing a breast cancer. The proven and possibly life-saving benefit of early breast cancer detection that mammography provides greatly outweighs any very small theoretical risk from radiation.

When should I schedule my mammogram?

Generally, the best time is the week following your menstrual period. Avoid scheduling your mammogram for the week before your period if your breasts are usually tender during this time. Always inform your x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that you are pregnant. Before scheduling a mammogram, you should discuss any current breast problems with your doctor. In addition, inform your doctor of hormone use, any prior surgeries, and family or personal history of breast cancer.

How should I prepare for a screening mammogram?

On the day of the exam:

  • Do not wear lotion, deodorant, or powder under your arms or on your breasts. These can produce artifacts on the mammograms that may simulate disease.
  • Describe any problems you’re experiencing with your breasts with your technologist.
  • Remove all jewelry and clothing from the waist up. You will be given a gown that opens in the front.

What can I expect during the procedure?

mammography specialist

A radiologic technologist (a woman specializing in mammographic imaging) will position you standing near the machine and your breast will be placed on a contoured platform and compressed with contoured translucent plastic plate. Breast compression is necessary in order to:

  • Even out the breast thickness so that all of the tissue can be visualized.
  • Spread out the tissue so that small abnormalities won't be obscured.
  • Allow use of a lower x-ray dose.
  • Hold the breast still to eliminate blurring of the image caused by motion.

The technologist will go behind a glass shield while making the x-ray exposure. You will be asked to change positions slightly between views. The process is repeated for the other breast. Routine views are a top-to-bottom and side view of each breast. During the 3D procedure, the X-ray tube moves in an arc around the compressed breast, capturing nine images that are used to create a detailed, layer-by-layer view of the tissue.

What will I experience during the procedure?

The exam usually takes about 15 minutes altogether. The technologist will compress the breast only during the time immediately before and during x-ray exposure. Our technologists are highly experienced and understand the need to balance patient comfort with optimal image quality. Let the technologist know if you are experiencing more discomfort than you can tolerate. We compress because we care!

Who will read my mammogram?

Your mammogram will be read by one of our highly experienced radiologists. All of our radiologists are certified by the American Board of Radiology, have received special training in digital mammography including 3D imaging, read a large volume of mammograms annually, undergo annual performance audits, and remain at the forefront of breast imaging through continuing medical education specific to breast imaging and disease.

When and how will I find out the results of my mammogram?

Delaney Radiologists will send you a letter written in clear language detailing the results. We also send the radiologist’s comprehensive medical report to your physician. The vast majority of women receive a negative or normal report. You may receive a letter indicating that the radiologist has seen something that is clearly benign, such as a cyst. Sometimes we want to see you back before another year, such as a six-month follow-up mammogram of one breast or an ultrasound exam. It is not unusual to be called back within a few days of your mammogram with a request that you return for additional mammograms or an ultrasound exam of the breast. The great majority of such “call-backs” prove to be negative or confirmatory of benign findings such as cysts, benign calcifications, or lymph nodes, so if you get a call from us, please don’t panic!

If our radiologists see a significant or suspicious finding that will require further analysis with imaging or a biopsy, we follow-up and track your progress to insure that a final diagnosis is established.

Ultrasound

What is Ultrasonography?

Ultra Sound specialist with patient

Ultrasonography, also known simply as ultrasound or sono, is a method of obtaining diagnostic images of the body through the use of high frequency sound waves (not audible). Ultrasonography does not use radiation, making it ideal for imaging children and pregnant women. The equipment also has the advantage of being relatively portable.

How should I prepare for an Ultrasound?

  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Depending on the type of ultrasound exam you have, you will be asked:
    • Not to eat or drink for up to 12 hours before your appointment, or
    • Drink up to six glasses of water two hours prior to your exam and avoid urinating. This will ensure a full bladder when the exam begins
    • You will be given detailed instructions for your specific exam by your physician or our staff

What should I expect during this procedure?

The examination usually takes less than 30 minutes. After being positioned on the exam table, a clear warm gel is applied in the area being examined. This helps the ultrasound probe make contact with the skin. The technologist gently presses the transducer against the skin and views images on the ultrasound unit’s monitor. The technologist will record multiple images and perhaps video as well, that the radiologist uses to make a diagnosis.

The technologist will not be able to discuss findings with you during or after the exam, as the diagnostic images can be read only by a physician.

DEXA (Bone Densitometry)

DEXA - Bone densitometry

What is DEXA?

To accurately detect osteoporosis, doctors commonly use DEXA (which stands for the imposing term Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) bone densitometry to measure bone mineral density (BMD). DEXA is a quick, painless procedure for measuring bone calcium loss. Measurement of the lower spine and hips are performed.

What are some common uses of this procedure?

DEXA bone densitometry is most often used to diagnose osteoporosis, a condition that often affects women after menopause but may also be found in men. Osteoporosis involves a gradual loss of calcium, causing the bones to become thinner, more fragile and more likely to break.

DEXA is also effective in tracking the effects of treatment for osteoporosis and other conditions that cause bone loss.

The DEXA test can also assess an individual’s risk for developing fractures.

Bone Densitometry testing is strongly recommended if you:

  • Are a post-menopausal woman and not taking estrogen.
  • Have a personal or maternal history of hip fracture or smoking.
  • Are a post-menopausal woman who is tall (over 5 feet 7 inches) or thin (less than 125 pounds).
  • Are a man with clinical conditions associated with bone loss.
  • Use medications that are known to cause bone loss, including corticosteroids such as Prednisone, various anti-seizure medications such as Dilantin and certain barbiturates, or high-dose thyroid replacement drugs.
  • Have type 1 diabetes (formerly called juvenile or insulin-dependent), liver disease, kidney disease or a family history of osteoporosis.
  • Have high bone turnover, which shows up in the form of excessive collagen in urine samples.
  • Have a thyroid condition, such as hyperthyroidism.
  • Have a parathyroid condition, such as hyperparathyroidism.
  • Have experienced a fracture after only mild trauma.
  • Have had x-ray evidence of vertebral fracture or other signs of osteoporosis.

The Lateral Vertebral Assessment (LVA), a low-dose x-ray examination of the spine to screen for vertebral fractures that is performed on the DEXA machine, may be recommended for older patients, especially if:

  • They have lost more than an inch of height.
  • Have unexplained back pain.
  • If a DEXA scan gives borderline readings.

How should I prepare for this procedure?

  • Refrain from taking calcium supplements for at least 24 hours beforehand.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and avoid garments that have zippers, belts or buttons made of metal.
  • Let your technologist know if you’ve recently had a barium examination or have been injected with a contrast material for a CT or radioisotope scan.
  • Let your technologist know if there is a possibility you are pregnant.

What can I expect during this exam?

Depending on the equipment used and the parts of the body being examined, the test takes between 10 and 30 minutes.

  • You may be asked to undress and put on a gown.
  • You'll lie on a padded table with an x-ray tube below and a detector (an imaging device) above. It is important that you remain as still as possible during the procedure to ensure a clear and useful image.
  • Bone loss in the spine and hip are where most osteoporosis-related fractures happen:
    • During an examination of the spine, your legs will be supported on a padded box to flatten your pelvis and lower (lumbar) spine.
    • During examination of the hip, the technologist will place your foot in a brace that rotates the hip inward.
  • The detector is scanned over the area, generating images on a computer monitor. 

Special Procedures

Arthrography

X-ray guided injection of anesthetic and contrast agent into the joint of interest. The purpose is to better image the internal anatomy of the joint for more accurate diagnosis and surgical planning.

Therapeutic Joint Injection

X-ray guided injection of anesthetic and steroid into the joint. The purpose is determine if the joint is the cause of pain (as determined by response to injection), and to obtain temporary pain relief lasting hours to months.

Facet Injection (Hospital Facility Only)

Precise X-ray or CT guided injection of anesthetic and steroid into the small joints of the neck or back. The purpose is to determine if the facet joint is the cause of pain (as determined by response to injection) and to obtain pain relief lasting hours to months. There are two facet joints at each spinal segment with five lumbar segments and 7 cervical segments. Often multiple injections are performed at different segments to identify which segments are generating pain. The procedure is very important for precise diagnosis and treatment of neck and low back pain.