Imaging Services 
 
 
 
 

Hilton Head Hospital offers a comprehensive Imaging Department that provides services on an inpatient and outpatient basis: diagnostic radiology including mammography and bone densitometry, X-ray, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, CT and MRI.  We are dedicated to providing you with quality medical care, diagnosis and treatment.


CT
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Mammography
Nuclear Medicine
Ultrasound
X-Ray
DEXA Bone Densitometry

Hours

Services are offered 24 hours a day to inpatients and Emergency Department patients. Outpatient services are provided Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5: 00 p.m. at Hilton Head Hospital and from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Bluffton-Okatie Outpatient Center. The Imaging Department is located on the second floor of these facilities.


Making an Appointment

Your doctor has referred you to our department for a diagnostic procedure. You should call the centralized scheduling department at (843) 689-8121 to schedule an appointment.  All patients needing services, except for mammography must report to the main registration desk located on the second floor of the Medical Pavilionbefore going to the department. Mammography patients should report directly to the Radiology department.  Patients must bring insurance information and the physician’s order form. Please check in with the receptionist when you arrive at the department. Pre-registering for your appointment in encouraged.

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CT

Hilton Head Hospital offers advanced imaging with a CT (computerized tomography) scanner, which is used for trauma imaging, bony abnormalities, and blood vessel, bowel and tumor evaluations. A CT, commonly referred to as a CAT Scan is a medical imaging device that combines the use of X-rays with computers to produce images that allow physicians to look inside a patient’s body. Unlike conventional radiographs, a CT scan can produce clear, detailed pictures of the body’s internal structures. It can separate bone from fat in the part of the body being examined. Much like a conventional X-ray, radiation passes through the patient’s body and a computer then reconstructs the information into cross sectional images. These cross sectional images allow the radiologist to evaluate the internal organs as though we looked at the body separated into a series of thin slices. Having a CT scan can assist your doctor in helping make a diagnosis.


For the procedure, the patient is given a contrast solution, which may be injected through an IV, swallowed or administered by enema. During the procedure, you will lie down on a table, which will be positioned in the CT scanner. You may hear noises as the machine takes its images. You will be asked to lie still. It’s best to relax and rest while it is being performed. The test may take up to 60 minutes or longer, especially if your physician has ordered several contrasts or images.

 

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

MR stands for Magnetic Resonance. It is one of the most useful tools physicians have to make a diagnosis and select an appropriate treatment for their patients. MRI scans allow doctors to see images of your internal organs and structures in great detail from many angles.

An MRI scan uses a powerful magnet in conjunction with radio frequency waves to generate images of your internal organs and structures without radiation. The typical exam lasts between 20 and 60 minutes. Please allow extra time in case the exam lasts longer than expected. When you arrive to have your MR, you will be asked to remove any metal objects that may interfere with the exam.

 

An MRI isn’t for everyone. So be sure to inform your physician if you have: a pacemaker, aneurysm clips in the brain, a shunt with telesensor; inner ear implants, metal fragments in one or both eyes, implanted spinal cord simulators, or if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or have anemia or any disease affecting red blood cells.

 

Mammography
Women who have their mammogram at Hilton Head HOspital or Bluffton-Okatie Outpatient Center benefit from an advance in technology – digital mammography. The new machine may look like the older film mammography machines, but the images produced are very different.

A screening mammogram is an X-ray examination of the breast in a woman who has no breast complaints. The goal is to find the cancer in an earlier, more treatable stage. A screening mammogram takes two X-ray pictures of each breast.


Mammography is the best tool available at this time for detecting breast cancer in its earlier, more treatable stages. While mammograms have limitations, it remains a valuable tool in the fight against breast cancer.


Hilton Head Hospital offers the Woman’s Touch MammoPad breast cushion that was designed to help make mammograms less uncomfortable for women. The soft, foam cushion is placed on the mammography machine to provide a warm cushion for the breast during compression.


The American Cancer Society recommends that most women begin receiving annual screening mammograms at age 40. In addition to screening mammograms, women should perform a breast self examination monthly beginning in their 20s.


Women in their 20s and 30s should receive a clinical breast exam by a health care professional every three years. After age 40, women should have an annual clinical breast exam.


Tips for Having a Good Quality Mammogram

  • Find out if the mammogram facility is FDA-certified and accredited by the American College of Radiology. These organizations help ensure that the facility meets high standards.
  • On the day of the examination, do not wear deodorant which may interfere with the mammogram by appearing on the X-ray film as calcium spots.
  • If your breasts are tender the week before your period, you should avoid mammograms at this time. The best time to have a mammogram is one week after your period.
  • Describe any breast symptoms or problems that you are having to the technologist who performs the mammogram. You should also be prepared to discuss any pertinent history including previous surgeries, hormone use, family or personal history of breast cancer.

 

The mammography units at Hilton Head Regional Medical Center and at the Bluffton-Okatie Outpatient Center are accredited by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and by the American College of Radiology.

 

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine is comprised of diagnostic examinations that result in images of body anatomy and function. These images can assist the physician in diagnosing diseases, tumors, infection and other disorders.
During this examination, a patient is given a small dose of radioactive substance intravenously or by mouth. The substance emits energy that is detected by a camera. The camera works with a computer to produce images and measurements of organs and tissues.

 

Ultrasound

Diagnostic ultrasound is an established method of imaging using high frequency sound waves.  They are an important tool utilized for both diagnosis and treatment of disease. It is a reliable means of evaluating many internal organs such as the liver, pancreas, spleen, kidneys and aorta. It is routinely used to evaluate fetal growth and complications of pregnancy. A small instrument – a transducer - is used to scan the body. The sound waves are recorded and displayed as a real time images, allowing physicians to see the movement of internal tissues and organs.


X-Ray

X-ray, technically known as radiography, imaging is an easy way for a physician to view and assess broken or injured bones and to evaluate medical conditions related to the lungs, heart and chest wall. During an X-ray procedure, a part of the body is exposed to small dose of radiation that produces an image of the internal organs.

DEXA Bone Densitometry

dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA)

DEXA Bone Densitometry is a method that uses a very low amount of X-rays to measure an individual’s bone density.  Scans of your lower back, hip or forearm are most often taken to determine if you are at risk of osteoporosis, the loss of bone mass. Osteoporosis most often affects women after menopause, but may also be found in men.


On the day of your exam, please do not take any multivitamins, any medication for bone loss or any calcium. Many commonly used products such as “Tums” contain calcium and should not be used.

Make sure you do not wear clothing with metal closures such as zippers. You may have to remove your watch or metal items, which can affect your exam results.  Our technologist will conduct the study, which lasts approximately 20 to 30 minutes