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Radiology | Waitematā | Te Whatu Ora

Public Service, Radiology, Pregnancy Ultrasound

Today

North Shore Hospital

8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

Waitakere Hospital

8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

Description

Formerly Waitematā DHB Radiology
 
What is Radiology?
Radiology procedures are used for looking at the internal structures of the body, whether bone or soft tissue. Usually these examinations are carried out to:
  • diagnose disease states, such as gallstones, pneumonia 
  • show the extent of injury to body structures
  • to aid in interventional procedures, such as biopsies.
Different radiological methods are used to do this such as, X-ray (also referred to as plain X-ray or DR), Computer Tomography (CT, or CAT scan), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Ultrasound as well as some other specialised types of imaging.
 
 
The Team
  • Reception and Clerical Staff - process all requests,book  examinations, answer all telephone queries and liaise with MRTs and radiologists
  • Medical Imaging Technologists (MITs) or Radiographers perform your X-ray, Barium, Mammography, CT and MR examinations
  • Radiology Assistants (RAs) - assist you by preparing you for your examination on the day
  • Nurses- assist with Interventional procedures and monitor patients while in Radiology. 
  • Sonographers - MITs specifically trained to perform your ultrasound examinations.
  • Radiologists  -Specialist Doctors who read and interpret your films or scans and issue a report for your referring doctor. They will also be directly involved with you in performing the examination if you have an interventional procedure, barium study,  a number of ultrasound procedures and other more complex studies.  They interpret the results of the images and send them to your doctor.

Referral Expectations

General Information

Te Whatu Ora - Waitematā District is committed to keeping you safe throughout your time with us.
If you have any of the following symptoms NOT related to another known health problem that you know you have prior to your appointment or on the day of your appointment, please contact us for advice:  

·         Cough
·         Sore throat
·         Shortness of breath
·         Fever (temperature)
·         Runny nose
·         Loss of smell or taste
·         Abdominal pain

Whānau / family support is important. We welcome you bringing a support person.

Physical distancing is important and requirements remain in place for distancing to be maintained inside the hospital.
Everyone entering the hospital is required to wear a surgical face mask, if you don’t have one we will supply one for you.

Referral Expectations

Both inpatients and outpatients need to be referred by a doctor to have a radiological procedure carried out (some referrals are accepted from other Health Professionals for limited specific examinations and by prior approval with the Head of Department). 

Referrals from hospital doctors should be made electronically and more recently electronic referrals are also required from all GPs. 

Almost all Outpatient and GP referrals will be booked for a future appointment with appointment details and any preparation instructions posted to you at home up to 2 weeks before your appointment time. It is important you telephone us if you are not going to be able to make the appointment offered, or if you no longer require the procedure you were referred for.

Your request will be assessed and prioritised by a Senior MIT or Consultant Radiologist based on the information supplied by your referring doctor. The waiting list times vary depending on the type of procedure and the clinical urgency. Our resources are limited both by machine and staff availability. There are times of high demand at both hospitals and non-urgent scans may not be done for up to 10 weeks from the time of receiving the request. If you feel your symptoms have worsened while you are waiting to hear from us please contact your referring doctor.

Urgent cases will be mostly done as soon as required and your doctor has been encouraged to phone the department to discuss these cases.

A report of the findings on your x-ray or scan will be sent electronically to your referring doctor within 48 hours of it being completed.

All your images are now taken in a digital format and are stored on our hospital PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System). The images can be reviewed by your doctor on a computer at any of the Auckland region hospitals. The images can be made available to take elsewhere on a CD, however there may be a charge for CD copies when required (please see "Charges" below).

Charges

There are no charges for Imaging procedures for public patients, if you are lawfully in New Zealand and meet one of the Eligibility Directions specified criteria set by the Ministry of Health.

If you do not meet the criteria, you will be required to pay for the full costs of any medical treatment you receive during your stay.

To check whether you meet the specified eligibility criteria, visit the Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand website.

For all patients - your doctor receives your report electronically typically within 48 hours. All hospital doctors are able to view your images electronically. If you require a CD copy of your images this may be requested through clinical records - release of information and may take up to 20 days.

Hours

North Shore Hospital

8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

Mon – Fri 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

• Open to Outpatients referred by the Hospital from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday.

• Open to community patients for acute walk in chest x-ray referrals from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Other referrals require an appointment.

• The department provides service to Hospital Inpatients and to the Emergency Department 24 hrs, 7 days of the week.

Waitakere Hospital

8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

Mon – Fri 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

• Open to Outpatients referred by the Hospital from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday.

• Open to community patients for acute walk in chest x-ray referrals from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Other referrals require an appointment.

• The department provides service to Hospital Inpatients and to the Emergency Department 24 hrs, 7 days of the week.

Procedures / Treatments

Imaging Procedures Available

North Shore Hospital: Plain X-ray (also known as DR (digital radiography)) Ultrasound CT (computed tomography) MR (magnetic resonance) Fluoroscopy - barium examinations, HSG (hysterosalpingograms) etc Mammography Interventional procedures - (hospital referral only). Waitakere Hospital: Plain X-ray (also known as DR (digital radiography)) Ultrasound CT (computed tomography) scanning.

North Shore Hospital:

  • Plain X-ray (also known as DR (digital radiography))
  • Ultrasound
  • CT (computed tomography)
  • MR (magnetic resonance)
  • Fluoroscopy - barium examinations, HSG (hysterosalpingograms) etc
  • Mammography
  • Interventional procedures -  (hospital referral only).

Waitakere Hospital:

  • Plain X-ray (also known as DR (digital radiography))
  • Ultrasound
  • CT (computed tomography) scanning.
Plain X-rays/DR (digital radiography)

An X-ray is a high frequency, high energy wave form. It cannot be seen with the naked eye, but can be picked up on photographic film. Although you may think of an X-ray as a picture of bones, a trained observer can also see air spaces, like the lungs (which look black) and fluid (which looks white, but not as white as bones). What to expect? You will have all metal objects removed from your body. You will be asked to remain still in a specific position and may be asked to hold your breath on command. There are staff present, but they will not necessarily remain in the room and will be viewing the procedure constantly through a windowed control room. The examination time will vary depending on the type of procedure required, but as a rule it will take around 30 minutes.

An X-ray is a high frequency, high energy wave form.  It cannot be seen with the naked eye, but can be picked up on photographic film. Although you may think of an X-ray as a picture of bones, a trained observer can also see air spaces, like the lungs (which look black) and fluid (which looks white, but not as white as bones).
 
What to expect?
You will have all metal objects removed from your body.  You will be asked to remain still in a specific position and may be asked to hold your breath on command.  There are staff present, but they will not necessarily remain in the room and will be viewing the procedure constantly through a windowed control room.
The examination time will vary depending on the type of procedure required, but as a rule it will take around 30 minutes.
Ultrasound

In ultrasound, a very high frequency soundwave (that cannot be heard) is sent into the body from a small vibrating crystal in a hand-held scanner head. When the soundwave meets a surface between tissues of different density, echoes of the soundwave are sent back into the scanner head. The time between sending the sound and receiving the echo back is fed into a computer, which in turn creates an image that is projected on a television screen. Ultrasound is a very safe type of imaging; this is why it is so widely used during pregnancy. Doppler Ultrasound A Doppler study is a noninvasive test that can be used to evaluate blood flow by bouncing high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) off red blood cells. A Doppler study can estimate how fast blood flows and can help diagnose blood clots, heart and leg valve problems and blocked or narrowed arteries. What to expect? After lying down, the area to be examined will be exposed. Generally a contact gel will be used between the scanner head and skin. The scanner head is then pressed against your skin and moved around and over the area to be examined. At the same time the internal images will appear onto a screen.

In ultrasound, a very high frequency soundwave (that cannot be heard) is sent into the body from a small vibrating crystal in a hand-held scanner head.  When the soundwave meets a surface between tissues of different density, echoes of the soundwave are sent back into the scanner head.  The time between sending the sound and receiving the echo back is fed into a computer, which in turn creates an image that is projected on a television screen.  Ultrasound is a very safe type of imaging; this is why it is so widely used during pregnancy.
 
Doppler Ultrasound
A Doppler study is a noninvasive test that can be used to evaluate blood flow by bouncing high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) off red blood cells.  A Doppler study can estimate how fast blood flows and can help diagnose blood clots, heart and leg valve problems and blocked or narrowed arteries.
 
What to expect?
After lying down, the area to be examined will be exposed.  Generally a contact gel will be used between the scanner head and skin.  The scanner head is then pressed against your skin and moved around and over the area to be examined.  At the same time the internal images will appear onto a screen.
Mammography

A mammogram is a special type of x-ray used only for the breast. Mammography can be used either to look for very early breast cancer in women without breast symptoms (screening) or to examine women who do have breast symptoms (diagnostic). What to expect? You will need to undress from the waist up. One of your breasts will be positioned between two plastic plates which will flatten the breast slightly. Most women find that this is a bit uncomfortable. Generally two x-rays are taken of each breast. It is also useful to compare the results with earlier examinations and you should take any previous mammography results with you.

A mammogram is a special type of x-ray used only for the breast. Mammography can be used either to look for very early breast cancer in women without breast symptoms (screening) or to examine women who do have breast symptoms (diagnostic).
 
What to expect?

You will need to undress from the waist up.  One of your breasts will be positioned between two plastic plates which will flatten the breast slightly. Most women find that this is a bit uncomfortable. Generally two x-rays are taken of each breast. It is also useful to compare the results with earlier examinations and you should take any previous mammography results with you.

Computer Tomography (CT)

With CT you can differentiate many more things than with a normal X-ray. A CT image is created by using an X-ray beam, which is sent through the body from different angles, and by using a complicated mathematical process the computer of the CT is able to produce an image. This allows cross-sectional images of the body without cutting it open. The CT is used to view all body structures but especially soft tissue such as body organs (heart, lungs, liver etc.). What to expect? You will have all metal objects removed from your body. You will lie down on a narrow padded moveable table that will be slid into the scanner, through a circular opening. You will feel nothing while the scan is in progress, but some people can feel slightly claustrophobic or closed in, whilst inside the scanner. You will be asked to remain still and hold your breath on command. There are staff present, but they will not necessarily remain in the room, but will speak with you via an intercom system and will be viewing the procedure constantly through a windowed control room, from where they will run the scanner. Some procedures will require Contrast Medium. Contrast medium is a substance that makes the image of the CT or MRI clearer. Contrast medium can be given by mouth, rectally, or by injection into the bloodstream. The scan time will vary depending on the type of examination required, but as a rule it will take around 30 minutes.

With CT you can differentiate many more things than with a normal X-ray. A CT image is created by using an X-ray beam, which is sent through the body from different angles, and by using a complicated mathematical process the computer of the CT is able to produce an image.  This allows cross-sectional images of the body without cutting it open.  The CT is used to view all body structures but especially soft tissue such as body organs (heart, lungs, liver etc.).
 
What to expect?
You will have all metal objects removed from your body.  You will lie down on a narrow padded moveable table that will be slid into the scanner, through a circular opening.
You will feel nothing while the scan is in progress, but some people can feel slightly claustrophobic or closed in, whilst inside the scanner.  You will be asked to remain still and hold your breath on command.  There are staff present, but they will not necessarily remain in the room, but will speak with you via an intercom system and will be viewing the procedure constantly through a windowed control room, from where they will run the scanner.
Some procedures will require Contrast Medium.  Contrast medium is a substance that makes the image of the CT or MRI clearer. Contrast medium can be given by mouth, rectally, or by injection into the bloodstream.
The scan time will vary depending on the type of examination required, but as a rule it will take around 30 minutes.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

An MRI machine does not work like an X-ray or CT; it is used for imaging of internal organs and body structures without the use of radiation. The procedure uses a combination of magnetic fields and radio waves which results in an image being made using the MRI’s computer. What to expect? You will have all metal objects removed from your body. You will lie down on a narrow padded moveable table that will be slid into the scanner, through a circular opening. You will feel nothing while the scan is in progress, but some people can feel slightly claustrophobic or closed in, whilst inside the scanner. You will be asked to remain still and hold your breath on command. There are staff present, but they will not necessarily remain in the room, but will speak with you via an intercom system and will be viewing the procedure constantly through a windowed control room, from where they will run the scanner. Some procedures will require Contrast Medium. Contrast medium is a substance that makes the image of the CT or MRI clearer. Contrast can be given by mouth, rectally, or by injection into the bloodstream. The scan time will vary depending on the type of examination required, but as a rule it will take around 50 minutes.

An MRI machine does not work like an X-ray or CT; it is used for imaging of internal organs and body structures without the use of radiation.
The procedure uses a combination of magnetic fields and radio waves which results in an image being made using the MRI’s computer.
 
What to expect?
You will have all metal objects removed from your body.  You will lie down on a narrow padded moveable table that will be slid into the scanner, through a circular opening.
You will feel nothing while the scan is in progress, but some people can feel slightly claustrophobic or closed in, whilst inside the scanner.  You will be asked to remain still and hold your breath on command.  There are staff present, but they will not necessarily remain in the room, but will speak with you via an intercom system and will be viewing the procedure constantly through a windowed control room, from where they will run the scanner.
Some procedures will require Contrast Medium.  Contrast medium is a substance that makes the image of the CT or MRI clearer. Contrast can be given by mouth, rectally, or by injection into the bloodstream.
The scan time will vary depending on the type of examination required, but as a rule it will take around 50 minutes.

Parking

Parking for patients and visitors is available on both North Shore and Waitakere hospital sites:

  • North Shore Hospital - Multi-storey carpark
  • Waitakere Hospital - Ground level parking located at the front right-hand side of the site

There is a charge for patients and visitors parking on both hospital sites. Charges are as follows: 

North Shore Hospital:

http://www.waitematadhb.govt.nz/PatientsVisitors/NSHparking.aspx

Waitakere Hospital:

http://www.waitematadhb.govt.nz/patients-visitors/finding-your-way/parking/

Other

ACCREDITATION

The Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand Waitematā Radiology Service  has continually met the accreditation standards of International accreditation New Zealand.   The initial accreditation was achieved in 1997.  IANZ conducts annual surveillance assessments to ensure that the expected standards are being met.   

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

For more information on Radiology procedures please go to http://www.radiologyinfo.org/

Contact Details

This page was last updated at 2:57PM on November 27, 2023. This information is reviewed and edited by Radiology | Waitematā | Te Whatu Ora.