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Our team of board-certified radiologists use the latest techniques to help patients with everything from broken bones to neurological conditions.

When you need expert insight into your health, we use advanced imaging technology to create images and perform the most accurate interpretations possible.

We’re making it easier for you to schedule your imaging services by offering same and next-day appointments at our many locations throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

When you have a question about your health, accurate screenings and tests are key to getting you the answers you need. Imaging tests like X-rays, CT scans and ultrasounds can help us get a better look at what’s going on inside the body. These and other non-invasive procedures fall under a medical specialty called “radiology.”

Radiology focuses on taking and interpreting images of the inside of the body. Radiologists use these images to diagnose and screen for medical conditions like broken bones, neurological disorders and cancer. We also practice interventional radiology. With interventional radiology, we treat and manage diseases by using imaging technology to guide medical instruments during procedures.

At HealthPartners and Park Nicollet, we use the latest and most advanced imaging technology, including our 3T MRI machines, to make sure you get the most accurate images possible. Our team of board certified radiologists and certified technologists work closely with doctors across all our specialties. With hospitals and clinics certified by the Joint Commission and the American College of Radiology, you’ll find radiology locations throughout the Twin Cities and western Wisconsin you can always find a location that’s convenient for you.

Radiology services we offer

We offer a comprehensive range of radiology services, including:

  • Bone densitometry (DEXA)
  • Cardiac imaging
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Mammograms
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Pain management injections
  • General X-ray
  • Interventional radiology
  • Lung cancer screenings
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
  • Prostate imaging
  • Ultrasound
What is radiology?

We use imaging in order to diagnose or treat many different conditions from broken bones to lung conditions. Radiology is a type of medicine that uses images to look at your internal organs. Imaging technology can be used in screenings, diagnoses and treatments. Radiologists are doctors who are expertly trained in interpreting the images, and they work closely with doctors across every specialty including surgery, oncology, pediatrics and cardiology.

Types of radiology

Imaging is used to help diagnose and treat many different types of conditions. The type of radiology exam used depends on the care you need. Types of radiology include neuroradiology, musculoskeletal radiology, breast radiology, nuclear radiology and pediatric radiology. All of the subspecialty areas of radiology include both diagnostic radiology exams and interventional radiology exams.

Diagnostic radiology

Diagnostic radiology uses imaging tests to determine the cause of your symptoms and help make a diagnosis. Screenings, like mammograms, are also considered diagnostic radiology.

Diagnostic radiology includes tests like:

X-rays

An X-ray is a test that uses waves of energy (radiation) to create an image of the inside of your body. Most people are familiar with X-rays being used to check for broken bones. But X-rays are also useful in testing for other conditions like pneumonia or osteoporosis.

Ultrasounds

This type of imaging test uses sound waves to create a picture of the inside of your body. During an ultrasound, you’ll lie on a table. Then the technologist will place some ultrasound gel on the part of the body we want to scan. Once the gel is applied, we’ll guide a small device that emits soundwaves over the area to create images. We can see movement like blood flow or a baby’s heartbeat.

Computed tomography (CT) scans

A CT scan is an imaging test that uses X-rays to create a very detailed picture of your bones, organs or other tissue. A CT scan takes a complete 360-degree image and is more powerful than a general X-ray. During a CT scan, you’ll lie inside a machine that looks like a large donut. Then we’ll take detailed X-rays of the area of concern from all angles. While general X-rays are commonly used to check on bone fractures, dislocations and other structural concerns, CT scans are used for more complicated conditions, like locating blood clots, screening for lung cancer or guiding a biopsy. Sometimes a contrast dye will be injected during the exam to make parts of your body more visible.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests

An MRI is an imaging test that uses magnetic waves and radio waves to create an image of the inside of your body. During an MRI, you’ll lie on your back inside a machine that looks like a large tube. This allows us to take images at angles in order to create a 3D image of a particular area. Sometimes, a medicine that make areas of concern more noticeable in the images is used, but it isn’t always needed.

Mammography

A mammogram is used to screen or diagnose breast cancer. Screening mammograms check for cancer when you have no signs or symptoms. Diagnostic mammograms may be used when someone had breast cancer before, if something of concern was noticed during a screening or if symptoms like breast pain or a lump exist. During a mammogram, we’ll take X-rays of your breast from multiple angles so we can get a detailed look at the health of your breast.

Positron emission tomography (PET) scans

A PET scan helps us find tissues that are more active than others in your body. Some tissues are more active, like cancers. PET scans can help us detect cancer and brain disease. During a PET scan, a small amount of a radioactive dye is injected that helps areas of concern appear on the scans. Then, you’ll lie on a table that’s attached to an imaging machine so we can take pictures from all angles.

Fluoroscopy

Fluoroscopy is a test that uses X-rays to take a look at how things move inside your body, like blood through your bloodstream or contrast that you swallow. If we need to guide a needle through your body for a procedure, locate a foreign object in your body or even realign a broken bone, we may use fluoroscopy. In order to help blood vessels and organs show up in the test, we may need to inject a small amount of contrast dye into your bloodstream or into another part of your body.

Nuclear medicine

Nuclear medicine is a specialized type of radiology that uses a small amount of radioactive material to help us look at organs and tissue. As organs and tissue absorb the radioactive material, we’re able to see their structure and function in ways that don’t show up on other imaging tests. Types of nuclear medicine include bone scans, renal scans, thyroid scans, heart scans and brain scans. During a nuclear medicine procedure, we’ll administer the lowest amount of radioactive material possible to get your results. Then, you’ll lie still while we use a specialized camera to scan your body.

Interventional radiology

Interventional radiology uses imaging technology to help treat various conditions. Imaging technology helps guide medical instruments during procedures and makes it possible to see inside the body without large incisions. 

Interventional radiology includes:

Angioplasty and stents

These procedures are used to treat vascular conditions. Angioplasty clears blood clots and other blockages from your veins or arteries. We’ll guide a small device through your vein or artery using a thin tube and a tool that’s similar to a balloon. Inflating the balloon clears the vein or artery and sometimes a small, mesh tube called a stent will be inserted to help keep the vein or artery clear. During angioplasty, an imaging test is used to help us see the blockage and place the stent. Usually, we’ll use an X-ray or fluoroscopy.

Varicose vein ablation

Ablation is a treatment that uses radiofrequency energy or lasers to close varicose veins. Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged veins near the surface of the skin. We use ultrasound imaging to guide the medical devices through the veins and locate affected areas.

Image guided biopsies

During a biopsy, we remove a small amount of tissue to study in a lab. Depending on the condition, you might need a surgical biopsy or a needle biopsy. Imaging helps us locate the affected area and can guide our medical devices during the biopsy. CT scans and ultrasounds are commonly used to guide doctors during an image guided biopsy.

Other types of interventional radiology

Interventional radiology procedures are used to care for a wide range of conditions. Other common procedures that use interventional radiology include:

  • Chemoembolization 
  • Embolization 
  • Gastrostomy tube 
  • Hemodialysis 
  • Joint injections 
  • Nephrostomy 
  • Port Placement
  • Thrombolysis 
  • Vascular Access
  • Vertebroplasty
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

If an imaging test or other procedure is needed, you doctor will let you know. And your doctor will only recommend one of these services if it’s necessary for diagnosis or for your course of treatment.

We’ll give you specific instructions before your procedure. But here are some general guidelines you can follow to make your appointment go smoothly. 

  • Don’t wear jewelry and remove piercings. Jewelry and piercings can make it difficult to get detailed images.
  • Remove all objects from pockets. Items like cell phones and pocket change can make it difficult to get detailed images and might interfere with our imaging equipment.

In some cases, imaging services use radiation to get an accurate picture of your body. While there are some minor risks associated with radiation, the benefits of the procedures outweigh the risks in almost all cases. We take all necessary steps to keep you as safe as possible during the procedures. When needed, we’ll use safety precautions to protect you from exposure to radiation.

At HealthPartners and Park Nicollet, we use the lowest dose of radiation possible when we’re performing radiological procedures. This reduces your risk of complications and improves the safety of the services we offer.

We accept most health insurance plans, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, CIGNA, HealthPartners, Medica, Medicare, PreferredOne and many others.

Not sure what your insurance covers? Call the number on the back of your card for help looking at your options.

Don’t have your card in front of you? Here are member services numbers to help you get started: