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Imaging Services

Whether your physician refers you to us for an MRI, PET scan, nuclear medicine scan, CT scan, interventional radiology procedure or other imaging service, rest assured that our diagnostic imaging department will provide you with high quality care.

Female practitioner assisting patient through MRI

Imaging is a deeper way of seeing medicine and seeing you. The radiology services you’ll find here feature some of the most advanced diagnostic and treatment technology available anywhere in the world. And the experts who care for you do something even more extraordinary—they go out of their way to give you a better experience.

Continually investing in the best healing technology allows us to: 

  • find disease earlier
  • treat it with unparalleled surgical accuracy
  • ensure we cause minimal trauma to tissue
  • give our patients better opportunities for successful outcomes

The American College of Radiology (ACR) has accredited these HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital radiology programs:

  • CT
  • Nuclear Medicine 
  • MRI
  • Ultrasound 
  • Mammography 
  • 3D Mammography

For more information, call us at 715-717-4151.

Imaging services

The Dual Source Computed Tomography (CT) Scanner
The Dual Source CT uses two x-ray sources and two detectors to give our physicians high-quality 3-D images of “slices” of the body allowing them to make diagnosis and treatment decisions in as little as three minutes. It also:
  • allows our radiologists to view results immediately.
  • uses half the radiation of traditional scanners.
  • eliminates the need for a biopsy or exploratory surgery in some cases.
  • has the extraordinary ability to take more than 6,000 images of the heart in as little as ten seconds.
  • has a wide range of applications including imaging complex vascular cases that would have been impossible in the past.
  • allows physicians to remove images of muscle and tissue from a scan with the click of a mouse—revealing previously unattainable details of the bone needed for proper diagnosis.
  • can detect cancer at its earliest stage which means a better chance for survival.
The 3 Tesla MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
The 3 Tesla MRI is faster and two times stronger than traditional MRIs. It:
  • captures images with such exceptional detail that our physicians can see structures within the body that have never been seen before.
  • has a powerful magnet that can be used to detect cancers in their earliest stages.
  • can diagnose neurological disorders such as stroke.
  • is capable of scanning the entire body for cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and orthopedic conditions.
  • is so sophisticated it is usually found only in research facilities.
Life-Saving Radiology
Intra-Arterial Cerebral Thrombolysis
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital is the only hospital in the area to offer a lifesaving intra-arterial cerebral thrombolysis procedure using imaging technology to help physicians detect and then dissolve blood clots in the brain. 
This scan combines functional information from a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) exam with the anatomical information from a computed tomography (CT) exam.

The advantage of CT is its ability to take cross-sectional images of your body. The PET exam pinpoints metabolic activity in cells and the CT exam provides an anatomical reference. When these two scans are fused together, your physician can view metabolic changes in the proper anatomical context of your body.

To prepare for a PET/CT scan:

When you arrive for your appointment, we will review your history and any past exams. For the PET portion of the exam, you will receive a tracer material injection. For most studies, you will wait for the radiopharmaceutical to distribute itself in your body, typically 45 minutes to an hour. You are asked to relax and no reading or TV is permitted. Then, during the exam, you will lie very still on a comfortable table that will move slowly through the scanner as it acquires the information needed to generate diagnostic images. The PET/CT scan itself should last about 45 minutes, but the exam procedure can vary depending on what we are looking for and what we discover along the way. Plan to spend two to three hours with us. Preparation for PET/CT exams varies, so instructions should be reviewed and followed carefully for each exam.

Our PET/CT scans are accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission. 
Full-Field Digital Mammography
  • Allows for faster and more accurate images.
  • Shortens exam times and significantly improves comfort and convenience.
  • Gives our physicians the ability to manipulate images for more accurate detection of breast cancer.
  • Improves the contrast between dense and non-dense breast tissue.
  • Is most effective and recommended for women younger than 50, those with dense breasts and those who are pre-menopausal or peri-menopausal.
  • Permits images to be transmitted over the phone lines or a network for remote consultation with other physicians.
3D Mammography—Breast Tomosynthesis
3D mammography or breast tomosynthesis complements standard 2D digital mammography and is performed at the same time with the same system. During the 3D part of the exam, an x-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over the breast, taking multiple images. High-powered computing converts these digital breast images into a stack of very thin layers or “slices” to build a 3-dimensional mammogram. This 3D image allows our radiologist to examine the breast tissue image one millimeter at a time.
Mammotome-Assisted Breast Biopsy
If a lump or abnormality is detected, our physicians can conduct a minimally invasive mammotome-assisted breast biopsy. This procedure involves taking sample tissue from the suspicious area to determine whether the abnormality or lump is cancerous. A biopsy is currently the only way to accurately diagnose breast cancer. It is important to remember that most breast biopsies do not turn out to be cancer and that although a biopsy may be frightening, the results can provide much needed peace of mind.

Mammotome-assisted breast biopsies:
  • allow for precise analysis with minimal pain, scarring and recovery time.
  • usually take less than an hour.
  • permit patients to return to their normal daily activities immediately.
Nuclear Medicine
Nuclear medicine is a branch of medical imaging that uses small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose and determine the severity of, or treat, a variety of diseases, including cancers, heart disease, gastrointestinal, endocrine, skeletal and other abnormalities within the body.

Depending on the type of nuclear medicine exam, the radiotracer is injected into the body, swallowed or inhaled, and accumulates in the organ or area of the body being examined. Radioactive emissions from the radiotracer are detected by a special camera that produces pictures and provides information. Scanning can begin immediately after injection, or be delayed for several hours or even days. Scan time also varies, with some scans as short as 30 minutes and others several hours. Preparation for nuclear medicine exams varies, so instructions should be reviewed and followed carefully for each exam.

Also called sonography, ultrasound involves exposing part of the body to high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of organs, tissues and other areas inside of the body. Ultrasound can be used to monitor the development of an unborn baby during pregnancy, to guide certain procedures and to diagnose the cause of many medical conditions that involve soft tissues, such as organs, glands and blood vessels.

During an ultrasound, you lie on an examination table and ultrasound gel is applied to the transducer or to the areas of the body being studied. This gel eliminates the air between the skin and the transducer for the best sound wave conduction. The transducer is then moved back and forth over the area of interest to allow your provider to see inside your body without surgery.

X-ray, commonly referred to as radiography, uses ionizing radiation to provide images of the body. Radiography is used in many ways to diagnose disease and injuries. Some common exams are X-rays, GI fluoroscopy exams and joint injections (arthrograms). Preparation for this scan varies by patient based on the test being conducted.
Other Imaging Options
Bone Densitometer
A small amount of radiation is used to measure bone density.

An ultrasound examination of the heart.

Interventional Radiology
Our physicians use interventional radiological imaging technologies to diagnose blockages in arteries and treat them with balloons, stents and catheter-delivered medications.

Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS)
This system acquires, transmits, stores, retrieves and displays digital images and related information from a variety of imaging sources and communicates the information over a network for physicians to access.