Diagnostic imaging in Port St. Lucie
St. Lucie Medical Center offers patients access to state-of-the-art imaging technology. We offer advanced diagnostic imaging for patients in our ER, as well as inpatient and outpatient diagnostic services.
To learn more about our imaging services, please call our Consult-A-Nurse® team at (772) 742-9060.
Medical imaging services
We offer a range of imaging procedures to aid in providing fast, accurate diagnoses for our patients, including:
- Heart imaging
- Bone densitometry
- Computed tomography (CT) scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Nuclear medicine
- Interventional radiology
St. Lucie Medical Center offers a wide range of cardiac services, including heart imaging. Our specialized cardiac imaging exams assess heart function and identify deficiencies in blood flow. Heart imaging options include:
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Echocardiography, including transesophageal echo (TEE) test
- Ultrasound imaging
- Upper and lower venous ultrasound
- Upper and lower arterial ultrasound
- Carotid ultrasound
- Arteriovenous (AV) fistula ultrasound
- Vein mapping
- Stress testing
Regular screenings are a vital component for breast health maintenance. Every woman 40 years old and older should receive an annual screening mammogram or another form of breast imaging, if requested by her doctor.
Women in Port St. Lucie can receive full mammography and breast screening care at our facility without the typical long wait for an appointment. Women should continue to perform monthly self breast exams in conjunction with annual screenings.
Computed tomography (CT) scanning
CT scans allow our imaging technicians and physicians to obtain expedited diagnostic information about life-threatening diseases, including cardiovascular conditions, chest pain and cerebrovascular accident (stroke).
Our advanced CT scanning system captures images of a beating heart in five heartbeats, an organ in one second and whole body trauma in 10 seconds, which is 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. It also delivers outstanding image quality and clear, highly detailed images of the heart and coronary arteries.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
MRI is primarily used to visualize the structure and function of the body. It provides detailed images of the body in any plane. MRI has much greater soft tissue contrast than CT, making it especially useful in neurological, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and oncologic diseases. Unlike CT, it uses no ionizing radiation.
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.
X-ray is the oldest and most commonly 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 studies use safe radioactive substances to provide images of the body and treat certain diseases. Nuclear medicine procedures often identify disease in the early stages, long before they become apparent with conventional imaging, such as CT, MRI and X-ray.
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—Identifies and tracks bone conditions, including cancer and infections
- Bone marrow scan—Assesses changes in the bone marrow, generally following surgery or a trauma
- Positron emission tomography (PET) cardiac viability imaging—Assesses heart damage following a heart disease diagnosis or heart attack
- Gallbladder scan—Highlights and examines gallbladder function
- Gallium—Nuclear imaging radiopharmaceutical that obtains images of body tissue
- Gastric emptying study—Allows physicians to visualize the movement of a meal through the stomach
- Lung ventilation and perfusion (V/Q) scan—Measures air and blood flow in the lungs
- Multigated acquisition (MUGA) scan—Provides video imaging of the heart's lower chambers to assess pumping functionality
- Nuclear stress test—Provides images of blood flow to the heart while at rest and during exertion
- Octreotide scan—Identifies the presence and size of neuroendocrine tumors in the body
- Parathyroid scan—Identifies proper function and overall health of the parathyroid gland
- Prostascint scan—Identifies the spread and current state of prostate cancer
- Salivary gland function scan—Identifies the functionality of the salivary glands
- Sentinel node scan—Provides images of the sentinel lymph node to determine if cancer has spread
- Testicular scan—Identifies abnormalities and/or tumors present in the testicles
- Thyroid scan—Examines the function of the thyroid gland
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, including the:
Pelvic ultrasound is also used to examine the uterus and fetus during pregnancy. It is also a vital tool used during interventional procedures to assist in needle-guided biopsies of organs, breasts and tissue.
Interventional radiology provides non-invasive diagnostic 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:
- Less risk than surgery
- Minimized pain
- Shorter recovery times
- Less expense than surgical alternatives
- Often performed on an outpatient basis
Imaging communication technology
St. Lucie Medical Center’s imaging department provides enhanced digital information services to the hospital, its physicians and patients through the Picture Archive and Communications System (PACS). This state-of-the-art computer system allows our imaging department to provide digital medical images and related information in real time on devices when you need it and where you want it. This technology allows for timely communication of exam information and leads 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.