Advanced Medical Technology
San Angelo Community Medical Center's imaging resources offer the latest, high-tech equipment.
Radiology (Diagnostic and Interventional)
- Arterial Upper & Lower (Segmental Limbs)
- Bone Density Scoring
- Cardiac Cath Lab
- Cardiac Scoring
- CT Scan
- Dipyridamole Cardiac Stress Test
- Duplex Scanning of Arteries
- MRI – Adult & Pediatric
- Nuclear Medicine
- Pain Management
Bone Density Scoring
Bone Densitometry, using an advanced technology called DEXA (Dual Energy X-RAY Absorbtiometry) safely, accurately, and painlessly measures bone mineral density which helps determines a patient's risk of developing osteoporosis and future fractures.
Breast Imaging (Mammography)
Mammography, an X-ray technique that creates an image of the breast, may reveal changes in the breast before a woman or her doctor can discover them. The majority of lumps are not cancerous, but it is very important to have any suspicious lump evaluated with mammography.
Digital Mammography uses computers and specially designed digital detectors to produce an image that can be displayed on a high-resolution computer monitor and transmitted and stored just like computer files.
From a patient's point of view, having a digital mammogram is very much like having a conventional screen-film mammogram. Both film-based and digital mammography use compression and x-rays to create clear images of the inside of the breast.
Unlike film based mammographies, digital mammograms produce images that appear on the technologist's monitor in a matter of seconds. There is no waiting time for film to develop, which can mean a shorter time spent in the breast imaging suite.
With digital mammography, the radiologist reviews electronic images of the breast using special high resolution monitors. The physician can adjust the brightness, change contrast, and zoom in for close ups of specific areas of interest. Being able to manipulate images is one of the main benefits of digital technology.
Another convenience of digital mammography over film-based systems is it can greatly reduce the need for retakes due to over of under exposure. This potentially saves additional time and reduces exposure to x-rays.
Click here to learn more about our digital mammography services.
Cardiac Imaging/Cath Lab (Angiography)
Angiography (Cath Lab) is a type of imaging used to reveal blood vessels in various parts of the body, including the heart, brain and kidneys, so as to determine whether the vessels are diseased, narrowed, enlarged or blocked altogether. After passing a catheter through an artery leading to the body area of interest, a contrast material is injected to highlight the vessels when X-rays are taken. Interventional angiography may still be used in patients who have previously undergone surgery, angioplasty, or stent placement.
CT (Computer Tomography)
CT (computed tomography), or CAT scan, uses highly sophisticated X-ray equipment to obtain image information from different angles around the body. The computer processes the information to show a cross-section of body tissues and organs.
CT imaging is useful because it can image various types of tissue—lung, bone, soft tissue and blood vessels—with immense precision. Using specialized equipment and expertise to create and deduce CT scans of the body, radiologists can fluently diagnose abnormalities such as cancers, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, trauma and musculoskeletal disorders. Because it makes available detailed, cross-sectional examination of all types of tissue, CT is one of the finest tools for investigating the chest and abdomen. It is one of the favored methods for detecting various cancers, including lung, liver and pancreatic cancer, because the image permits a doctor to verify the presence of a tumor and measure its size, precise location, and the extent of the tumor's involvement with other nearby tissue. CT examinations are often used to plan and properly administer radiation treatments for tumors, to guide biopsies and other minimally invasive procedures, and to plan surgeries.
CT can reveal even extremely diminutive bones, as well as immediate tissues such as muscle and blood vessels, making it invaluable in diagnosing and treating spinal problems and injuries to effected skeletal structures. In cases of extreme trauma, CT can quickly identify injuries to internal organs. CT can also play a significant role in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of vascular diseases that can lead to stroke, kidney failure, or death.
Diagnostic Imaging (X-ray)
Diagnostic Imaging or X-rays are a form of radiant energy, like light or radio waves. Unlike light, X-rays can go through the body, which permits a radiologist to interpret images of internal structures. The radiologist can view these images on either photographic film or computer monitor.
X-ray examinations offer important information about your well-being and take part in an important function in assisting your physician to make a precise diagnosis. In some cases X-rays are used to assist with the placement of tubes or other devices in the body or with other therapeutic procedures.
The decision to have an X-ray exam is a medical one, based on the likelihood of benefit from the exam versus the potential risk from radiation. Any X-ray exam must be ordered by your physician. For low dose examinations, usually those that only involve films taken by a technologist, this is generally an easy decision. Those procedures involving the use of contrast materials (dyes) such as barium or iodine, the radiologist may want to consider both your clinical history and frequency of exposure to X-rays. If you have had frequent X-ray exams and change healthcare providers, it is a good idea to keep a record of your X-ray history for yourself. This can help your doctor make an informed decision. It is also very important to tell your doctor if you are pregnant before having an exam that involves the abdomen or pelvic region.
Unlike other areas of radiology imaging, Interventional Radiology is one of the only areas in which patients are treated for disease. Interventional radiologists are specially trained doctors who use X-rays and other imaging techniques to "see" inside the body while they guide narrow tubes (catheters) and other very small instruments through the blood vessels and other pathways of the body to the site of a problem, treating a variety of medical disorders without surgery. Procedures performed by Interventional Radiologists are generally less costly and less traumatic to the patient, involving smaller incisions, less pain, and shorter hospital stays.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses electromagnetic engery to offer extraordinarily clear and detailed images of internal anatomy. The method has established itself as a very valuable diagnostic tool for a broad range of pathologic conditions in all parts of the body, including cancer, heart and vascular disease, stroke, and joint and musculoskeletal disorders. MRI requires particular equipment and expertise and allows assessment of some body structures that may not be as visible with other imaging methods.
Because MRI can give such clear images of soft-tissue structures near and around bones, it is the most sensitive exam for spinal and joint conditions. MRI is extensively used to diagnose sports-related injuries, especially those affecting the knee, shoulder, hip, elbow, and wrist. The images allow the physician to see even very small tears and injuries to ligaments and muscles.
In addition, MRI of the heart, aorta, coronary arteries, and blood vessels is a fast, noninvasive tool for diagnosing coronary artery disease and heart problems. Physicians can examine the size and thickness of the chambers of the heart, and determine the extent of damage caused by a heart attack or progressive heart disease.
We offer two options for MRI services, a closed MRI as well as an open MRI for patients requiring an open MRI or for those who are claustrophobic.
Nuclear medicine is a subspecialty within the field of radiology. It comprises diagnostic examinations that result in images of body anatomy and function. The images are developed based on the detection of energy emitted from a radioactive substance given to the patient, either intravenously or by mouth. It contains a very small quantity of safe radioactive material, which can be detected by a special camera.
Nuclear medicine images can assist the physician in diagnosing diseases. Tumors, infection and other disorders can be detected by evaluating organ function.
Specifically, nuclear medicine can be used to:
- Analyze kidney function
- Image blood flow and function of the heart
- Scan lungs for respiratory and blood-flow problems
- Identify blockage of the gallbladder
- Evaluate bones for fracture, infection, arthritis or tumor
- Determine the presence or spread of cancer
- Identify bleeding into the bowel
- Locate the presence of infection
- Measure thyroid function to detect an overactive or underactive thyroid
Ultrasound imaging, also known as ultrasound scanning or sonography, is a method of obtaining images from inside the human body through the use of high-frequency sound waves. The technique is similar to the echolocation used by bats, whales and dolphins, as well as SONAR used by submarines. The sound-wave echoes are recorded and displayed as a real-time, visual image. No ionizing radiation is involved in ultrasound imaging.
There are many situations in which ultrasound is performed. Perhaps you are pregnant, and your obstetrician wants you to have an ultrasound to check on the developing baby or determine the due date. Maybe you are having problems with blood circulation in a limb or your doctor has requested a Doppler ultrasound to look at the blood flow. Ultrasound has been a popular medical imaging technique for many years.
Our imaging department offers a variety of pain control procedures which include epidurals, steroid injections to the back and joints for persistent pain and verteb