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September 5, 2013

New Scanner Arrives at Shawano Medical Center

ThedaCare’s newest scanner speeds up the process for Shawano-area patients receiving nuclear medicine tests.

Patients Can Now Have Nuclear Medicine Stress Tests Done in One Day

ThedaCare’s newest scanner speeds up the process for Shawano-area patients receiving nuclear medicine tests.

A new nuclear medicine scanner was recently installed at Shawano Medical Center and means that patients who normally went through a two-day stress testing can now have it done in a single day, said Mandy Malchow, imaging manager for Shawano Medical Center and ThedaCare Physicians-Shawano.

A nuclear stress test measures blood flow to a patient’s heart muscle while at rest and during exercise. The images show areas of low blood flow through the heart and any areas of damaged heart muscle. The patient receives an IV with radioactive dye that helps track the blood flow and allows physicians to compare blood flow between when a patient is resting and while he or she is exercising.

 “The new scanner does the test more quickly so we can inject enough dye in the patient to get the entire test done in one day rather than two,” she said, adding the new Shawano machine is the same one used at Appleton Medical Center. “It produces high-quality images and provides more detail to physicians.”

The new scanner table also has a higher weight limit. Previously, some patients needed to travel to Appleton for the test. “We are providing the highest standard of care with our new scanner.”

Previously, Shawano Medical Center outsourced its nuclear medicine services, but Malchow said it made financial sense to purchase a state-of-the-art machine and have ThedaCare employees deliver the services. “The old machine was 15 years old and meant patients needed to come in for tests twice. The new machine means we can produce higher quality scans in less time,” she said.

Shawano Medical Center is a nonprofit hospital in Shawano. It serves 35,000 people in Shawano, Menominee, and surrounding counties. Shawano Medical Center includes a critical-access (25-bed) hospital, Rehabilitation Services, and Sports Medicine.

ThedaCare™ is a community health system consisting of five hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, New London Family Medical Center, Shawano Medical Center, and Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, ThedaCare At Work, and ThedaCare at Home. ThedaCare is the largest employer in Northeast Wisconsin with more than 6,175 employees. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.