Gunnison Valley Hospital

Radiology & Medical Imaging


Gunnison Valley Hospital provides a FULLY DIGITAL IMAGING DEPARTMENT with a robust picture archiving and communication system.

We have the only short bore, high field MRI magnet in the region. Our on-site radiologists and certified technologists offer expertise, experience and diagnostic excellence to the residents and guests of this area. Services include X-ray, MRI, CT Scan (CAT Scan), general ultrasound, vascular ultrasound, mammography, bone density, pain management, percutaneous biopsies and arthrograms. All exams and procedures involving radiation are performed following the ALARA "As Low As Reasonably Achievable" radiation dose concept.


Subspecialty areas include Abdominal Imaging, Interventional Radiology, Musculoskeletal Imaging and Neuroradiology.


Medical Imaging Services


X-ray is a very effective and efficient means of visualizing internal body structures.  X-ray is an excellent for viewing bones.  The chest x-ray is a fast and very effective way to view the lungs.  X-ray is also valuable in viewing soft tissues of the abdomen.

CT or CAT Scan

A computed tomography (CT) scan uses X-rays to produce detailed images of structures inside the body.  A CT scan is also called a computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan.  CT scanning can be used to obtain information about almost any body organ (such as the liver, pancreas, intestines, kidneys, adrenal glands, lungs and heart), blood vessels, the abdominal cavity, bones and the spinal cord.
A contrast agent that contains iodine is often injected into the blood (intravenously) during a CT scan.  Contrast allows blood vessels and other structures and organs to become more visible.  Contrast may also be used to evaluate blood flows, detect tumors and locate areas of inflammation.

Hysterosalpingography (HSG)

HSG is an X-ray procedure that examines the inside of the uterus and fallopian tubes and the surrounding area.  It often is done for women who are unable to become pregnant (infertile).

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

For people who are claustrophobic we offer the only high field short-bore magnet in the region.  Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test that uses a magnetic field and pulse of radio wave energy to provide detailed images of the muscles, tendons, vessels, neural tissues, organs and other structures inside the body without using x radiation.  In many cases, MRI provides information that cannot be obtained from an X-ray, ultrasound, and/or CT.  MRI can detect changes in the normal structure and characteristics of organs or other tissues.  These changes may indicate diseases caused by trauma, infection, inflammation or tumors.  In some cases a contrast material may be used during the MRI scan to enhance the pictures of certain structures.  The contrast material may help evaluate blood flow, detect some types of tumors and locate areas of inflammation.

Full Field Digital Mammography (FFDM)

Mammography is an X-ray test of the breasts (mammory glands) used to screen for breast problems.  A mammogram is done to help screen for or diagnose breast cancer.  Many small tumors can be seen on a mammogram before they can be felt by a woman or her health care professional.  Cancer is most easily treated and cured when it is discovered in an early stage.  Mammograms do not prevent breast cancer or reduce a woman’s risk of developing cancer.  However, regular mammograms can reduce a woman’s risk of dying from breast cancer by detecting a tumor when it is more easily treated.

Pain Management (joint and epidural steroid)

Facet joint injections are used to localize and treat low back pain caused by problems of the facet joints.  These joints are located on each side of the vertebrae.  They join the vertebrae together and allow the spine to move with flexibility.  The facet joint injections form a pain block that allows the doctor to confirm that a facet joint is causing the pain.  The medication used also decreases inflammation that occurs in the joint from arthritis and joint degeneration.  It is important to make sure that the injection goes directly into the facet joint.  Fluoroscopy is used to confirm that the needle is in the right position before any medication is injected.  A fluoroscope uses X-rays to show a live image.  The doctor can watch on the screen as the needle is places into the joint and magnify the image to increase accuracy.

Sonography 4D Digital Ultrasound

This is a test that uses reflected sound waves to produce an image of organs and other structures in the body.  It does not use X-rays.  For ultrasound testing, gel or oil is applied to the skin to help transmit the sound waves.  A small, handheld instrument called a transducer is passed back and forth over the area of the body being examined.  The transducer sends out sound waves and converts them into an image that is displayed on a monitor.  Ultrasound is most useful for obstetrics (pregnancy) and gynecology.  It is also used for looking at organs and structures that are either uniform and solid (like the liver) or fluid-filled (like the gallbladder).  Mineralized structures (like bones) or air-filled organs (like the lungs) do not show up well on a sonogram.

Barium Swallow and the Upper GI

A Barium Swallow or “shake” of barium and water (barium contrast material) is swallowed as part of the upper gastrointestinal (UGI) series which usually examines the upper and part of the middle portions of the gastrointestinal tract.  The barium contrast material is often combined with gas-producing crystals.  The doctor then tracks the progress of the barium through the esophagus, stomach and first part of the small intestine (duodenum) using fluoroscopy and a video monitor.  Several images are usually produced at different times and from different directions.  A small bowel follow-through may be done immediately after a UGI to examine the entire small intestine.  An examination of only the throat or esophagus is called an esophagram (or barium swallow).

Voiding Cystourethrogram (VCUG)

A VCUG is an X-ray examination of the bladder and lower urinary tract.  A catheter is inserted through the urethra, the urinary bladder is filled with a water-soluble contrast material, and the catheter is withdrawn.  Several X-ray images of the bladder and urethra are captured as the patient empties the bladder.  These image allow radiologists to diagnose any abnormalities in the flow of urine through the body.

Arthrography (Joint Procedure)

Arthrography is used to view the soft tissue structures of your joint – such as tendons, ligaments, muscles, cartilage and your joint capsule – that are not seen on a plain X-ray (without contrast material).  This procedure can be done on various joints, including your hip, knee, ankle, shoulder, elbow, wrist or jaw.

CT Guided Biopsy and Drainage

Computed tomography (CT) is a process that images anatomic information from a cross-sectional plane of the body.  Biopsy is the process of taking a sample of tissue from the body for analysis.  CT is commonly used in biopsies to provide images that help guide the tools or equipment necessary to perform the biopsy to the appropriate area of the body.
CT is used in the process of performing biopsy, such as a needle biopsy, in order to guide the needle to the site of the biopsy and to provide rapid and precise localization of the needle.  CT enables imaging of areas that are normally beyond visible boundaries.  This enables the physician to see the target area clearly and help to ensure that the tissue being removed is from the target lesion.

Preventative Services

DEXA bone densitometry is used most often to diagnose osteoporosis, a condition that often affects women after menopause, but may also be found in men.  Osteoporosis involves a gradual loss of calcium, causing the bones to become thinner, more fragile and more likely to break.  The DEXA test can also assess your risk for developing fractures.  If your bone density is found to be low, you and your physician can work together on a treatment plan to help prevent fractures before they occur.  DEXA is also effective in tracking the effects of treatment for osteoporosis or for other conditions that cause bone loss.
Bone density testing is strongly recommended if you:
  • Are a post-menopausal woman and not taking estrogen.
  • Have a personal or maternal history of hip fracture or smoking.
  • Are a post-menopausal woman who is tall (over 5’ 7”) or thin (less than 125 pounds).
  • Use medications that are known to cause bone loss, including corticosteroids such as Prednisone, various anti-seizure medications such as Dilantin and certain barbiturates, or high-dose thyroid replacement drugs.
  • Have type 1 (formerly called juvenile or insulin-dependent) diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease or a family history of osteoporosis.
  • Have high bone turnover, which shows up in the form of excessive collagen in urine samples.
  • Have a thyroid condition, such as hyperthyroidism.
  • Have experienced a fracture after only mild trauma.
  • Have had X-ray evidence of vertebral fracture or other signs of osteoporosis.