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Radiology/Imaging

Mason City Clinic | Radiology Imaging ServicesMason City Clinic’s Radiology and Imaging Center offers services with state-of-the-art digital imaging equipment. Our Imaging Center’s CT and MRI services are ACR-accredited. Our technologists are licensed and hold advanced certification in their areas of specialty.

Our mission is to provide the highest-quality imaging services to our patients. Our radiologists are board-certified with many years of experience in all facets of radiology. We offer a clinical staff delivering high-quality care in a comfortable, safe and confidential environment. Our office staff offers helpful and compassionate services with patient satisfaction as their first priority. Our costs are often less than services provided in the traditional hospital setting.

Services Offered

: 250 S. Crescent Drive, Mason City, IA
: 641.494.5250

: 250 S. Crescent Drive, Mason City, IA
: 641.494.5261

: 520 S. Pierce, Suite 100, Mason City, IA
: 641.494.5490


Ultrasound – General and Vascular

Ultrasound, or sonography, produces imaging using high-frequency sound waves. It is especially useful for examining the aorta, carotids, blood flow in the extremities, breasts, bladder, thyroid, kidneys and other abdominal organs for conditions such as abdominal aortic aneurysm, peripheral artery disease, congestive heart failure, thyroid disorder and acid reflux.

During the procedure, the patient is positioned on an examination table and a warm, clear gel is applied to the area being examined. A transducer is then firmly pressed against the skin and swept back and forth to obtain the image.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRI provides physicians with a noninvasive method of obtaining high-quality images. It combines a powerful magnet with an advanced computer system and radio waves to produce accurate, detailed pictures of organs and tissues in order to diagnose a variety of medical conditions.

Mason City Imaging offers high-field MRI, which produces a high-quality image in the shortest time, allowing for the most accurate diagnosis to be made.

Preparation required

Before an MRI exam, eat normally and continue to take your usual medications, unless otherwise instructed. You will be asked to change into a gown and to remove things that might affect the magnetic imaging: jewelry, hairpins, eyeglasses, watches, wigs, dentures, hearing aids, underwire bras, etc. It is best to leave your jewelry at home.

Risks

Because MRI uses powerful magnets, the presence of metal in your body may be a safety hazard or affect a portion of the MRI image. Before having an MRI, tell the technologist if you have any metal or electronic devices in your body, such as:

  • Metallic joint prostheses
  • Artificial heart valves
  • Brain aneurysm clips
  • Implantable heart defibrillator
  • Pacemaker
  • Metal clips
  • Cochlear implants
  • Implanted spinal cord or brain stimulator
  • Shrapnel or any other type of metal fragment
  • Metal fragments in the eye

Before you schedule an MRI, tell your doctor if you think you’re pregnant. The effects of magnetic fields on fetuses aren’t well-understood. Your doctor may recommend choosing an alternative exam or postponing the MRI.

What you can expect

During the test

  • The MRI machine looks like a long, narrow tube that has both ends open. You lie down on a movable table that slides into the opening of the tube. A technologist monitors you from another room. You can talk with the person by microphone. If you have a fear of enclosed spaces (claustrophobia), you may need to contact your physician to be given a medicine to help you feel sleepy and less anxious. Most people get through the exam without difficulty.
  • The MRI machine creates a strong magnetic field around you, and radio waves are directed at your body. The procedure is painless. You don’t feel the magnetic field or radio waves, and there are no moving parts around you.
  • During the MRI scan, the internal part of the magnet produces repetitive tapping, thumping and other noises. Earplugs or music may be provided to help block the noise.
  • In some cases, a contrast material, gadolinium, may be injected through an intravenous (IV) line into a vein in your hand or arm. The contrast material enhances the appearance of certain details. The contrast material used for MRIs is less likely to cause an allergic reaction than the contrast material used for CT scans.
  • An MRI can last anywhere from 30 minutes to more than an hour. You must hold very still because movement can blur the resulting images.

After the test

  • If you haven’t been sedated, you may resume your usual activities immediately after the scan.

Results of the test

The test will be interpreted promptly and results will be sent to the ordering physician who will share the results with the patient.


Computed Tomography (CT)

CT is a way of looking inside the body using a special camera that takes a complete 360-degree picture. It combines the latest X-ray technology with high-speed computers to capture images of fast-moving physical processes. It can be used to diagnose peripheral artery disease, thyroid disorder, abdominal aortic aneurysm, congestive heart failure and acid reflux. The images produced are cross-sectional and show much greater detail than standard X-ray films. This greatly enhances the healthcare provider’s ability to diagnose a medical condition.

To make a clearer picture of certain parts of the body, some CT exams require the use of contrast material.

Two types of contrast material might be given to you:
By mouth – If your esophagus, stomach or colon is being scanned, you may need to swallow a liquid that contains contrast material. This drink may taste unpleasant.
By injection – Contrast agents can be injected through a vein in your arm to help your gallbladder, urinary tract, liver or blood vessels stand out on the images. You may experience a feeling of warmth during the injection or a metallic taste in your mouth.

Preparation required

Patients will be asked to change into a gown for most procedures. Metal objects can affect the image, so clothing with zippers, snaps, etc. should be avoided. Patients may be asked to remove hairpins, jewelry, eyeglasses, hearing aids and any removable dental work that could obscure the images. Patients may be asked to refrain from eating or drinking anything for three to four hours before the exam. Their healthcare provider will give the patient instructions specific to a particular exam. The patient can leave immediately following the test.

What you can expect

CT scans are painless and, with newer machines, take only a few minutes. The whole procedure typically takes about 30 minutes. Your healthcare provider will give instructions specific to a patient’s particular exam to them.

During the procedure

CT scanners are shaped like a large doughnut standing on its side. You lie on a narrow, motorized table that slides through the opening. During a head scan, the table may be fitted with a special cradle that holds your head still. While the table moves you into the scanner, detectors and the X-ray tube rotate around you. Each rotation yields several images of thin slices of your body. You may hear buzzing and whirring noises. A technologist in a separate room can see and hear you. You will be able to communicate with the technologist via intercom. The technologist may ask you to hold your breath at certain points to avoid blurring the images.

After the procedure

After the exam you can return to your normal routine. If you were given contrast material, you will be told to drink lots of fluids to help your kidneys remove the contrast material from your body.

Results of the test

The test will be interpreted promptly and results will be sent to the ordering physician who will share the results with the patient.

To learn more about our radiology imaging services, please call 641.494.5250 today or use our online form to schedule an appointment. Our radiology patients come to us from Albert Lea, Algona, Charles City, Iowa Falls, Mason City, New Hampton and surrounding communities.

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