Diagnostic Imaging

Comprehensive, leading-edge imaging services

A highly accurate, rapid diagnosis is the critical first step in healing. For that reason, Hallmark Health System offers a full range of diagnostic imaging.

Hallmark Health provides convenient, community access to a wide range of advanced diagnostic services.  We have changed the way area residents and referring physicians think about imaging in communities north of Boston.  

A team of board-certified radiologists, who have undergone training at some of the most respected and prestigious academic hospitals in the country, interprets your diagnostic exam.

Hallmark Health System is committed to providing the best imaging capabilities and interpretations to our patients and assuring it is available for our referring physicians.  

Our network of outpatient imaging sites offers a range of options for convenient, easy access to comprehensive imaging services and clinical expertise.  Our imaging services include MRI and CT procedures as well as digital mammography, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, nuclear cardiology, x-ray services, vascular imaging, echo cardiology and interventional radiology.

Our Doctors

Imaging Services At A Glance Brochure

 

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breast imaging center of excellence logomri-2711 no back


Computed Tomography

(CT also known as CAT scan) is an abbreviation for Computer Assisted Tomography.

CT is a valuable diagnostic tool that combines x-rays and powerful computers. This combination produces detailed images of the area(s) of interest.

Hallmark Health System offers state of the art 64-slice CT scanners at both Melrose-Wakefield Hospital and Lawrence Memorial Hospital, for diagnosing cancers, brain tissue abnormalities, lung disease, heart conditions, spinal deviations, kidney irregularity, bone fractures or deformities.

All HHS CT scanners are equipped with special dose reduction software known as ASiR.  Using advanced CT radiation dose reduction we can reduce the total radiation dose from a CT scan by up to 40 percent.  All HHS CT scanners have received ACR (American College of Radiology) Accreditation by demonstrating compliance to stringent quality measures.

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To schedule an appointment at one of the following locations, please call (781) 338-7111.
Melrose-Wakefield Hospital
585 Lebanon St., Melrose, MA 02176

Lawrence Memorial Hospital
170 Governors Ave., Medford, MA 02155
Mon. - Fri.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Hallmark Health System has been providing state-of-the-art technology and quality MRI services to area patients since 1989.  

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We offer two locations:
•    Stoneham Outpatient Campus
•    Melrose-Wakefield Hospital.  

Our Stoneham location offers patients a GE 1.5T magnet and a Hitachi Open magnet for claustrophobic patients.  Melrose-Wakefield Hospital has a GE 1.5T high field magnet.  Both locations have been designed with patient comfort in mind.mriresize

All HHS MRI Scanners are accredited by ACR (American College of Radiology) this demonstrates our compliance to stringent quality measures.

Hallmark Health’s three magnets offers impressive image quality, fast scan imaging and MR Angiography utilizing the latest MRI technology. Hallmark is committed to providing excellence of images, interpretation and services.  They have earned a reputation with our referring physicians and our patients for our clinical accuracy and our patient friendly service.

Hallmark’s imaging centers were designed to provide its users with outstanding “downtown” medical expertise in convenient community settings.  

The staff makes the real difference.  Their commitment, caring, and expertise are vital components of the quality care.  Their mission is to be responsive and flexible to assure access to service for the community, and timely results to referring physicians and their patients.

Full time, board-certified radiologists are located onsite at both the Stoneham and Melrose locations.

What is MRI?
Since its introduction in the early 1980’s, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) has emerged as an imaging technology that is excellent for diagnosing conditions of the brain, spine, knees, etc., with technology that is continually changing.  MRI is a unique procedure that does not use radiation, but uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to look inside the human body.mri-2711 no back

Typically a MRI exam takes 20-30 minutes. It is a painless procedure which offers your physician unprecedented detailed images of the human body without using ionizing radiation (x-rays).

Claustrophobic Patients
If you are claustrophobic, our Stoneham location has an open magnet.  The Hitachi magnet is open on four sides, which minimizes anxiety and claustrophobia.  This design also allows you to have a family member or friend with you at your side during the exam to comfort you further.  

Anyone concerned about the exam is welcome to come by our Stoneham imaging center prior to his or her exam in order the view the magnets and to speak with our staff.

Types of MRI Exams:
•    Breast
•    Brain
•    Cervical Spine
•    Thoracic Spine
•    Lumbar Spine
•    Shoulder
•    Elbow
•    Wrist
•    Knee
•    Liver
•    MRCP
•    Pelvis

Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)
•    Brain and Carotid MRA
•    Renal MRA
•    Lower Extremity MRA

MR Arthrograms:
•    Knee
•    Hip
•    Wrist
•    Shoulder
•    Elbow

Who may not have an MRI scan?
Most patients with joint replacements or other orthopedic hardware do not present a problem and still can have an MRI exam.  However, because MRI uses powerful magnetic fields, some patients may be excluded from having an MRI.

If you have any questions regarding implants/metal please call the center at 781-279-2213.

If any of the following conditions exist, please notify us before your exam:
•    Cardiac pacemaker
•    Cerebral Aneurysm clips
•    Cochlear implants
•    Implanted insulin or chemotherapy pumps
•    Implanted Neuro-stimulator devices
•    Pregnancy
•    Heart valve replacements
•    Other prosthetic devices
•    Metal fragments in the eye


Locations:

Stoneham Outpatient Campus – CHEM Center for MRI
48 Montvale Avenue
Stoneham, MA  02180


Melrose-Wakefield Hospital
585 Lebanon Street
Melrose, MA 02176


To schedule an appointment, or to answer any questions please call (781) 279-2213


Bone Densitometry

Bone Density has become the gold standard for measuring the density of your bones, sometimes referred to as a DEXA scan (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry).  

Bone Density is the test for evaluation of osteoporosis (the results of your exam are compared to others whose sex and ethnic background are similar to yours).  The measurement of bone minerals is very closely related to bone strength and your potential for bone fractures.

As women age, along with many other health issues, their risk factors for osteoporosis increase. 

The following is a list of the most common risk factors:

•    Postmenopausal (no longer have a period)
•    Early menopause (before age 45)
•    Surgical menopause (removal of uterus and/or ovaries)
•    Age
•    Previous fracture
•    Family history of osteoporosis
•    Certain medications (including steroids and thyroid hormones)
•    Caucasian/Asian descent
•    Thin or small build
•    Eating disorders
•    Smoking
•    Alcohol abuse
•    Inactive lifestyle
•    Inadequate calcium intake


Locations:

Hallmark Health Medical Center at Reading
30 Newcrossing Road, Reading,  MA 01867

Health Image
830 Main Street, Melrose, MA  02176

Lawrence Memorial Medical Services
101 Main Street, Suite 116, Medford,  MA 02155


Mammography 

We are dedicated to providing state-of-the-art technology and quality screening and diagnostic mammography services. As with all Hallmark Health services, we also recognize the importance of providing you convenient, accessible care with compassion and respect.

Hallmark Health System offers a comprehensive Breast Health program, including 5 locations for screening mammography (see below for addresses) and a Comprehensive Breast Center for those women who require additional diagnostics and/or treatment services. In addition, a Breast Care Nurse Navigator is available to assist you.

Hallmark Health System is proud to offer women the latest in digital mammography technology in a personal, compassionate environment. We offer state-of-the-art GE technology for the clearest, most detailed digital images available today.

  • Improved outcomes as a result of reduced radiation doses, better visualization of breast tissue and integration with our computer aided technology software that improves early detection by 20%
  • State-of-the-art digital mammography machines
  • Shorter examination times – often 15 minutes or less
  • Convenient locations throughout our local communities
  • Newly renovated, private waiting rooms
  • Easy scheduling with appointments for screenings made within 2-3 days along with early morning, evening and weekend appointments at most locations
  • Caring, compassionate and highly experienced technicians

We offer the most advanced technology available today for breast care and screening. The latest technology coupled with experience and compassion leaves you with peace of mind.

Hallmark Health System mammography facilities possess a valid license and certificate of inspection issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Screening Mammogram Locations:mammoresize
•    Melrose-Wakefield Hospital – 585 Lebanon St., Melrose
•    Lawrence Memorial Hospital – 170 Governors Ave., Medford
•    Health Image – 830 Main St. , Melrose
•    Hallmark Health Medical Center – Reading
•    101 Main St., Suite 116 – Medford

Screening Mammograms are now available on Saturdays at our Comprehensive Breast Center location.


Diagnostic Mammogram Location:
Comprehensive Breast Center – 41 Montvale Ave., Stoneham

All Hallmark Health Mammography Centers are licensed by the Department of Public Health and accredited by the American College of Radiology

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a mammogram?
A mammogram is an x-ray of your breast. It can detect breast tumors before they can be felt,  if found early, over 95% of breast cancers can be treated successfully.

When should I begin having a mammogram?
The American Cancer Society recommends that you have a mammogram every year beginning at age 40 or In some cases earlier if you have symptoms or a family history of breast cancer.

What is the difference between a “screening” and a “diagnostic” mammogram?
A “screening” mammogram typically refers to the routine mammogram for women to have every year beginning at age 40 (in some cases earlier, if a patient has symptoms or a family history of breast cancer).

A “diagnostic” mammogram refers to the follow-up tests a woman will have if the radiologist sees any questionable issues on the screening mammogram or for women who have a history of breast cancer, palpable lumps, or a suspicious mammograms.

What should I wear?
If possible, please wear a two piece outfit. If not, you will be asked to change into a hospital gown for the exam.

Why can’t I use deodorant the morning of my mammogram?
Deodorant can mimic breast calcifications on the mammogram image, resulting in some women being unnecessarily called back for additional exams.

Does a mammogram hurt?
Most women say that mammograms are not painful but many find them uncomfortable, especially due to the need for breast compression.

Why do we compress your breast during a mammogram?
Breast compression allows us to obtain a clearer image.

How long does the exam take?
The exam usually takes 15 minutes.

How long does it take to receive the results?
For screening mammograms, your primary care and/or gynecologist will receive the report within a week.  For most diagnostic mammograms, you will receive the results directly from a radiologist following your exam, typically within 1 hour.

If I am called back for additional views, what does this mean?
A routine screening mammogram consists of several images of each breast. These images are read by a radiologist who may determine he/she needs additional views for a complete interpretation. Sometimes normal breast tissue may image in such a way as to create a questionable shadow. Additional views with a slightly different angle or position can clear up any question the radiologist may have. If it is determined you need to have additional views, we will contact you directly to set up an appointment for you.  Please understand that many women are called back and then confirmed to have no need for additional testing until their next regular screening mammogram.

Advantages of Digital Mammography (vs. traditional film mammography)
•    Better image quality and detail.
•    Better able to detect breast cancer, particularly for women with dense breast tissue.
•    Uses less radiation
•    Faster
•    Allows images to be stored and sent electronically.

If you are unable to keep your appointment please call (781) 338-7111 to reschedule.


Nuclear Medicine

Hallmark Health System offers nuclear medicine exams at both Melrose-Wakefield Hospital and Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

Nuclear medicine is a subspecialty within the field of radiology that uses very small amounts of radioactive material called a radiopharmaceutical or radiotracer to diagnose disease and other abnormalities within the body.

Depending on the type of nuclear medicine scan you are undergoing, the radiotracer is injected into a vein, swallowed by mouth, or inhaled as a gas and eventually collects in the area of your body being scanned, where it gives off energy in the form of gamma rays.  This energy is detected by a device called a gamma camera and/or probe.  These devices work together with a computer to measure the amount of radiotracer absorbed by your body and to produce special pictures offering details on both the structure and function of organs and other internal body parts.

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Common types of nuclear medicine scans include:
•    Cardiac stress test
•    Bone scan
•    Lung scan
•    Kidney scan
•    Thyroid scan

Common uses:
Physicians use nuclear imaging to visualize the structure and function of an organ, tissue, bone, or system of the body.

Nuclear medicine scans are performed to:
•    Analyze coronary artery blood flow
•    Evaluate bones for fracture, infection, arthritis and tumors
•    Scan lungs for respiratory and blood flow problems
•    Determine the presence or spread of cancer
•    Identify blockage in the gallbladder
•    Measure thyroid function to detect an overactive or underactive thyroid
•    Analyze kidney function
•    Identify bleeding in the bowel
•    Locate the presence of infection
•    Investigate abnormalities in the brain

Safety
Because the doses of radiotracer administered are small, diagnostic nuclear medicine procedures result in minimal radiation exposure.  Thus, the radiation risk is very low compared with the potential benefits.  Nuclear medicine has been used for more than five decades, and there are no known long-term adverse effects from such low-dose exposure.  Allergic reaction s to radiopharmaceuticals may occur but are extremely rare.

Women should always inform their physician or radiology technologist if there are any possibility that they are pregnant or if they are breastfeeding their baby.

Locations:

Lawrence Memorial Hospital
170 Governors Avenue
Medford, MA 02155

Melrose-Wakefield Hospital
585 Lebanon Street
Melrose, MA 02176

How to schedule an appointment:
Please call, (781) 338-7111 to schedule, or change, your appointment. 

Should you have any questions about your exam, please call (781) 979-3137 (Melrose-Wakefield Hospital) or (781) 306-6809 (Lawrence Memorial Hospital)


PET/CT

What is PET/CT?
PET/CT is an imaging tool that combines two scanning techniques in one exam.
PET (Positron Emission Tomography), and CT (Computer Assisted Tomography).

PET is a test that detects changes in the body on a cellular level.  Since cellular changes take place before physical ones do, PET can help your doctor make an earlier diagnosis or determine if your current treatment is working effectively.

CT is an x-ray that creates a detailed view of the physical structure of your organs and tissue.  The CT scan can show the dimensions of your vessels, lymph nodes and organ systems.

A PET/CT scan combines both technologies into one machine.  It provides a picture of cellular function (PET), a picture of physical structure (CT), a merged picture of the body’s cellular function and physical structure.

Benefits of PET/CT
PET/CT helps physicians diagnose stage and treat cancer with more accuracy than ever before.  The exam can provide answers to the following critical questions:PETCT
•    Where is the tumor?
•    How large is it?
•    What is the optimal therapy?
•    Is the therapy working?
•    Is there a reoccurrence?

Other potential benefits include:
•    Improves diagnostic confidence for patients who have or may have cancer
•    Reduces the need for invasive procedures, like a biopsy or surgery
•    Helps avoid the “wait and see” method often used to monitor potential disease
•    Monitors patients’ response to treatment to ensure the treatment is working.

How to Prepare for Your PET/CT Exam


Location and scheduling:

Conveniently located at:
Montvale PET/CT
Stoneham Outpatient Campus
41 Montvale Ave., Suite 100
Stoneham, MA 02180

A fixed location, with appointments available Mon, Wed, Thurs & Fri.

To schedule your exam, or to ask any questions, please call (866) 245-5995.


Ultrasound

Ultrasound is a diagnostic exam that utilizes sound waves to image the body.  This is a safe and generally non-invasive exam.ultrasoundresize

A small device, known as a transducer, is positioned on the skin over the area of interest.  The transducer emits the sound waves.  The sound waves respond to the various tissues in the body, producing different echoes.  These echoes are collected by the transducer and the signals are converted into an image.

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Some of the ultrasound exams offered at Hallmark Health:

•    Abdominal
•    Bladder/kidneys
•    Breast
•    Venous and carotid studies
•    Pelvic
•    Peripheral arterial studies
•    Obstetrical
•    Scrotum
•    Thyroid


Locations

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Melrose-Wakefield Hospital

585 Lebanon Street – Melrose
Seven days a week –
Services provided:  general ultrasound, vascular, and OB/GYN exams

Lawrence Memorial Hospital
170 Governors Avenue – Medford

Monday through Friday
Services provided:  General ultrasound, vascular and OB/GYN exams

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Lawrence Memorial Medical Services
101 Main Street, Suite 116, Medford
Monday through Friday
Services provided:  OB/GYN exams

Hallmark Health Medical Center – Reading

30 Newcrossing Road, Reading
Monday through Friday
Services provided:  General ultrasound, carotid, venous, and OB/GYN


X-Ray 

Routine x-rays are used for viewing and assessing broken bones; diagnosing pneumonia, heart failure, emphysema ; and guiding orthopedic surgery and the treatment of sports-related injuries.

It is a non-invasive medical test that involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body.

Special care is taken during this procedure to use the lowest radiation dose possible while producing the best images for interpretation.

Hallmark Health System recently upgraded the radiology departments and equipment at both Melrose-Wakefield Hospital and Lawrence Memorial Hospital to Diagnostic Digital Imaging.  This is a form of x-ray imaging where digital x-ray sensors are used instead of traditional photographic film.  The advantages for our patients include shorter exam times and less radiation.

Locations

Melrose-Wakefield Hospital
585 Lebanon Street, Melrose, MA
Exams available seven days a week

Lawrence Memorial Hospital
170 Governors Avenue, Medford, MA
Exam available seven days a week

Lawrence Memorial Medical Services
101 Main Street, Suite 116 – Medford, MA
Exam times available Monday through Friday

Hallmark Health Medical Center - Reading
30 Newcrossing Road, Reading,  MA
Exam times available Monday through Friday


To schedule an appointment at one of our locations, please call (781) 338-7111


Interventional Radiology

Hallmark Health’s Interventional Radiology Department offers the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of diseases using minimally invasive techniques.  Our staff focuses on disease detection, prevention and early treatment.  Our dedicated team of clerical, nursing and technical staff, along with our Interventional Radiologists strives to make you and your family’s medical experience a rewarding one.

What is interventional radiology?
Interventional radiologists are involved in the treatment of the patient, as well as the diagnosis of disease. They treat an ever-widening range of conditions inside the body from outside the body by inserting various small instruments or tools, such as catheters or wires, with the use of various x-ray and imaging techniques (i.e., CT scanners, MRI scanners, ultrasound scanners). Interventional radiology offers an alternative to the surgical treatment of many conditions and can eliminate the need for hospitalization, in some cases.

What are interventional radiologists?
Interventional Radiologists are board certified physicians who specialize in minimally invasive diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.  Our Interventional Radiologists use x-rays, CT scans, ultrasound and MRI images to diagnose and treat complex medical problems throughout the body.  Many medical conditions previously requiring open surgery are now treated by Interventional Radiologists through a small skin incision requiring no stitches

State of the art Interventional Suites
Our Cardiac and Endovascular Center has two state-of-the-art interventional suites with advanced imaging capabilities.  There is a five bed recovery area for pre and post-procedure patient monitoring as well as a physician and consultation/exam room for minor procedures and outpatient consultations.

What procedures do interventional radiologists perform?
Interventional radiologists perform a vast variety of procedures, including the following:
•    Angiography with angioplasty, stenting, thrombolysis and embolization
•    Endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair
•    Image-guided needle biopsies
•    Cancer therapy including embolization, radiofrequency ablation and port placement
•    Deep venous thrombosis thrombolytic therapy
•    IVC filter placement
•    Abscess drainage
•    Transhepatic cholangiogram with drainage and stent placement
•    Gastrostomy tubes (feeding tubes)
•    Genitourinary procedures including nephrostomy tubes and ureteral stenting
•    Thoracentesis/Paracentesis
•    Uterine Fibroid Embolization
•    Venous access procedures
•    Dialysis catheter placement and hemodialysis access maintenance
•    Kyphoplasty
•    Myelography
•    Varicose vein therapy

 Advantages of Interventional Radiology
•    Procedures require no large incisions; they are usually performed through a small nick in the skin the size of the lead tip of a pencil
•    Since there is no open surgery, there are no large scars following the procedure
•    Most procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis
•    Patients rarely require general anesthesia; typically moderate sedation is utilized
•    Risk, pain and recovery time are often significantly reduced
•    The procedures are sometimes less expensive than surgery or other alternatives

Frequently asked questions:

Should I worry about radiation exposure?
No. Interventional radiologists have completed dedicated training in radiation safety, radiation physics, the biological effects of radiation and injury prevention.

Will I have pain with my procedure?
Many interventional procedures require conscious sedation which is pain medication given through an IV.  You may fall asleep but can be easily aroused. You blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen level will be monitored if you are given conscious sedation.

How long will my procedure take?
Procedure time depends on many factors. Your Interventional Radiologist will review with you approximately how long your procedure will take prior to the examination.



 

 

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