HCA Houston Healthcare Kingwood offers comprehensive medical imaging services using the latest technology to assist in your diagnosis and treatment plan.
Diagnostic imaging provides our physicians with “pictures” of the inside of the body, helping them to visualize and understand what is happening internally and develop an appropriate plan of care.
At HCA Houston Kingwood, we are dedicated to providing safe and quality imaging services. Board-certified radiologists provide supervision and guidance for the diagnostic and fluoroscopic procedures performed by nationally registered technologists. In addition, because all x-rays expose the body to some radiation, our hospital has launched a patient safety initiative named “Radiation Right” to ensure patients receive “the right exam at the right site with the right radiation dose.”
Computed tomography (CT scan)
A CT scan (also known as CAT scan) captures images of organs, bones, blood vessels and soft tissue from many different angles as x-rays are taken while rotating around the body.
HCA Houston Kingwood has a 64-slice CT imaging system, which creates 64 high-resolution images as thin as a credit card in a single rotation. The 64-slice CT can capture images head-to-toe in less than ten seconds, allowing for quicker, more accurate scanning and faster CT scans.
After combining the images to form a three-dimensional view of a patient's body, radiologists evaluate the results and diagnose illnesses in a variety of areas, including:
HCA Houston Kingwood now offers cardiac CT, which is a painless exam to take detailed images of the heart and vessels. These images help our cardiovascular experts to diagnose conditions, sometimes even before patients experience symptoms.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a powerful magnet and radio waves linked to a computer to create detailed pictures of areas inside the body. MRIs are used to image the same internal structures as a CT scan, but unlike a CT scan and x-ray, an MRI does not use radiation.
MRIs help physicians diagnose a variety of conditions, including:
- Brain & spinal cord injuries
- Heart disease
- Bone infections
- Blocked blood vessels
- Structural heart problems
Beyond assisting in a diagnosis, MRIs can also show how well a patient is responding to treatment.
An x-ray is produced when a small amount of radiation passes through the body and is captured on film, video or computer. A fluoroscopy is when continuous x-ray images are taken in the body and strung together to look like an x-ray movie.
These are some of the most common and useful diagnostic imaging tools available to physicians, used for everything from broken bones to gastrointestinal studies to assisting in cardiac procedures such as angioplasty and stent placements.
Ultrasound technicians (sonographers) help physicians diagnose conditions and monitor treatments. Usually associated with pregnancy, ultrasound is a test that bounces sound waves off tissue and organs and translates the sound waves into sonograms (pictures). Like MRIs (and unlike x-rays and CT scans), an ultrasound does not use any radiation.
The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations cited HCA Houston Kingwood’s nuclear medicine program for “Best Practice” related to patient and medication safety.
Nuclear medicine is a way of detecting the structure and function of organs, bones and tissues by giving the patient a radiopharmaceutical that causes the body part to emit radiation and “show up” on a scan. The radiopharmaceutical, also called a radioactive tracer, may be injected, swallowed or inhaled depending on the test. The radioactive tracer has no side effects and the amount of radiation received by a patient during this kind of test is minimal.
A camera that can pick up radioactive emissions “reads” the material to create a picture of the area then tracks how that radiation moves through the body and is absorbed by tissues.
Nuclear medicine tests are used to analyze or visualize many conditions and diseases, including:
- Blood flow and function of the heart
- Bone fractures or tumors
- Respiratory or blood flow issues in the lungs
- Gallbladder disease
- Kidney function
- Brain abnormalities
- Locate infection
Breast imaging (mammogram)
Through Solis Mammography, we offer comprehensive routine and diagnostic breast-health services to women of all ages in a setting that is warm and supportive. Our services include:
- 3D mammography
- Diagnostic mammography (used to look more closely after a screening mammogram shows something suspicious)
- Breast ultrasound
- Stereotactic breast biopsy
- Ultrasound-guided biopsy
- Genetic breast cancer testing
An endoscopy test is a nonsurgical procedure where an endoscope is used to look insides of the body, usually by a gastroenterologist to look at parts of your digestive system.
Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders are more common as we age and are more treatable when caught early which is why annual screenings are so important for those age 50 and older. Common concerns that can be evaluated with endoscopy include:
- Stomach pain
- Swallowing difficulties
An endoscope is a long, flexible tube with a camera that is used to see inside your digestive tract. It can be inserted through the throat (upper endoscopy) or through the bowels (lower endoscopy), allowing physicians to evaluate the interior surfaces of an organ.
Some of the endoscopic procedures commonly used for diagnosis and treatment include:
- Upper endoscopy: Often just called “endoscopy” and is used for disorders in the upper GI tract including the mouth, esophagus, stomach and small intestine
- Colonoscopy: Also can be called a “lower endoscopy” because it is used to evaluate the lower GI tract, including the rectum and colon (or large intestine)
- Gastroscopy: Similar to an upper endoscopy, but used to specifically examine the esophagus and stomach
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP): Used to evaluate the gallbladder or assess gallstones
- Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS): Procedure that combines endoscopy with an ultrasound to produce detailed images of the digestive tract and nearby organs, including the liver, pancreas and lymph nodes
- Dilations: Procedure to dilate or stretch a narrowed area of the digestive tract; for instance, esophageal dilation stretches an area of the esophagus, usually in the treatment of acid reflux