X-ray and imaging
Imaging examinations are performed to support diagnostics, i.e. examinations are performed at the request of the treating physician. Therefore, a referral written by the treating physician is always required for examinations.
Coming to an imaging examination
Imaging examinations are done by appointment. Certain X-ray examinations require preliminary preparations. More detailed information about the preparations can be found in the patient instructions. The duration of various examinations and treatment procedures varies from a few minutes to several hours. On weekdays after 3:00 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays, only examinations required for emergency treatment are performed.
In addition to the imaging unit at the central hospital, Soite’s radiology department also includes the X-ray departments in Tunkkari and Kannus. So, for example, a native x-ray ordered from the central hospital can at the client’s request be done in Tunkkari or Kannus.
The central hospital office of the radiology unit is located on the 1st floor of the central hospital (the g-wing), where the isotope department is also located. The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) unit is located below the psychiatry unit on the 00-floor (the p-wing).
Basic mammograms and ultrasound examinations of the breasts, as well as bone density measurements, are performed as an individuel X-ray if necessary. Screening mammograms, which patients receive an invitation at set times and intervals, are done at Unilabs. The necessary follow-up examinations are carried out based on a referral at the radiology unit of the main office.
At Soite’s radiology unit, a total of approximately 50,000 imaging examinations and radiological procedures are performed each year. The examination selection includes approximately 250 different examinations. In recent years, the focus has shifted towards more demanding examinations.
Information about different examinations
Basic X-ray examination refers to a traditional X-ray imaging without the use of contrast agents. This form of imaging is the most common. We perform basic X-ray examinations at all our imaging units.
Basic X-ray examinations are short in duration, and there is usually no need to prepare for them. If you need to prepare for the examination, you will receive separate patient instructions when booking the appointment.
Almost all organs of the body can be examined with the help of ultrasound. Ultrasound is usually not suitable for examining bones and intestines.
Ultrasound examination is a painless and safe examination method. A gel is applied to the skin and the target is examined with the probe of the ultrasound device. The examination takes about 15 minutes. Procedures can also be performed under ultrasound guidance, such as removing fluid from the lungs or taking tissue samples.
When you come for examinations of the abdominal area, you should not eat before the examination, and when you come for an examination of the lower abdomen, your bladder must be full. For other examinations, there is no need to prepare in advance. You will receive any eventual pre-preparation instructions with the appointment letter.
We perform ultrasound examinations at the central hospital unit and at the Tunkkari and Kannus units.
Computer tomography examination is an examination based on X-ray radiation. Cross-sectional images or “slices” of different thicknesses are taken of the organ being imaged. A contrast agent containing iodine may be administered either into the bloodstream or orally. The imaging time is only a few minutes, but the examination with preliminary preparations takes longer. A contrast agent injected into the bloodstream may cause a momentary feeling of heat and a metallic taste in the mouth. The contrast agent leaves the bloodstream with the urine. If you have an iodine allergy, tell the medical staff.
We perform computer tomography examinations at the central hospital unit of the radiology department. We perform urgent emergency examinations at any time of the day, but as a rule, examinations are done during the office hours. Emergency patients who require urgent treatment are often examined with a computer tomography device, and the examinations of emergency patients have to be placed between appointment patients. Because of this, your examination time can sometimes be late.
If the examination to be performed involves preparations to be done at home, you will receive instructions about them with the appointment letter. Examinations of the abdominal area often involve drinking water to distinguish the digestive tract, and examinations with contrast agents require fasting before the examination.
During magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations, the image is formed with the help of a strong magnetic field and radio waves. X-rays are not used. During the examination, a contrast agent can be used, and it is then injected into a vein. The contrast agent does not contain iodine. The examination takes 30-60 minutes.
We perform magnetic resonance imaging examinations at the central hospital office of the radiology unit. The magnet research department is located below the psychiatry unit of the central hospital on the 00-floor (p-wing). You can get there by following the green tape on the floor. Wait your turn in the waiting room of the magnetic resonance imaging unit, where the radiologist will call you in for the examination.
The imaging device is a short tunnel with a loud noise, where you must not move during the entire examination. The tunnel is open at both ends and is air-conditioned and lit. Due to the loud noise of the imaging device, you will be given hearing protection through which you can listen to the radio or to music during the examination. During the examination, you will have a button with which you can contact the nurses if necessary.
Metal objects, watches, bank and credit cards, and hearing aids are left outside the imaging room in a locker. Jewelry and piercings must also be removed during the examination. Before entering the examination, you must fill out a preliminary information form, the purpose of which is to ensure that there are no obstacles to the MRI scan. You will receive the preliminary information form and any preparation instructions with the appointment letter.
You should contact the magnetic resonance imaging unit if you have metal in your body, for example a pacemaker, a surgical clip, shrapnel from a grenade or a medicine pump, as they can be an obstacle to the examination. Joint prostheses are usually not an obstacle to imaging.
The goal of angiography examinations is usually to locate strictures or blockages in blood vessels and to treat them. We perform angiography, i.e. contrast imaging of the arteries, at the central hospital unit of the radiology department. Before the examination, the nurses carry out preliminary preparations and give you the necessary pre-medications. A few days before the examination, you will have a blood test to determine your tendency to bleed and your kidney function. You will be given local anesthesia, and then a contrast agent is injected into an artery and the flow of the contrast agent in the blood vessels is tracked using X-ray radiation. The contrast agent may cause a feeling of heat in the injection area. The contrast agent leaves the body with urine. It is possible to open strictures or blockages found during the examination with the help of for example a balloon dilation and a metal mesh placed in the vein.
Other procedures performed in connection with angiography are dissolution of clots and stopping of bleeding. Angiography takes about 1 to 2 hours. You remain awake during the examination and your condition will be monitored.
After the examination or procedure, you should generally rest in bed for 3 to 6 hours. Rest after the examination is important so that the injection site does not start to bleed. Rest time is determined by the examination or procedure that is performed.
The functions of the body can be studied with the help of short-lived radioactive tracers, i.e. radioisotopes. Isotope examinations can be used for example when examining coronary circulation, kidney function, bone metabolism or brain receptor function.
Soite’s isotope department is located in the radiology unit at the central hospital. Examinations are made by appointment, and you will receive pre-preparation instructions with the appointment letter.
The isotope used in isotope examinations is usually given to the patient as an injection into a vein or tissue, in some cases the radiopharmaceutical is given orally or with breathing gas. The radiation dose you receive is usually comparable to the radiation dose received in a standard X-ray. The imaging device (gamma camera) does not produce radiation.
After the injection, you usually have to wait before the imaging can begin, so that the tracer has time to reach the object being examined. During the imaging, you have to stay still on the imaging table. The gamma camera is close to the body to get good and accurate pictures.
During isotope treatments, a radioactive substance is given orally in a capsule. The substance is transported to the dysfunctional tissues, where the role of radiation is to destroy locally (internal radiotherapy).
Interventional radiology supports surgery and partially replaces vascular surgeries. Interventional radiology refers to various procedures that are related to the treatment of the patient and for which x-ray equipment and various contrast agents are used. Ultrasound imaging devices can also be used to assist procedures. Interventional radiological examinations include, for example, taking needle samples or draining fluid cavities.
The vasculature is a common target for radiological procedures. Vascular contrast imaging is performed at Soite’s radiology unit at the central hospital. In cooperation with the cardiac procedure unit and department 8, we also perform imaging of the heart’s coronary arteries.
Transillumination examinations are performed with the help of X-ray radiation and contrast agents at the central hospital’s unit.
During the examination, the contrast agent can be administered orally or intravenously or as an enema. The contrast agent contains either barium or iodine. The most common organs to be examined are the digestive tract, urinary tract or joints. Gastrointestinal examinations are often accompanied by preliminary preparations, which you receive instructions for with the appointment letter.
The length of the examination varies depending on the organ to be imaged and its function. Most often, the duration of the examination is 30–60 minutes. As a rule, the examination is not performed on pregnant women.
The operation of the radiology unit is audited by an external, officially approved auditor in accordance with official regulations every five years. The regulations are based on The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health’s regulation 423/2000. The audits concern medical activities that expose you to ionizing radiation.
The audits investigate the examination and treatment practices the unit adheres to, their results and radiation exposures. The results are compared with the available knowledge and experiences regarding good medical practices.
In addition, the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority supervises the safety of the use of radiation and the compliance with the regulations of the radiation legislation. The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority regularly conducts inspections concerning activities and facilities exposed to radiation.
Technical quality assurance is carried out according to the instructions of the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority. Equipment that produces radiation is regularly serviced. Monitoring radiation doses is part of ensuring the operational condition of examination equipment.
X-ray examinations aim to obtain the best possible X-ray images with the lowest possible amount of radiation needed for determining the disease. The average radiation doses of X-ray examinations can be found on the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority’s website:
The images produced at the radiology unit are in digital format. X-rays and the radiologist’s opinion are archived in the electronic archive. The treating physician gives the results of the examinations to the patient.
If you need a photocopy of the X-ray examination performed on you, you can order a photocopy with a document request. A document request for a photocopy order can be sent to:
Central Ostrobothnia Wellbeing Services County Soite, Radiology,
You can also forward the document request to the radiology unit at the Soite main radiology department, Kannus or Tunkkari.
The Kanta service’s imaging archive
Soite’s radiology unit uses the Kanta service’s imaging material archive. The imaging material produced in connection with the patient’s examination and treatment are archived in the image material archive. With the help of the archive, images are more easily and securely shared between organizations. The shared use and wide availability of data made possible by the image materials archive also improves patient safety, when redundant imaging examinations of the patient are avoided.
The images are only used by healthcare professionals and with the patient’s permission. You can read statements regarding your own imaging examinations in the kanta.fi service, but the actual images from imaging examinations are not visible to patients.