DOVER-FOXCROFT - Patients of Mayo Regional Hospital can now benefit from a new medical imaging technique called Volume Ultrasound, which helps Mayo physicians to quickly and precisely perform general imaging in a broad range of clinical applications, from abdominal and breast to vascular imaging.
The latest addition to Mayo’s Radiology Department, Volume Ultrasound produces high-definition, multi-dimensional images that can be viewed in any plane and in real-time modes, which was previously not possible with traditional ultrasound techniques.
Ultrasound, also known as sonography, creates images of internal bodily structures and organs for diagnostic medical purposes. Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves and advanced computing technology to create the images.
The new capabilities are enabled by a newly installed ultrasound system from General Electric Healthcare, purchased by Mayo in March for $163,000.
Images created by Volume Ultrasound enable staff to better visualize and measure the size, shape, location and volume of a lesion, helping physician conduct a more thorough evaluation of a patient. The images are produced at tremendous speeds -- enabling the scan of an entire organ, such as a kidney or liver, within seconds.
Images can be displayed and navigated in a “movie” mode either during or after the exam. The system also allows physicians to compare several different perspectives of an organ at once.
The clarity and versatility of the new ultrasound images may improve several aspects of the diagnostic process, especially the ability to do a “virtual rescan” after the patient has gone home.
“Our physicians can rotate, zoom, colorize, create new views and otherwise manipulate the raw scan data that was collected to evaluate the anatomy and surrounding tissues to rule out concerns. This helps patients avoid having to return for more imaging,” said Mayo sonographer Ruby Grindle. The virtual rescan technology also enables Mayo to provide patients with multiple experts’ opinions without patients making multiple office visits.
In addition, the speed of the Volume Ultrasound technology helps reduce patient exam times significantly, which is beneficial to patients who are in emergency care situations.
Mayo’s Radiology Department conducted over 19,000 patient examinations in 2004, using a variety of imaging modalities: CT scan, MRI, ultrasound, X-ray, nuclear medicine, mammography and bone densitometry.
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