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Services Provided

Experience the Children's Difference.

The Department of Radiology at Children's Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha provides a full roster of radiology and imaging services with equipment and protocols specifically designed or modified for young patients.

Services provided include:

Radiography with digital acquisition

X-rays – the most basic form of medical imaging – have gone digital at Children's Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha. Radiography with digital acquisition replaces traditional film and makes x-ray images available as a digital file.

X-rays are invisible beams of radiation that pass through the body. The resulting 2- or 3-dimensional images show bones as well as air-filled and solid organs.

Depending on the results of the x-ray, additional tests or procedures may be scheduled to gather further diagnostic information.

The Children's Difference

The pediatric radiologists at Children's Hospital & Medical Center have extensive experience working with children, interpreting their x-rays and, in consultation with the referring physician, determining the most effective way forward.

Whenever radiation is involved in a procedure at Children's, our pediatric-trained specialists take every precaution to ensure that the amount of radiation used is the bare minimum necessary to achieve an accurate result. (Our Radiology Department supports and adheres to the recommendations of the Image Gently Campaign, an initiative of the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging. The campaign goal is to increase awareness of the opportunities to promote radiation protection in the imaging of children.)

It's a good idea to keep a record of your child's past history of radiation exposure, whether by x-rays or other types of scans, so you can inform your child's physician. Risks associated with radiation exposure may be related to the cumulative number of x-ray examinations and/or treatments over a long period of time.

Digital fluoroscopy

“Digital fluoroscopy” is an umbrella term that covers a number of different diagnostic procedures, including barium enemas, air contrast barium enemas, intravenous pyelograms (IVP), upper GI and small bowel series' and voiding cystourethrograms.

Digital fluoroscopy uses x-rays to take detailed, moving images of organs and deep body structures like the intestines, the bladder, the cardiac muscle and stomach. The images are then recorded to a computer where they can be viewed in real time.

Before a fluoroscopy exam, patients are given x-ray contrast – or air is used – to best show the area being studied.

An oral x-ray contrast may be used to study swallowing or the gastrointestinal tract (esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine).

To study the urinary system (bladder, ureters, kidneys, urethra), a catheter may be used to deliver contrast into the bladder, or the contrast may be injected intravenously.

Contrast may be delivered via an enema tube in studies involving the large intestine or rectum.

The length of the study will depend on the part of the body being imaged, but most studies take about 45 minutes.  

The Children's Difference.

Fluoroscopy exams can be difficult to complete, even for adults. That's why, at Children's Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha, we've taken steps to ease the process for our young patients. Projectors throw pictures on the wall and ceilings for the sake of distraction, and there are televisions in many of our  exam rooms.

Even more critical to the success of these studies is the caring hand of our experienced technologists, professionals who work with children each and every day, who know how to reassure young patients, hold their hands, and read their body language.

As with any study involving radiation, our pediatric-trained specialists take every precaution to ensure that the amount of radiation used is the bare minimum necessary to achieve an accurate result.

The Department of Radiology at Children's supports and adheres to the recommendations of the Image Gently Campaign, an initiative of the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging. The campaign goal is to increase awareness of the opportunities to promote radiation protection in the imaging of children.

Ultrasound

An ultrasound, which generally takes about 30 minutes, uses ultrasonic sound waves to make pictures of various organs. A hand-held probe, called a transducer, sends the waves out at a frequency too high to be heard. They bounce off the organs like an echo, return to the transducer and are converted into an electronic picture of the organs.

Your child's physician might recommend an ultrasound for a number of reasons. The procedure can assess the size and location of abdominal organs and structures as well as detect cysts, tumors, abscesses, obstructions, fluid collection, clots in blood vessels, and infection within the abdomen.

A clear, water-based gel is applied to the skin to allow for smooth movement and eliminate air between the skin and the transducer. (No radiation or contrast dyes are used during ultrasound.)

Some patients will have to put on a special gown for their ultrasound, depending on the part of the body being scanned.

While the procedure itself is painless, having to lie still for the length of the procedure may cause slight discomfort. The technologist will use all possible comfort measures and complete the procedure as quickly as possible.

The Children's Difference.

The pediatric-trained specialists at Children's Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha excel at making children feel comfortable in situations that can be a little unsettling. During an ultrasound procedure, we'll explain everything to your children – from why we need to use gel and how they need to lay to what they're seeing on screen as sound waves turn into pictures.

CT (Computer tomography) Scan

During a computed tomography scan (also called CT or CAT scan), an x-ray beam moves in a circle around the body, allowing for many different views of the same internal organ or structure, providing much greater detail than a conventional x-ray. The data is sent to a computer which interprets the information and displays it in two-dimensional form on a monitor.

CT scans normally take approximately 30-to-60 minutes and may be done with or without contrast. ("Contrast" refers to a substance taken by mouth or injected into an intravenous (IV) line that causes the particular organ or tissue being studied to be seen more clearly.)

During the procedure, your child will lie on a narrow table that slides into a doughnut-shaped hole that’s part of the CT scanner. Children may receive a mild sedative before the procedure to make them feel more comfortable, and to help them to remain still during the procedure.

Depending on the results of the CT scan, additional tests or procedures may be scheduled to gather further diagnostic information.

The Children's Difference.

CT scans do involve the use of radiation, but our CT doses are "child size," carefully calculated to decrease the long term cancer risk to children. At Children's Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha, we only use CT scans when absolutely necessary (emergent trauma cases, for example), deferring to ultrasound or MRI, whenever feasible, to minimize radiation exposure.

Parents may be able to stay with their child in the CT scan room until their child becomes sleepy, but they are usually asked to wait in another area during the procedure to avoid exposure to unnecessary radiation.

The Department of Radiology at Children's supports and adheres to the recommendations of the Image Gently Campaign, an initiative of the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging. The campaign goal is to increase awareness of the opportunities to promote radiation protection in the imaging of children.

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)

 MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a diagnostic procedure that uses a large magnet, radio-frequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs, structures, masses and tumors within the body.

The MRI machine – a hollow tube-shaped scanner – creates a strong magnetic field around the patient. This magnetic field, along with a radio-frequency, alters the natural alignment of hydrogen atoms in the body. Computers are then used to form two-dimensional images based on the activity of the hydrogen atoms. Cross-sectional views can be obtained to reveal further details. An MRI, unlike x-rays or computed tomography (CT scans), does not use radiation.

During the procedure, which may last 30-to-60 minutes, your child will lie on a narrow table that slides into the scanner. Depending on the results of the MRI, additional tests or procedures may be scheduled to gather further diagnostic information.

The Children's Difference.

At Children's Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha, our two MRI scanners are child-friendly and unlike any other in the state of Nebraska.

Not only are they decorated in a calming underwater theme on the outside, they are outfitted with a unique TV/video system on the inside, technology you won't find in any other MRI scanner in the state of Nebraska. With a movie rolling, a child can, optimally, remain still and quiet during the 30-to-60 minute study without the need of a mild sedative.

MRI scanning machines make loud banging or knocking noises when adjustments are being made. Your child will wear a set of headphones to help protect his/her ears and hear instructions from the MRI staff (as well as the soundtrack of their movie).

Nuclear Medicine studies

Nuclear medicine is a branch of radiology that uses radioactive isotopes to create images of the body. Doctors use these images to diagnose disease, injury or abnormality and assist in planning treatment. Unlike most other imaging studies that only show a picture of the structure imaged, nuclear medicine studies (also called scans) show how well these organs and structures are functioning.

To complete a nuclear medicine study, patients are given a very small amount of a radiotracer which travels to the part of the body of interest. Radiotracers are most often injected intravenously, but they can also be ingested, inhaled or introduced through a small catheter placed into the bladder or the stomach.

The radiotracer emits invisible energy called gamma rays, which can be seen by gamma cameras or PET scanners. These large cameras produce images of the movement and location of the radiotracer which, in turn, helps doctors to see structures within the body and assess how well they are functioning. Imaging time can take from 2 minutes to 2 hours depending on the type of study. Your child will be exposed to a very small amount of radiation that is within the lower range of what is received from routine diagnostic imaging procedures using x-rays.

(includes information from www.imagegently.com)

The Children's Difference.

The nuclear medicine professionals at Children's Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha work to ensure that your child is exposed to the smallest amount of radiation possible during a nuclear medicine study while still ensuring a high image quality.

The Department of Radiology at Children's supports and adheres to the recommendations of the Image Gently Campaign, an initiative of the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging. The campaign goal is to increase awareness of the opportunities to promote radiation protection in the imaging of children.

Bone Densitometry (DXA)

Bone densitometry is used to measure the bone mineral content and density. This measurement can indicate decreased bone mass, a condition in which bones are more brittle and more prone to break or fracture easily. Bone densitometry is used primarily to diagnose osteoporosis and to determine fracture risk. The testing procedure measures the bone density of the bones of the spine, pelvis, lower arm, and thigh.

Bone densitometry testing may be done using x-rays, dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA or DEXA) or by quantitative CT scanning using special software to determine bone density of the hip or spine. 

 The Children's Difference.

The Radiology Department at Children's Hospital & Medical Center supports and adheres to the recommendations of the Image Gently Campaign, an initiative of the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging. The campaign goal is to increase awareness of the opportunities to promote radiation protection in the imaging of children.

Whenever radiation is involved in a procedure at Children's, our pediatric-trained specialists take every precaution to ensure that the amount of radiation used is the bare minimum necessary to achieve an accurate result

It's a good idea to keep a record of your child's past history of radiation exposure, such as previous scans and other types of x-rays, so you can inform your child's physician. Risks associated with radiation exposure may be related to the cumulative number of x-ray examinations and/or treatments over a long period of time.

© Children's Hospital & Medical Center | In Affiliation with University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine