Specialties

  • Services Provided

  • Porter-Radiology.jpg

    For more information about Porter Hospital's radiology services, call 303-778-5626.

    Porter Adventist Hospital is one of Denver's leading health care facilities when it comes to diagnostic technology and digital imaging procedures. Led by board-certified radiologists, Porter Hospital’s radiology and medical imaging program is nationally recognized for its expertise in diagnosing heart disease, various types of cancer and other medical conditions.

    At Porter Hospital, we are dedicated to helping people detect medical problems in their earliest stages to assist health care providers with creating beneficial treatment plans based on high-quality and accurate imaging and diagnostics.


  • To schedule an ultrasound procedure, call 844-325-5435. 

    Porter Adventist Hospital uses ultrasound imaging to painlessly create images of organs and systems within the body. Ultrasound imaging uses high-frequency sound waves that computer then translates into an image based off wave reflection. Unlike X-rays or CT scan, there is no ionizing radiation exposure with this test.

    Patient Information

    What to Expect

    For an ultrasound, a clear, warm gel is applied to a patient's skin over the area being examined to help with the transmission of the sound waves. A handheld probe called a transducer is moved over the area being examined. Patients may be asked to hold their breath or change positions throughout the exam process.

    How to Prepare

    Patients will receive specific preparation instructions based on the type of ultrasound exam they are having at the time of scheduling the exam.

    Click here for detailed preparation instructions »
    Pet Scan Prep Instructions
    Nuclear Medicine Prep Instructions
    CT Prep Instructions
    MRI Prep Instructions
    Basic Diagnostic Test
    Ultrasound Prep Instructions 

    Risks

    There are no documented risks associated with ultrasound imaging.

    ACR Accreditation — Ultrasound

    Porter Adventist Hospital is accredited in the delivery of ultrasound by the American College of Radiology (ACR). Ultrasound accreditation demonstrates excellence in the acquisition of clinical images, submission of relevant physician reports corresponding to clinical images submitted, and quality control documentation.

    CT

    To schedule a CT scan, call 844-325-5435. 

    CT.jpg

    CT (computed tomography) is an imaging technique that uses X-rays to create digital cross sections of areas throughout the body. 

    Porter Adventist Hosptial in Denver, Colorado uses a state-of-the-art 64 Slice CT scan to identify internal injuries, guide interventional procedures as well as plan for surgery and other types of treatment.

    Patient Information

    What to Expect

    For a CT scan, patients lie on a thin padded table that slides into the center of a round donut shaped scanner.

    Small detectors inside the scanner measure X-rays that travel through the body while a computer creates several individual cross section images called slices. By stacking the slices, a three-dimensional image can be created.

    Patients must be still during the exam because movements cause blurred images. Additionally, patients may be asked to hold their breath for short periods of time to limit movement.

    Generally, complete scans take only a few minutes. Our advanced multi-detector scanner can image your entire body in less than 30 seconds.

    Certain CT scans require a special dye (called "contrast") to be administered before the test starts. Contrast can highlight specific areas inside the body, which creates a clearer image.  Contrast can be given several ways and depends on the type of CT being performed.

    How to Prepare

    Patients will receive specific preparation instructions based on the type of scan they are having at the time of scheduling. 

    Before a CT, female patients need to tell the health care team if they might be pregnant.

    Patients are encouraged to leave jewelry at home as they will need to remove anything that will be in the way of the CT. Also, patients may be asked to change clothes and wear a hospital gown.

    Click here for detailed preparation instructions »

    Risks

    CT scans are strictly monitored and controlled to limit radiation exposure to patients. CT scans use low levels of ionizing radiation, which has the potential to cause cancer and other defects. However, the risk associated with any individual CT scan is minimal. The risk increases as numerous additional studies are performed.  The CT scan may still be done if the benefits greatly outweigh the minimal risks.

    An abdominal CT scan is usually not recommended for pregnant women because it may harm the unborn child. Women who are or may be pregnant should speak with their health care provider to determine if ultrasound can be used instead.

    The most common type of contrast given into a vein contains trace amounts of iodine.  A warm flush feeling with a metallic taste in your mouth is not uncommon and will only last a minute or so.  Although rare, if a person with an iodine allergy is given contrast, nausea, sneezing, vomiting, itching, or hives may occur. Scanners come with an intercom and speakers, so the operator can hear you at all times.

    ACR Accreditation — CT

    Porter Adventist Hosptial is accreditted in the delivery of CT by the  American College of Radiology (ACR). CT accreditation demonstrates excellence in the acquisition of clinical and phantom images, dose measurements and the submission of scanning protocols.

    For more information or to schedule an MRI, call 303-765-6550. 

    An MRI (magnetic resonance image) scan is an advanced imaging test that uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create detailed pictures of the body while avoiding the use of ionizing radiation.

     

    At Porter Adventist Hospital, we use a MRI 3T (where the "3T" stands for a magnetic field strength of three Tesla units) that allows for extremely clear diagnostic images of the brain, spine and musculoskeletal system as well as other regions of the body.  The increased strength of our MRI also allows for faster scanning times while also delivering higher quality medical images.


    Patient Information

    What to Expect

    Patients are asked to wear a hospital gown or clothing without metal fasteners (such as sweatpants and a t-shirt) as certain types of metal can be dangerous to have on in the scanner room.

    Patients lie on a narrow padded table that slides into a large tunnel-shaped scanner.  Because the table may be hard or cold, patients can request a blanket or pillow to make it more comfortable.

    The MRI machine produces loud thumping and humming noises when it is turned on. Patients can wear ear plugs or request special headphones with music to help reduce the noise. 

    During the MRI, the technologist will watch the patient from another room. An intercom in the room allows patients to speak to the technologist at any time.

    Some exams require a special dye know as "contrast". The dye is usually given before the test through an IV in the hand or forearm.

    An MRI exam causes no pain; however, some patients may find it uncomfortable to remain still during imaging. If a patient has difficulty lying still or are very nervous, they may be given medicine to relax. As with most diagnostic tests, too much movement can blur MRI images and cause errors.

    Unless a patient is given medication to relax, an MRI has no recovery time. After an MRI scan, patients can resume their normal diet, activity and medications.  

    MRI tests take approximately 30-60 minutes, but may take longer in certain circumstances.

    How to Prepare

    Patients will receive specific preparation instructions based on the type of MRI scan they are having at the time of scheduling the exam.

    Patients should tell their doctor if they are afraid of close spaces or have claustrophobia. They may be prescribed medication to reduce anxiety.

    Before scheduling an MRI, patients need to tell their health care provider if they have:

     Brain aneurysm clips 
     Certain types of artificial heart valves 
     Inner ear (cochlear) implants 
     Kidney disease or dialysis (you may not be able to receive contrast) 
    Recently placed artificial joints 
     Certain types of vascular stents 
     Worked with sheet metal in the past (you may need tests to check for metal pieces in your eyes)

    Because the MRI contains strong magnets, metal objects are not allowed into the room with the MRI scanner:

     Pens, pocketknives, and eyeglasses may fly across the room. 
     Items such as jewelry, watches, credit cards, and hearing aids can be damaged. 
     Pins, hairpins, metal zippers, and similar metallic items can distort the images. 
    Removable dental work should be taken out just before the scan. 
    Body piercings should be removed

    Click here for detailed preparation instructions »

    Risks

    MRI uses no radiation and to date, no side effects from magnetic fields and radio waves have been reported.

    If sedation is used, there are risks of excessive sedation. The technologist or nurse monitors your vital signs to minimize this risk.

    The most common type of contrast dye is derived from gadolinium. Allergic reactions to this substance rarely occur. However, gadolinium can be harmful to patients with kidney problems who require dialysis. If you have kidney problems, please tell your health care provider before scheduling the test.

    The strong magnetic fields created during an MRI can cause certain heart pacemakers and other implants to not work as well. It can also cause a piece of metal inside your body to move or shift.


    ACR Accreditation — MRI

     Porter Adventist Hosptial is accreditted in the delivery of MRI by the  American College of Radiology (ACR). MRI accreditation demonstrates excellence in the qualifications of personnel, quality control programs, MR safety policies and image quality specific to MRI.

    To schedule a PET/CT scan, call 844-325-5435.  PET/CT is an advanced radiology technique used at Porter Adventist Hospital that combines Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Computed Tomography (CT) to diagnosis conditons earlier while enabling more precise treatments and monitoring.

    PET/CT is typically used to diagnose and determine the severity of or treat a variety of diseases including cancer, heart disease, gastrointestinal problems, endocrine disorders, neurological problems and other abnormalities.

    Patient Information

    What to Expect

    Patients lie on a padded table that slides into the center of a round donut shaped scanner.  If necessary, an IV will be inserted into the hand or arm. Depending on the type of nuclear medicine exam a patient will undergo, a dose of radiotracer is injected, swallowed or inhaled as a gas. It will take approximately 60 minutes for the radiotracer to travel through the body and to be absorbed by the organs or tissues being studied. During this time, a patient will be asked to rest quietly, avoiding movement and talking. Patients may be asked to drink a contrast dye material that will aid the radiologist interpreting the study. Once prepared, patients are then moved into the PET-CT scanner where imaging can take place. Those undergoing a PET-CT scan will need to remain still during imaging and hold their breath for short intervals. The total scanning time for PET-CT is approximately 30 minutes.Depending on which organ or tissue is being examined, additional tests involving other tracers or drugs may be used, which could lengthen the procedure time to three hours. How to Prepare Patients will receive specific preparation instructions based on the type of PET scan they are having at the time of scheduling the exam. Women should always inform their physician and the technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant or if they are breastfeeding.  If a woman is breastfeeding at the time of the exam, they should ask their doctor how to proceed. For instance, it may help to pump breast milk ahead of time and keep it on hand for use after the PET radiopharmaceutical and CT contrast material are no longer in a patient's  body. Prior to testing, a patient will be asked about any medications they are taking, including vitamins and herbal supplements. Patients should inform their physician and the radiology technologist if they have any allergies. For most PET procedures, patients are asked not to eat anything for several hours or drink any liquids containing sugars or calories. Metal objects including jewelry, eyeglasses, hearing aids, dentures and hairpins may affect the CT images and may be removed prior to an exam.Click here for detailed preparation instructions »

    Risks

    Because the doses of radiotracer administered are small in a PET/CT study, this procedure results in relatively low radiation exposure to the patient. As a result, the radiation risk of a PET/CT scan is very low compared with the potential benefits. Injection of the radiotracer may cause slight discomfort and redness at the injection site which should quickly resolve. Allergic reactions to radiopharmaceuticals may occur but are extremely rare and are usually mild. Nevertheless, you should inform the technologist of any allergies you may have or other problems that may have occurred during a previous nuclear medicine or PET/CT exams. The CT part of the scan is strictly monitored and controlled to limit radiation exposure to patients.  This scan uses low levels of ionizing radiation. However, the risk associated with any individual scan is small. The risk increases as numerous additional studies are performed.

    ACR Accreditation — Nuclear Medicine & PET

    Porter Adventist Hosptial is accreditted in the delivery of nuclear medicine and PET by the American College of Radiology (ACR). Nuclear medicine and PET accreditation demonstrates excellence in the acquisition of clinical and phantom images and corresponding data for each unit.  

    To schedule a nuclear medicine procedure, call 844-325-5435.

    Nuclear medicine uses a small amount of radioactive material and a scanner to create diagnostic images that show how a specific organ functions.

    Porter Adventist Hospital regularly uses nuclear medicine techniques to evaluate and diagnose medical issues occurring in the heart, lungs, thyroid, liver, gallbladder and bones.

    Patient Information

    What to Expect

    The radioactive materials used in most nuclear medicine scans have been refined for safety and is typically given by injection or taken by mouth. Several types of patient-safe radioactive materials are used for different nuclear medicine exams, yet most all radioactive material becomes undetectable within one to two days.

    Once the material has been administered, testing may begin at various times - anywhere from a few minutes to a few days later, based on the organ being studied and material being used. The material travels through the body and collects in the organs and tissues that will be studied.

    For the imaging itself, patients will lie still on a padded table under a scanner.

    Nuclear medicine scans can take approximately 30-90 minutes depending on the type of test ordered.

    How to Prepare

    Patients will receive specific preparation instructions based on the type of nuclear medicine procedure they are having at the time of scheduling the exam.

    Click here for detailed preparation instructions »

    Risks

    Small amounts of radiation are used to produce a scan; however, the level of radiation in this procedure is not considered significant enough to cause harm to the average person.

    Pregnant or nursing women should consult their health care provider before any exposure to radiation, because fetuses and nursing babies are more sensitive to the effects of radiation.

    ACR Accreditation — Nuclear Medicine & PET

    Porter Adventist Hosptial is accreditted in the delivery of nuclear medicine and PET by the  American College of Radiology (ACR). Nuclear medicine and PET accreditation demonstrates excellence in the acquisition of clinical and phantom images and corresponding data for each unit.

    To schedule a diagnostic X-ray, call 844-325-5435.

    Diagnostic X-rays and other types of standard radiology procedures utilize electromagnetic radiation to obtain diagnostic medical images. While modern technology now offers other types of advanced imaging procedures, standard X-rays are the first-line test for many conditions. 

    Diagnostic X-rays are performed regularly at Porter Adventist Hospital and at our outpatient clinics .

    Patient Information

    What to Expect

    Depending on the type of X-ray being done, a patient's body will be positioned in a way to obtain the best diagnostic image.  For many types of X-rays, a patient will need to stay still as motion can cause blurry and unreadable images. A patient may also be asked to hold their breath for a short amount of time to prevent motion.

    Diagnostic X-rays are completely painless; however, some positions may cause temporary discomfort.

    How to Prepare

    Patients will receive specific preparation instructions based on the type of X-rays they are having at the time of scheduling. 

    Before an X-ray, female patients need to tell the health care team if they might be pregnant.

    Patients are encouraged to leave jewelry at home as they will need to remove anything that will be in the way of an X-ray. Also, patients may be asked to change clothes and wear a hospital gown.

    Click here for detailed preparation instructions »

    Risks

    X-rays are strictly regulated to deliver the least amount of radiation needed to produce a high quality image.

    For most conventional x-rays, the risk of cancer or birth defects is minimal. Most experts feel that benefits of appropriate imaging greatly outweigh any risks.

    Young children and babies in the womb are more sensitive to the risks, therefore it is very important to tell your health care provider and performing technologist if you think you might be pregnant.

    Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver, Colorado specializes in a number of IR procedures incuding:

     IR ProcedureDescription
     AngiogramAn exam of the arteries or veins that is used to diagnose blockages or irregularities in blood vessels.  This exam uses wires and catheter to access the arteries or veins and contrast to view those blood vessels.
     AV FistulagramA procedure that uses angiography to determine if angioplasty and/or thrombolysis is needed to open blocked grafts.
     Biliary Drain PlacementA wire and catheter combination that can access ducts and open up blockages to allow bile to drain from the liver.
     BiopsyAn exam that collects a sampling of cells or tissues for laboratory examination.
     Central Line PlacmentA procedure that inserts a catheter into the blood vessels so that patients can receive medication or nutrients directly into the blood stream. Blood can also be drawn through this catheter.
     Chemo EmbolizationA non-surgical procedure that delivers cancer-fighting agents directly to a cancerous tumor.  At Porter Adventist Hospital this is typically used to treat cancers of the liver.
     Drain PlacementVarious types of drains are placed in interventional radiology for various reasons.  A couple of examples include abscess drainage and vessel blockages.
     EmbolizationsMinimally invasive treatments that occlude or block blood vessels.  Medications or synthetic materials called embolic agents are placed through a catheter into a blood vessel to prevent blood flow to the area.
     

    Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI)

    A procedure frequently used to reduce inflammation. An epidural is an injection that delivers steroids and local anesthetic directly into the epidural space in the spine.
     IVC Filter PlacementA tiny cage-like device that is placed in a blood vessel to prevent blood clots from flowing to your heart.
     KyphoplastyA pain treatment for fractured vertebra in which medical-grade bone cement is injected into the vertebra.
     Port Placement (Arms or Chest)A port is a device that allows an easy and reliable way to give medicine into the veins and take blood samples from the veins.  Patients who have ports often say that they are relieved that they do not have to be poked over and over to find a good vein.
     ThrombolysisA procedure that dissolves blood clots by injecting clot-busting agents at the site of a blockage.  This can also be accomplished by positioning a mechanical device at the site to break up the clot.
     Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt (TIPS)

    A life-saving procedure that improves blood flow and prevents hemorrhage in patients with severe liver dysfunction.

    A shunt is a tract created within the liver using x-ray guidance to connect two veins within the liver. The shunt is kept open by the placement of a small, tubular metal device commonly called a stent.  A TIPS is used to treat the complications of portal hypertension, including:

    • Variceal bleeding, bleeding from any of the veins that normally drain the stomach, esophagus, or intestines into the liver.
    • Portal gastropathy, an engorgement of the veins in the wall of the stomach, which can cause severe bleeding.
    • Severe ascites (the accumulation of fluid in the abdomen) and/or hydrothorax (in the chest).
    • Budd-Chiari syndrome, a blockage in one or more veins that carry blood from the liver back to the heart.
     Transjugular Liver BiopsyA procedure that inserts a catheter into a vein in the neck which is then guided to the liver to collect a piece of tissue for laboratory evaluation.
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