Imaging Services

You can be assured you’re receiving superior care when your healthcare provider orders Imaging Services from Virginia Gay Hospital. Offering MRI, CT, Ultrasound, Bone Densitometry, 3-D Mammography & X-rays.

Confidence and satisfaction comes from understanding that VGH Imaging Services possesses the same advanced, state-of-the art imaging equipment, and industry standard facilities as other hospitals in eastern Iowa, such as those in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.

Expect prompt appointments, friendly and knowledgeable technologists, and the exact same quality of expertly trained radiologists used by the area’s largest hospitals.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) MRI uses a large magnet and radio frequency to align cells in your body to be detected by the scanner. MRI provides good contrast between soft tissue, tendons, and ligaments.

Computed Tomography (CT) is a medical imaging procedure that uses computer-processed X-rays to produce tomographic images or ‘slices’ of specific areas of the body. These cross-sectional images are used for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes in various medical disciplines. Digital geometry processing is used to generate a three-dimensional image of the inside of an object from a large series of two-dimensional X-ray images taken around a single axis of rotation.

Mammography is the process of using low-energy X-rays to examine the human breast and is used as a diagnostic and a screening tool. During mammography, breasts are compressed to reduce the amount of radiation required to penetrate the tissue. The goal of mammography is the early detection of breast cancer, typically through detection of characteristic masses and/or microcalcifications. 3D mammography is now available at Virginia Gay Hospital. Research has shown that 3D mammography in conjunction with standard 2D mammography, detects from 20% to 40% more cases of invasive breast cancer, while also reducing the need for additional testing by as much as 40%. The improved results from 3D mammography don’t result in radiation exposure above FDA limits, and by avoiding additional tests, the test may help limit lifetime exposure. 3D mammography requires only a few seconds more than standard mammography. The testing procedure is identical, except for the slight arc the imaging unit makes to gather the image. The powerful software then creates images of the breast tissue in millimeter-thick increments. The ability to view small segments of tissue and the ability to rotate 3D images allow radiologists to take a more accurate look inside the body. The technology is especially useful for women with dense breast tissue because 2D mammograms of dense breasts are more difficult for the radiologist to interpret, and because cancer occurs more often in dense breasts. The determination of breast tissue density is determined after examining a mammogram, and approximately 50% of women have dense breast tissue. Two organizations with information about breast tissue density can be found on the web at and . Talk with your Virginia Gay Family Medical Clinic healthcare provider about your risk of breast cancer and recommendations on mammography based on your age and health history. Your provider can provide you with an order for the test. Once you have an order, call the imaging department at 319-472-6288 or scheduling at 319-472-6270 for an appointment. 3D mammograms are currently scheduled for Mondays and Tuesdays, 9 AM to 3 PM, and on Fridays, noon to 3 PM. If you need financial assistance for this service, the Gifts of Hope fund was established to provide free mammograms and diagnostic services. Assistance is available to pay for a clinic visit, testing, co-pays, and diagnostic analysis of those tests to determine the next steps, as well as Pap tests and/or pelvic exams. Funds are meant for people who have no insurance; have a health insurance policy that does not pay for these services; and those who cannot pay deductible or co-insurance amounts. Talk to your VGH provider if you want to use Gifts of Hope funds and it will be arranged. No Application is necessary. For more information, visit

Accreditation Frequently Asked Questions

What should I know about radiation safety?
Before your imaging procedure be sure to ask your physician the following questions:

  • Why is the test needed?
  • How will having the test improve my care?
  • Are there alternatives that do not use radiation and deliver similar results?
  • Is the facility accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR)?
  • Are pediatric, and adult tests delivered using the appropriate radiation doses?

Why should I have my imaging exam done at an accredited facility?
When you see the gold seals of accreditation prominently displayed in our imaging facility, you can be sure that you are in a facility that meets standards for imaging quality and safety. Look for the ACR Gold Seals of Accreditation.

To achieve the ACR Gold Standard of Accreditation, our facility’s personnel qualifications, equipment requirements, quality assurance, and quality control procedures have gone through a rigorous review process and have met specific qualifications. It’s important for patients to know that every aspect of the ACR accreditation process is overseen by board-certified, expert radiologists, and medical physicists in advanced diagnostic imaging.

What does ACR accreditation mean?

  • Our facility has voluntarily gone through a vigorous review process to ensure that we meet nationally-accepted standards of care.
  • Our personnel is well qualified, through education and certification, to perform medical imaging, interpret your images, and administer your radiation therapy treatments.
  • Our equipment is appropriate for the test or treatment you will receive, and our facility meets or exceeds quality assurance and safety guidelines.

What does the gold seal mean?
When you see the ACR gold seal, you can rest assured that your prescribed imaging test will be done at a facility that has met the highest level of imaging quality and radiation safety. The facility and its personnel have gone through a comprehensive review to earn accreditation status by the American College of Radiology (ACR), the largest and oldest imaging accrediting body in the U.S. and a professional organization of 34,000 physicians.

Nuclear Medicine specialists use safe, painless, and cost-effective techniques to image the body and treat disease. Nuclear medicine imaging is unique, because it provides doctors with information about both structure and function. It is a way to gather medical information that would otherwise be unavailable, require surgery, or necessitate more expensive diagnostic tests. Nuclear medicine imaging procedures often identify abnormalities very early in the progress of a disease—long before many medical problems are apparent with other diagnostic tests.

Ultrasound Medical Sonography (ultrasonography) is an ultrasound-based diagnostic medical imaging technique used to visualize muscles, tendons, and many internal organs, to capture their size, structure and any pathological lesions with real time tomographic images. Ultrasound is also used to visualize fetuses during routine and emergency prenatal care. Such diagnostic applications used during pregnancy are referred to as obstetric sonography.

Providing high-quality services to commemorate your pregnancy.

Pregnancy is a monumental time for the child’s parents. Virginia Gay Hospital is excited to offer 3D/4D OB Ultrasounds to commemorate this important event. These 30-minute sessions, located at the main hospital in Vinton, provide high-quality images of your child between 24-36 weeks. Up to three people are allowed in the room during the session. The session costs $125, which must be paid prior to scheduling. After the session, the mother will receive several prints and a thumb drive of all the photos.

To schedule, call 319-472-6288. Please note that these are non-medical/non-diagnostic exams that are not covered by insurance. A radiologist will not read the ultrasounds. Mothers are required to have a normal fetal survey ultrasound at 20 weeks prior to the 3D/4D OB Ultrasound

X-Ray A medical X-ray is an imaging test that is done using radiation to show your internal organs and bones. They can be used to find fractures, fluid buildup, and more. X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation that can penetrate clothing, body tissue, and internal organs. An X-ray machine sends this radiation through the body. Some of the radiation emerges on the other side of the body, where it exposes film or is absorbed by a digital detector to create an image. And some of it is absorbed in body tissues.

Bone Densitometry A bone density test is a non-surgical, painless examination that uses low dose x-rays to measure the density of bones. A bone density test tells you if you have normal bone density, low bone density (osteopenia) or osteoporosis. It is the only test that can diagnose osteoporosis. The lower your bone density, the greater your risk of breaking a bone.