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Less Invasive

Less Invasive

Over the past few decades medical imaging has dramatically reduced reliance on exploratory surgery nearly making the term obsolete. Using physician-developed appropriateness guidelines, doctors use diagnostic imaging to make or alter therapeutic treatment decisions – leading to reduced costs, shorter hospital stays and fewer surgeries.

From avoiding catheterization to eliminating bowel perforation, research demonstrates how non-or-minimally invasive imaging improves health outcomes and saves health care dollars.

Colorectal Disease

  • Computed tomographic colonography (CTC), also called virtual colonoscopy, uses non-invasive CT scans, with x-rays capturing images of the inner wall of the colon to detect abnormal growths called polyps and early signs of colon cancer. It simulates a visit to the colon without the insertion of an endoscope to examine the inside of the colon, which is the procedure for a standard (or optical) colonoscopy. CTC is just as effective as standard colonoscopies in detecting lesions, involves no risk of bowel perforation, requires no sedation and little or no recovery time, unlike a standard colonoscopy.

Cardiovascular Disease

  • Coronary Computed Tomographic Angiography (CCTA) is a quick non-surgical outpatient procedure that makes a three-dimensional image of the heart to detect coronary artery disease without surgery or catheterization within seconds. A small amount of radioactive glucose (sugar) is injected into a vein, and a scanner is used to make detailed, computerized pictures of areas inside the body where the glucose is used. The scans enable evaluation of the heart through a series of detailed pictures created by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. CT scans can reduce time to diagnosis and serve as a gatekeeper for triaging patients for expensive or potentially risky procedures.
  • Echocardiography, a procedure used to detect coronary artery disease, changes sound waves into pictures that show the heart’s size, shape, and movement. The sound waves also can be used to see how much blood is pumped out by the heart when it contracts. The principal advantage of routine echocardiography, which uses ultrasound waves to produce an image of the heart, is its non-invasive nature. This procedure can produce accurate images of the heart’s four chambers, the valves and aorta, and tissue damage, and thereby provide information on blood flow, pumping capacity and coronary arteries.
  • Cardiac PET has been described as “a non-invasive ‘one-stop’ test for routine management of coronary artery disease that is well validated in the scientific literature.” Results from cardiac PET can inform the use of invasive therapeutic procedures and help physicians design lifelong risk factor management plans with their patients. Over time, this technology also provides valuable assessments of how effective these therapeutic measures are by allowing physicians to track disease progression and regression.


  • A number of peer reviewed studies have demonstrated that imaging can minimize unnecessary surgeries, resulting in significant cost savings. A study out of Massachusetts General Hospital found that showed that initial CT scans significantly reduced the occurrence of surgeries in which the patient turns out not to have had appendicitis as well as the number of unnecessary hospital admissions for observation.

The use of CT has also reduced unnecessary surgeries for elderly patients and pregnant women with suspected appendicitis.

Early Diagnosis

Advances in medical imaging have improved disease screening and diagnosis for a range of acute and chronic conditions...
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Cost Savings

When patients have access to and receive the right scan at the right time, costs are reduced and workers are healthier and more productive...
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Better Treatment

The right scan at the right time improves health outcomes. Peer-reviewed data demonstrates that timely access to imaging allows physicians...
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