Advanced Medical Technology

Cardiac CTA

GE’s 64-slice CT scanner at our Athens campus provides 3 dimensional images of the heart and coronary arteries.  These images allow physicians to see each of the coronary arteries in detail to determine if either calcium or fatty deposits called plaque have built up in the arteries that supply blood to the heart.  This is the main cause of heart attacks and can be treated if caught early enough.  The Cardiac CTA's are non-invasive, involve less risk, and are more cost-effective that traditional cardiac catheterization.  They are most appropriate for patients who have intermediate to high risk profiles for coronary artery disease based on family history;  people who have experienced atypical chest pain;  people who exhibit unusual symptoms for coronary artery disease;  and for patients who have had unclear or inconclusive stress test results.  Cardiac CTA's are especially helpful for evaluating coronary risk in patients scheduled to have major non-cardiac surgery.

CT

CT is one of the most powerful imaging tools available. Results are faster and images of the body are reconstructed into 3 different planes allowing the physician to see anatomy from 3 different viewpoints. A major benefit of the CT scanner is the ability to provide noninvasive coronary artery evaluation of the heart, much like a cardiac catheterization. Computed tomography angiograms (CTAs) can also be performed to get a clearer image of the entire arterial system throughout the body and aid in the diagnosis of arterial stenosis and disease.  CT is available 24/7 at both the Athens and Etowah campuses.

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL)

This non-surgical, shock wave procedure for removal of kidney stones is available at the Athens campus. During an ESWL, the patient is placed under general anesthesia while a water-filled therapy head is positioned against the patient’s side.  With pinpoint accuracy, shock waves are sent through the therapy head to the exact location of the stone to bust it without surgical intervention.  Patients may return home the same day with minimal recovery time.   

Laparoscopy

Surgery that is only minimally invasive, involving insertion of a tiny device with a viewing camera mounted on the end into the patient that allows the doctor to perform the surgery while watching the procedure on television. Recovery time is much shorter than invasive surgery, and most patients go home the same day.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

The Athens campus is proud to offer one of the most technologically advanced MRI systems in the region.  It is equipped with the 16 channel HDxt gradient package, making it one of the fastest scanners available. The scanner can show subtle changes in the body caused by cancer and other diseases.  Brain imaging with MR is superior to other diagnostic tools and it’s also excellent for orthopedic applications such as shoulders for rotator cuff tear, football or sports injuries, and multiple spine pathologies.  No special preparation is necessary for this painless, non-invasive procedure other than removal of all metal jewelry and objects from your body. 

Mammography (ACR Accredited)

Starr Regional Breast Center offers the Senographe Essential Full-field digital mammography system at the Athens campus. It provides extremely clear images for an accurate diagnosis. The actual exam is more comfortable and much faster for the patient with results immediately available to the radiologists for diagnosis. This advanced system of mammography is the latest tool available in the fight against breast cancer.

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine is performed at both the Athens and Etowah campuses.  These simple exams involve an injection of radioactive isotopes into the patient’s blood stream while a special camera captures images of the body part being examined.  Nuclear Medicine is commonly performed on the heart, the bones, and other specific organs such as the gall bladder.  

Sleep Diagnostic Systems

The Sleep Lab at Athens Regional Medical Center helps diagnose sleep disorders that cause sleep deprivation. Patients must be referred by a physician to be tested.

Ultrasound

Ultra sound is available at both the Athens and Etowah campuses and is a non-radioactive tool used to evaluate abdominal organs, vascular flow, fetal age/size, as well as heart functions.