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St. Lucie Medical Center
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St. Lucie Medical Center Emergency Room at Darwin Square
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Diagnostic Imaging

Imaging Services

You’ll find state-of-the-art technology and imaging services available at St. Lucie Medical Center. Whether it’s a bone density screening, an MRI, or a mammogram, please think of us for medical testing and imaging services.

St. Lucie Medical Center’s Department of Imaging is entering a new era of providing enhanced services in the form of digital information to the hospital, its physicians and patients by installing a PACS (Picture Archive and Communications system). This state of the art computer system will allow the department to provide digital medical images and related information in real time when you need it and where you want it. This technology will result in more timely communication of exam information leading to quicker patient care decisions and enhanced quality of care.

PACS is a major advance in the field of medical imaging and eliminates the need for manually filing, retrieving and transporting important patient data. It also eliminates the need to wait for images to be filmed and the problems associated with tracking down misplaced or misfiled films. In addition, any imaging study can be downloaded onto a DVD/CD for easier transport to your physician or specialist for review. This is especially beneficial for those seasonal residents who bring their health information back and forth between homes.

Mammography

Regular mammograms are not a luxury they are a necessity. St. Lucie Medical Center offers full mammography and breast screening without the typical long wait for an appointment. While you should still continue to perform monthly self-exams, you can rest more easily knowing that St. Lucie Medical Center won’t make you wait months to schedule a routine mammogram.

64-Slice CT

Physician and Nurse viewing medical images.

St. Lucie Medical Center is committed to make the most advanced technology available to its patients. It’s new CT system, the LightSpeed VCT from GE Healthcare will help the hospital obtain the information needed to diagnose disease and life-threatening illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, chest pain and stroke.

LightSpeed VCT, the world’s first volume CT (VCT) system, captures images of a beating heart in five heartbeats, an organ in one second and performs whole body trauma in ten seconds, more than twice as fast as conventional multi-slice CT scanners. This speed is especially helpful in shortening breath holds for geriatric patients, patients who are on ventilators and pediatric patients and helps to deliver outstanding image quality and clear, highly detailed images of the heart and coronary arteries.

MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is primarily used in medical imaging to visualize the structure and function of the body. It provides detailed images of the body in any plane. MR has much greater soft tissue contrast than CT making it especially useful in neurological, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and oncolologic diseases. Unlike CT it uses no ionizing radiation.The level of detail we can see is extraordinary compared with other imaging modalities. MRI is the method of choice for the diagnosis of many types of injuries and conditions because of the incredible ability to tailor the exam to the particular medical question being asked. By changing exam parameters, the MRI system can cause tissues in the body to take on different appearances. This is very helpful to the radiologist (who reads the MRI) in determining if something seen is normal or not. MRI systems can also image flowing blood in virtually any part of the body. This allows us to perform studies that show the arterial system in the body, but not the tissue around it. In many cases, the MRI system can do this without a contrast injection, which is required in vascular radiology.

Radiography

Physicians viewing medical images.

Radiography, or X-ray, as it is most commonly known, is the oldest and most often used form of medical imaging. X-rays can produce diagnostic pictures of the human body on film or digitally on a computer screen. X-ray imaging is the fastest and easiest way for a doctor to view and assess broken bones, such as skull fractures and spine injuries.

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine studies use safe radioactive substances to provide images of the body and treat disease. Nuclear medicine procedures often identify disease in the early stages, long before they become apparent with conventional imaging, such as CT, MRI, etc. The amount of radiation found in the average nuclear medicine procedure is comparable to a diagnostic x-ray. Our Nuclear Medicine Department offers the following imaging procedures:

  • Bone Scan
  • Bone Marrow
  • Cardiac Viability
  • Gallbladder
  • Gallium
  • Gastric
  • Lung V/Q (lung ventilation and blood flow)
  • MUGA (scan of the heart)
  • Nuclear Stress Test
  • OctreoScan
  • Parathyroid
  • ProstaScint
  • Salivary Gland
  • Sentinal Node
  • Testicular
  • Thyroid

Ultrasound

Ultrasound imaging obtains images from inside the body by using high-frequency sound waves. The reflected sound wave echoes are recorded and displayed as real-time images. There is no radiation involved in ultrasound imaging.

Ultrasound is a way of examining the body’s internal organs such as:

  • Heart
  • Gallbladder
  • Liver
  • Spleen
  • Pancreas
  • Kidney
  • Bladder
  • Thyroid

Pelvic ultrasound is also used to examine the uterus and fetus during pregnancy. Ultrasound is also used during interventional procedures to assist in needle-guided biopsies of organs, breast, and tissue.

Interventional Radiology

Interventional Radiology provides non-invasive diagnostic and therapeutic minimally invasive interventional procedures on every organ system in the body. Using radiologic imaging to guide their procedures, interventional radiologists insert catheters and other tiny instruments through the blood vessels and other pathways of the body to treat a wide variety of conditions that once required surgery. Advantages of interventional radiology include: significantly reduced risk, pain and recovery times; and less expense than the surgical alternatives as general anesthesia is usually not required and many procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis.