Sutter Opens County's First Non-Hospital-Based Nuclear Imaging Option

Wednesday, April 2, 2008 General News
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FAIRFIELD, Calif., April 1, 2008 Now patients in northSolano County have enhanced access to advanced digital and potentiallylife-saving technology in a state-of the-art and convenient outpatientsetting. The imaging team at Sutter Regional Medical Foundation (SRMF), whichis affiliated with Solano Regional Medical Group (SRMG), recently acquired theBrightView nuclear imaging system -- or gamma camera -- from Philips MedicalSystems.

This is Solano County's first non-hospital-based nuclear imaging facility,according to Keith Tao, M.D., director of radiology at Sutter FairfieldDiagnostic Imaging Center, a SRMF-affiliated center.

With the BrightView system, SRMF can perform non-invasive, highly advanceddiagnostic scans that can lead to potentially life-saving treatment options orrule out serious medical conditions.

More than half of the people to use the nuclear diagnostic scanner arecardiac patients at risk of heart attack and stroke. Cardiologists will beable to further study blood circulation to the heart with the scanner. "Whatwe're looking for are indicators of stress-induced lack of blood supply toheart muscle," says Dr. Tao. "Nuclear imaging is an important diagnostictechnology that identifies very specific disease states not seen with otherdiagnostic modalities."

Sutter Fairfield Diagnostic Imaging Center will also utilize the scannerto examine gallbladder, kidney, liver and spleen functions, and to detect thespread of cancer to the bones. These bone scans can also see fractures muchearlier than conventional X-ray scans.

Unlike some imaging tests, nuclear imaging allows clinicians to see how apart of the body is functioning at the metabolic level, providing moredefinitive screening and treatment staging for diseases like cancer. Thisimproved diagnostic confidence may alter the course of action and have apositive impact on patient outcomes. For instance, a patient may be able toavoid a biopsy or an invasive surgical procedure.

"The new gamma camera system has the potential to broaden our applicationsfor nuclear medicine imaging, including the ability to use the latestprocedures, such as concurrent imaging," says Dr. Tao. "This means we canprovide a higher level of diagnostic confidence and more effective, efficientcare for our patients."

Sutter Fairfield Diagnostic Imaging Center is dedicated to deliveringexcellence in service with a staff consisting of highly specializedboard-certified radiologists and a team of experienced and certifiedtechnologists who are devoted to patient care. Services available at thecenter include: magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT),computed radiography (CR), general radiology, fluoroscopy and ultrasound.Women receive specialized service in a private, quiet atmosphere for digitalmammography, bone densitometry and ultrasound.

About Sutter Regional Medical Foundation

Sutter Regional Medical Foundation is a locally governed and managedaffiliate of Sutter Health, a not-for-profit network of physicians andhospitals in Northern California. SRMF is affiliated with Solano RegionalMedical Group, Solano County's largest multi-specialty physician practice thathas served the community for more than 50 years. SRMF offers professional,high-quality and compassionate care from care centers in Vacaville, Vallejo,Fairfield, and Rio Vista, all in California and is fully accredited by theInstitute for Medical Quality.

Sutter Health is one of the nation's leading not-for-profit networks ofcommunity-based health care providers, delivering high quality care to morethan 100 Northern California communities. Sutter Health has relationships withmore than 3,600 physicians and is the regional leader in infant deliveries,neonatology, orthopedics, and pediatric services. Sutter Health maintainsmedical foundation clinics in 11 Northern California counties.

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