Picture this: a community hospital with imaging capabilities matched only by medical centers in metropolitan areas. That's what Prattville Baptist Hospital and its Radiology Department offer area residents.
"We have the best nuclear-medicine camera between here and the University of Alabama at Birmingham," says Nell Nelson, the hospital's radiology manager. "It has a larger weight limit, so we can accommodate heavier patients, and the table gantry is also wider, so it's more comfortable for the patient. And it gives us just beautiful images of the heart. Our cardiac studies are just stellar."
(Former) Hospital Administrator Ginger Henry calls Nelson the "proud mama" of the recently installed Siemens e-CAM, a gamma camera that captures images inside the body after the patient takes radiopharmaceuticals either orally or intravenously.
"The modality doesn't require us to use radiation to acquire the images," Nelson explains. From bone scans to renal, soft tissue and tumor studies, the e-CAM images boast excellent resolution and are acquired much faster than when traditional radiology is used.
Prattville Baptist Hospital's imaging capabilities don't stop there. Also new to the Radiology Department is the ZONARE z.one ultrasound platform, a portable unit that features all the capabilities of larger stationary equipment. The hospital also offers CT scans, routine radiography and fluoroscopy.
Prattville's hospital joined the Baptist Health family in 1998. Based in Montgomery, Baptist Health owns several central Alabama medical facilities, including the 85-bed Prattville Baptist Hospital and Prattville Medical Park, a medical office building with an outpatient imaging center. Its services include magnetic resonance imaging.
Henry says the hospital operates a six-bed intensive-care unit and "a very, very busy emergency department," with the number of visits in 2009 approaching 30,000. Surgeon Parham Mora, M.D., is trained in the latest minimally invasive technique, called single-incision laparoscopic surgery. While a conventional minimally invasive procedure may call for two small incisions on the abdomen and one in the navel, this new approach requires entry only through the navel.
"What that means to the patients is a much shorter recovery period, and now just one scar, which is in your bellybutton so nobody sees it," Henry says.
Specialties at Prattville Baptist include cardiology, orthopedics, gastroenterology, gynecology, pain management, physical therapy and podiatry. A speech and hearing clinic features a program for chronic tinnitus (ringing in the ears), vestibular training for patients plagued with dizziness, and therapy for patients who have difficulty swallowing.
In addition, many area residents enjoy a better night's sleep, thanks to the hospital's four-suite Sleep Disorders Center.
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