Introduction and Background InformationThe department of Radiology and imaging at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) established in the year 1971, offers complete range of diagnostic and image guided therapeutic services to inpatient and outpatient basis. A skilled team of specialists and technicians using state-of-the-art equipment provide safe and efficient imaging services with a human touch that are fully coordinated with highly professional medical care.
This department operates 24 hours a day. The radiologists work in coordination with doctors in other departments to promptly diagnose and treat your health condition. Radiologists perform and interpret a large number of examinations yearly. The department actively participates in educational and research activities through the MMed in Diagnostic Radiology, AMO Radiology, and Short course in diagnostic ultrasound. The large number of cases, integrated with on-going research and education, lead to broad expertise in the imaging and treatment of diseases affecting people of all ages.
The radiology department at KCMC offers a complete range of diagnostic imaging services that are fully coordinated with your medical care and surgery. Our team of specialists perform examinations safely and efficiently to provide accurate interpretations in time for effective medical care.
Services in the Department
A. Conventional Radiography
General diagnostic exams may be ordered by your physician to diagnose conditions in the chest, bone, sinuses, skull, or spine. It is the oldest and most frequently used initial form of medical imaging. X-ray is the fastest and easiest way for a physician to view and assess broken bones. It can also be used to diagnose and monitor the progression of diseases.
There is no special preparation required for most x-rays. Once you arrive, you may be asked by the technologist to change into a gown before your examination. You will also be asked to remove jewellery, eyeglasses, and any metal objects that may obscure the images. During the procedure you may be asked to stand up or lie down depending upon the examination.
There is little reason to worry about the small amount of radiation that you will be exposed to when you receive an x-ray. However, if you are pregnant or suspect that you may be, you should tell your physician or technologist before the test is performed, as special precautions may have to be taken. The department has two digital x-rays in the department and one in the emergency department.
An ultrasound produces sound waves that pass into the body and sends echoes back to produce images of the internal structures of the body. These sound waves are not harmful to the body or a foetus. Ultrasound can also show internal motion such as blood flowing through the veins, arteries and the beating heart. The sound waves are produced from a microphone like device that the Radiologist moves over the area to be examined.
Exams may differ based on what your physician has ordered. You will lie down on an examination table. A water based gel is applied to the skin over the area to be examined to block any air between the skin and transducer, as well as to eliminate friction on the skin. There are ultrasound procedures that require placing the transducer inside the body (Transvaginal/ Transrectal) to get a closer view of the area being studied.
Examinations done with ultrasound includes: abdomen ultrasound, pelvic ultrasound, obstetric ultrasound, color Doppler, echocardiography, small parts ultrasound (thyroid, breast, scrotum and superficial) and ultrasound guided biopsy.
C. Computed Tomography
CT stands for Computed Tomography. CT gives detailed information of the body by taking cross-sectional images on a multi detector computed tomography. Like conventional x-ray, CT scan uses X- Ray radiation. Depending on the type of exam your physician orders, Different preparation may be given checking of serum creatinine levels to ascertain your kidney function before administering the intra venous contrast., fasting prior examinations, oral contrast preparations etc.
The CT equipment has a table that goes through a “doughnut”. Examinations usually take couple of minutes and sometimes delayed images maybe required. Your scan will be interpreted by the Radiologist and your Physician will receive the results including the images. The department has a 64 and 128 slice CT.
D. for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) 1.5T
MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. It is a diagnostic imaging test that uses strong magnet and radiofrequency waves to produce images of internal organs and structures. MRI is a non-invasive procedure, however, your Physician/ Radiologist may request a contrast agent be used to better visualize organs or structures.
If this is requested you will receive an injection of the contrast agent (Gadolinium) during your examination. Serum creatinine levels to ascertain your kidney function before administering the intra venous contrast.
It is essential that the patient alert the technologist if they have a pacemaker, surgical clips, metal objects, or prosthesis. The technologist will determine with the help of the radiologist if the examination should be performed.
A mammogram is a low dose x-ray of the breast used to identify tumours and other abnormalities. Mammography is widely regarded to be the most effective method of breast cancer detection, and has been shown to improve the chances of survival through early detection. You will be asked to remove clothing from the waist up. Your breasts are placed on the resting plate and a compression device is applied. The compression is crucial in producing accurate images of the breast tissue and may cause some mild discomfort temporarily.
It is not dangerous and does not cause damage to the breast tissue. Routinely, the technologist takes two views of each breast. After the films have been developed, these Radiographs are checked by the technologist for clinical accuracy before you leave. Those films are then viewed by a radiologist specially trained in the interpretation of breast images.
Fluoroscopy is a type of medical imaging that shows a continuous X-ray image on a monitor, much like an X-ray movie. Fluoroscopy techniques vary depending on the particular procedure you may be asked by the technologist to change into a gown before your examination. You will also be asked to remove jewellery, eyeglasses, and any metal objects that may obscure the images.
A fluoroscopy is a non-invasive medical test and is generally painless. It makes images of any organ or body part. A contrast agent or dye is often necessary to create the fluoroscopy images.
G. Orthopantomogram (OPG)An OPG is a panoramic X-ray of the upper and lower jaws, including the teeth. The OPG unit is specifically designed to rotate around the patient’s head during the scan. An OPG will take approximately 20 seconds. Radiographer will ask you to sit on a chair or stand for the OPG. It is important that you tell the radiographer if you have difficulty sitting or standing unassisted. When you are ready, the radiographer will go behind a screen to start the OPG machine. They will ask you to be still during the OPG. When your OPG is finished you will be asked to wait while the radiographer checks the pictures. The procedure usually takes about 5 minutes including time taken to get ready.
H. GSF Project Pharmacy
It is located opposite to Emergency Medicine Department. It is established purposely to cover the gaps which may be uncounted at the Hospital Pharmacy. It is also involved in Wholesale for few medicines and retail other non-medical items like baby wipes, diapers etc. GSF is there to make sure that no patient will move out of the Hospital compound to look for medicines.