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Sutter Opens County's First Non-Hospital-Based Nuclear Imaging Option

New gamma camera helps physicians make more informed decisions

FAIRFIELD, Calif., April 1, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- Now patients in north Solano County have enhanced access to advanced digital and potentially life-saving technology in a state-of the-art and convenient outpatient setting. The imaging team at Sutter Regional Medical Foundation (SRMF), which is affiliated with Solano Regional Medical Group (SRMG), recently acquired the BrightView nuclear imaging system -- or gamma camera -- from Philips Medical Systems.

This is Solano County's first non-hospital-based nuclear imaging facility, according to Keith Tao, M.D., director of radiology at Sutter Fairfield Diagnostic Imaging Center, a SRMF-affiliated center.

With the BrightView system, SRMF can perform non-invasive, highly advanced diagnostic scans that can lead to potentially life-saving treatment options or rule out serious medical conditions.

More than half of the people to use the nuclear diagnostic scanner are cardiac patients at risk of heart attack and stroke. Cardiologists will be able to further study blood circulation to the heart with the scanner. "What we're looking for are indicators of stress-induced lack of blood supply to heart muscle," says Dr. Tao. "Nuclear imaging is an important diagnostic technology that identifies very specific disease states not seen with other diagnostic modalities."

Sutter Fairfield Diagnostic Imaging Center will also utilize the scanner to examine gallbladder, kidney, liver and spleen functions, and to detect the spread of cancer to the bones. These bone scans can also see fractures much earlier than conventional X-ray scans.

Unlike some imaging tests, nuclear imaging allows clinicians to see how a part of the body is functioning at the metabolic level, providing more definitive screening and treatment staging for diseases like cancer. This improved diagnostic confidence may alter the course of action and have a positive impact on patient outcomes. For instance, a patient may be able to avoid a biopsy or an invasive surgical procedure.

"The new gamma camera system has the potential to broaden our applications for nuclear medicine imaging, including the ability to use the latest procedures, such as concurrent imaging," says Dr. Tao. "This means we can provide a higher level of diagnostic confidence and more effective, efficient care for our patients."

Sutter Fairfield Diagnostic Imaging Center is dedicated to delivering excellence in service with a staff consisting of highly specialized board-certified radiologists and a team of experienced and certified technologists who are devoted to patient care. Services available at the center include: magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), computed radiography (CR), general radiology, fluoroscopy and ultrasound. Women receive specialized service in a private, quiet atmosphere for digital mammography, bone densitometry and ultrasound.

About Sutter Regional Medical Foundation

Sutter Regional Medical Foundation is a locally governed and managed affiliate of Sutter Health, a not-for-profit network of physicians and hospitals in Northern California. SRMF is affiliated with Solano Regional Medical Group, Solano County's largest multi-specialty physician practice that has served the community for more than 50 years. SRMF offers professional, high-quality and compassionate care from care centers in Vacaville, Vallejo, Fairfield, and Rio Vista, all in California and is fully accredited by the Institute for Medical Quality.

Sutter Health is one of the nation's leading not-for-profit networks of community-based health care providers, delivering high quality care to more than 100 Northern California communities. Sutter Health has relationships with more than 3,600 physicians and is the regional leader in infant deliveries, neonatology, orthopedics, and pediatric services. Sutter Health maintains medical foundation clinics in 11 Northern California counties.

SOURCE Sutter Regional Medical Foundation
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