Why Choose Medical Diagnostic Imaging Services at St. Louise?
St. Louise Regional Hospital provides a full range of medical diagnostic imaging services conveniently located in your community hospital. Getting an accurate diagnosis is an important part of treatment because it allows us to determine the most effective treatment plan. Our expert imaging center helps you get answers quickly so you can move forward with any necessary treatment.
Medical Diagnostic Imaging Services
We provide a wide range of diagnostic imaging tests. Some of these tests need no special preparation, while others require you to take certain steps beforehand. You may need to drink a contrast liquid that helps provide better definition of internal structures on images. Call (408) 848-8622 before your procedure to find out about any preparations you need to make for your imaging test.
Medical Diagnostic Imaging Location
You can find us on the first floor of St. Louise Regional Hospital. To learn more or find out how to prepare for your procedure, contact us at (408) 848-8622.
For more information or to find a physician, contact our physician referral service at (408) 782-1501.
Our medical diagnostic imaging services include:
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
This procedure uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of the inside of your body.
MRI is a painless procedure that allows medical professionals to see inside your body without using radiation or surgery. Instead, MRI uses radio waves and high-powered magnets to create detailed images of your body’s internal structures. Most procedures will last between 30-45 minutes.
Physicians often use MRI to:
- Evaluate soft tissues like ligaments and tendons that connect muscle to bone.
- Evaluate the brain for signs of a stroke.
Preparing for your MRI
Most MRI scans require little or no preparation. Call us at (408) 848-8622 before your appointment with any concerns or questions.
Before your MRI begins, you will be instructed to remove all metal before entering the scanner room.
You should inform the technologist if you have any kind of metal in your body.
CT (Computerized Tomography) Scan
Physicians use this scan to get images of your internal organs using small amounts of radiation aimed at specific areas of the body
A CT scan uses small amounts of radiation to create a series of cross-sectional or slice images. The scan generates high-definition images, helping you potentially avoid exploratory surgery.
Doctors typically use CT scans to evaluate:
- Bone breaks
- Masses or tumors
- Internal bleeding
During a CT scan, you will lie on a table that slides into a donut-shaped machine for about 15 minutes. Our CT machine is fast and quiet, providing low radiation exposure while allowing for a high degree of detail.
Preparing for your CT scan
Preparation will vary depending on which part of your body doctors need to scan.
Additional instructions include:
- Do not eat or drink anything for 4 hours before your CT scan, except for your regular medications.
- Bring a list of all medications you currently take.
- If you take Glucophage® (metformin) or have severe allergies, please call (408) 848-8622 for specific instructions.
- If your CT scan is of your abdominal or pelvic region, you will need to pick up a contrast liquid at least 12 hours before your exam. Drink the entire container before your exam. Do not eat or drink anything else until after your CT scan.
This procedure uses high-frequency sound waves to see inside your body. Doctors often use it for assessing fetal development as well as looking at veins and arteries
An ultrasound is a safe and painless imaging method that uses high-frequency sound waves to see structures inside your body.
Doctors use this noninvasive procedure to:
- Assess your baby’s fetal development
- Examine your veins and arteries
- Evaluate causes of pain or swelling in your internal organs
During an ultrasound, a medical professional will spread a special gel on your skin and move a probe or wand through the gel to generate images on a nearby screen. The procedure will take less than half an hour.
Preparing for your ultrasound
Your preparation will depend on the type of ultrasound you receive. For some exams, it is important that you have a full bladder. If you are instructed to drink water before the exam, do not empty your bladder after drinking.
- Abdominal ultrasounds: Do not eat or drink after midnight before your exam, except for your regular medications.
- Pelvic ultrasounds: You must have a full bladder before your exam. Drink 4 glasses of water before your ultrasound. One glass equals 8 ounces of fluid.
- Obstetrics (OB) ultrasounds, first trimester: Drink 3 glasses of water one hour before your exam.
- OB ultrasounds, second trimester: Drink 2 glasses of water 30 minutes before your exam.
Doctors use X-rays to get images of internal structures, most often the bones
An X-ray uses radiation beams to create images of organs and structures in your body. The procedure is painless and takes less than 5 minutes. Our physicians perform X-rays on a walk-in basis.
X-ray studies help doctors:
- Evaluate broken bones
- Quickly assess potential organ problems that need further evaluation
Doctors may require a pregnancy test before administering an X-ray, and it is important to tell the technologist if you may be pregnant. Most X-rays require no preparation, but you can call (408) 848-8622 to find out if you need to pick up a contrast liquid to drink beforehand.
DXA (Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry)
This procedure, also known as a bone density scan, helps measure bone loss that indicates osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition where bones break easily due to loss of mineral content
DXA or bone density scan is a simple, fast and painless imaging technique that helps physicians measure bone loss. It is the most common and accurate tool for diagnosing osteoporosis. The procedure is an enhanced X-ray that uses low-dose radiation to obtain images of your bones, often the lower spine and hips. A DXA scan requires no special preparation.
Nuclear Medicine Scans
These scans use small amounts of radioactive tracer materials to obtain detailed images of internal organs
Nuclear medicine is an imaging procedure that involves the use radioactive tracer materials to help diagnose a variety of diseases. Nuclear medicine determines the cause of the medical problem based on the function of the organ, tissue or bone.
Procedures we perform include:
- Bone scan: Commonly used to diagnose metastatic cancer, fractures and infections of the bones
- Sentinel lymph node mapping: This advanced procedure helps physicians better detect and treat certain types of cancers
- Thyroid scan: This scan evaluates the function and structure of your thyroid
- Gallbladder scan: Commonly used to assess the function of the gallbladder
Also known as a colon X-ray, doctors use this procedure to get clearer images of your lower intestine. A barium enema involves an injection of liquid containing barium, a metallic substance, into your colon.
Physicans can see real-time images of your internal organs
This procedure gives physicians real-time images of your internal organs on a nearby computer screen. You may need to drink a contrast liquid ahead of time.
Preparing for Your Procedure
When you schedule an imaging test, ask your doctor about any special preparations you need to make before your procedure. For example, you may need to avoid eating or drinking before your test, while other scans require you to drink a special contrast liquid ahead of time. In addition, tell your doctor if you may be pregnant.
Tips on preparing for your procedure:
- Leave jewelry and valuables at home and wear loose-fitting clothing. Your doctor may ask you to change into a hospital gown before the procedure.
- Bring a list of any medications you take.
- Let the technologist know if you may be pregnant.