Radiology & Diagnostic Imaging

Imaging Services in Southern California

Imaging Services: 626-574-3461

An important part of medical care is finding out exactly what's going on inside the body through diagnostic imaging. Methodist Hospital of Southern California is equipped with state-of-the-art, safe imaging technology so that we can better diagnose and treat our patients' conditions. Imaging refers to a number of procedures used to create images of the body's internal structures. The advancement of imaging technology has allowed doctors to better diagnose conditions and spot warning signs early without having to perform surgery.

We have spared no effort to outfit our facility with the best in imaging tech. You can learn more about imaging services and how they are performed at Methodist Hospital below.

Computerized Tomography (CT) Scanning

A CT Scan is an advanced form of X-ray that uses high-tech computers to create highly detailed images of bone, organ, and tissue. Methodist Hospital is the proud owner of one of the world's most powerful CT Scanners, the Aquillion One. This is a 320-slice CT scanner that produces 4D images of the body's internal structures. A 4D X-ray reconstructs a 3D model of a structure that displays time and motion, meaning these images allow doctors to see how a bone or organ is moving and functioning.

The Aquillion One scanner is currently the safest model on the market as it exposes patients to the lowest dosage of radiation of any CT scanner. Additionally, the images produced are far more clear and detailed than more standard scanners, and allow for better diagnosis of:

  • Tumors
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Calcium in arteries
  • Bone fractures
  • Organ damage
  • Herniated discs
  • Blood vessel damage

A CT Scan is a quick and painless procedure, making it ideal in emergency situations. As a patient, all you have to do during the scan is lie on a table while the machine rotates around your body and takes x-rays. In some instances, you will be asked to shift positions so the machine can access new angles. You should not experience any side-effects or require recovery when it is finished.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRIs are similar to CT scans except that they do not use radiation and can be better at detecting tumors. The drawback of a MRIs is that they are usually more expensive and the tests take longer to perform.

Like CT Scans, MRIs are painless and capable of scanning the entire body. Instead of X-rays, MRIs use magnetic fields and radio waves to create images on a nearby monitor. During an MRI a patient lies on a table that slides into a large tube. They remain there for anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour while the MRI scans the body. Though there is no physical discomfort, some patients with claustrophobia have difficulty with this procedure. To help you relax, a doctor or nurse can administer a sedative. You will also be able to keep in contact with a doctor via an intercom inside the device.

When the test is over, a radiologist will review the results and inform your doctor of their findings. Your doctor will then call you to discuss results or schedule an appointment.

Nuclear Imaging

Nuclear imaging, or nuclear medicine, is a highly effective imaging technique where a nuclear agent is injected into the patient near the area being examined. The agent highlights the area so that other imaging devices like an X-ray or CT scan can capture images of an even higher quality. There are many forms of nuclear medicine, and they aid doctors in finding:

  • Bone tumors
  • Bone fractures
  • Arthritis
  • Internal bleeding
  • Infections
  • Thyroid disorders
  • And more

Though you are exposed to nuclear material in nuclear imaging, the process is extremely safe. The amount of radiation involved is about the same as a standard x-ray, and most of it will be expelled from the body through natural processes. You can speed up the process by drinking plenty of water after the test.

These are just a few of Methodist Hospital's imaging services. To learn more or schedule an appointment, call our main office at 626-574-3461.