Superior quality is a key factor to consider when you need an imaging test to help diagnose or treat a medical condition. And superior quality is just what you can expect at Maui Health.
A wide variety of imaging tests are available at Maui Memorial Medical Center (MMMC). We use some of the most advanced technology available anywhere in Hawaii. That means you can get the tests your doctor orders right here on Maui. And you can always be confident in the quality of your results.
Choose Maui Health for quality, convenience and comfort
Here are just a few of the reasons that Maui Health is the right choice for your next imaging exam:
- High-quality exams and technology. For example, we have the most powerful magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine available for clinical use.
- A full range of services. This means you can get most tests your doctor orders all in one place; that's a time-saver.
- A wide range of appointment options to fit your busy schedule.
- A focus on your comfort. For example, an MRI scan can be stressful for some people. We get that. That's why we offer complementary and alternative medicine strategies, such as aromatherapy, to ease stress for those who feel anxious or claustrophobic in the MRI machine.
Imaging and radiation facts and myths
Some radiology tests use radiation to create images. Others don't.
4 facts and myths about imaging and radiation
Imaging tests are used to look inside the body. They help doctors diagnose conditions and determine the best treatments. There are various types of imaging tests, many of which use radiation. The type of imaging recommended for you will depend on the goal of the test, your condition and the part of your body being examined.
To help you understand more about imaging and radiation, here are some common myths and facts.
Myth or fact: You should avoid all radiation.
MYTH. We’re exposed to radiation every day. We get it from the air, outer space, the ground and even the food we eat. Scientists measure radiation in millisieverts (mSv). It’s estimated that the average person in the U.S. receives a dose of about 3 mSv per year just through natural means.
For comparison, the radiation you receive from an x-ray of your ankle is 0.001 mSv. That’s equal to 3 hours of natural radiation. A CT scan of your lungs imparts 1.5 mSv, or the equivalent of six months of natural radiation. Even that amount is considered a very low health risk.
If you need imaging that uses radiation, the radiologist will ensure you’re exposed to the lowest amount possible for an effective test.
Myth or fact: All imaging tests use some form of radiation.
MYTH. Plain x-rays, CT scans and nuclear scans use radiation. But ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans don’t.
An ultrasound uses sound waves to create an image. MRIs use a large magnet and radio waves.
Myth or fact: Imaging tests that use radiation are considered safe.
FACT. Many activities we think of as safe—like taking a walk—carry some degree of risk. Similarly, imaging tests that use radiation are considered safe. Radiologists use the lowest radiation possible to get effective images. It would take ultra-high levels of radiation—far more than those used in diagnostic imaging—to potentially cause cancer later in life.
Still, you want to minimize your exposure to radiation when possible. If you’re worried that your imaging test will expose you to unnecessary radiation, discuss your concerns with your doctor or the radiologist. Maybe you’ve had a similar test done recently that could provide the information they need. Or you may have the option of a different test that wouldn’t expose you to radiation.
Myth or fact: Radiation tests can make you infertile.
MYTH. Very high radiation doses can harm eggs or sperm. But the amount of radiation used in diagnostic radiology is very low. No studies have shown that low-level radiation exposure to eggs or sperm causes birth defects or miscarriage. Even cancer patients whose ovaries received fairly high levels of radiation have shown no negative lasting effects.
You can lower your risk from an imaging test by letting your doctor know if you are—or think you could be—pregnant before having the procedure. Your doctor might want to postpone or modify it to lower the amount of radiation you’ll receive.
Learn more about specific imaging tests and how they might be used.
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; The Joint Commission; Radiological Society of North America
Imaging tests we offer
The Imaging Department at MMMC serves outpatients and inpatients in a variety of settings, including in the Emergency Department.
Here are the imaging tests we offer and examples of some of the ways we use them:
Our Philips 3 Tesla MRI scanner produces the highest quality images of any MRI machine currently available. Its ultra-fast scans mean you'll spend less time inside the MRI machine. In addition, our machine is much quieter than older models, which also makes your exam more comfortable.
MRI tests and procedures include: Diagnostic scans of the brain, neck, sinuses, head, chest, abdomen, pelvis and muscular-skeletal system; cardiac, breast and prostate imaging; total-body MRI.
Computed tomography (CT)
Our Toshiba 640-slice CT yields excellent images in less time than older scanners. How fast is it? It can image the human heart in a mere fraction of a second! That speed means less radiation exposure, which is safer for you.
CT tests and procedures include: Diagnostic scans of the brain, neck, sinuses, head, chest, abdomen and pelvis; coronary artery imaging and calcium scoring; CT-guided biopsies; low-dose lung cancer screening.
Like all ultrasound units, our GE Logic ultrasound machines provide safe, diagnostic imaging with soundwaves. But our high-definition machines also offer an extra layer of image quality excellence.
Ultrasound tests and procedures include: Diagnostic scans of the abdomen, pelvis and neonatal head; Doppler ultrasound of the carotid, vertebral and renal arteries; ultrasound-guided biopsies; ultrasound-guided abscess drainage.
Nuclear medicine imaging
MMMC is the only center that provides this service on Maui and its closest neighboring islands.
Nuclear medicine tests and procedures include: Diagnostic imaging of various organs and tissues; Xofigo treatment for prostate cancer.
Breast cancer screening is performed with the GE Senographe Mammography System, the most advanced mammogram imaging system on Maui.
Mammography tests and procedures include: Screening and diagnostic mammograms; stereotactic breast biopsies.
Using next-generation digital technology, this x-ray equipment captures images with a lower radiation dose than either CT scanning or conventional film x-ray exams.
Digital x-ray tests and procedures include: Imaging of bones, organs and other structures.