SHA offers a full service Medical Imaging Department located on the second floor at Sweetwater Hospital Association.

We have a wide range of diagnostic testing capabilities, including:

  • CT Scan
  • Mammography
  • MRI
  • Nuclear Medicine
  • Ultrasound


SHA’s Medical Imaging Department features a 160 slice Toshiba Aquilion PRIME CT scanner as of May 2012. This is advanced technology that produces superior 3-D color images, exposes patients to a fraction of the radiation as other CT scanners (including 64 slice, 16 slice & 10 slice models)-making it a very safe choice for adult and pediatric patients. The Toshiba Aquilion PRIME CT has a larger more comfortable couch and wider gantry to accommodate patients in excess of 600 lbs. The speed of the Toshiba Aquilion PRIME CT means less time on the couch for the patient. An animated screen is kid friendly for pediatric patients and it can communicate patient instructions during the exam in multiple languages for non-English speaking patients.

More about CT Scans – Sometimes referred to as CAT scan (computerized axial tomography).

Imaging anatomical information from a cross-sectional plane of the body, each image generated by a computer synthesis of x-ray transmission data obtained in many different directions in a given plane. Developed in 1967 by British electronics engineer Godfrey Hounsfield, CT has revolutionized diagnostic medicine. Hounsfield linked x-ray sensors to a computer and worked out a mathematical technique called algebraic reconstruction for assembling images from transmission data. In 1973, the Mayo Clinic began operating the first machine in the U.S. Early machines yielded digital images with at least 100 times the clarity of normal x-rays. Subsequently, the speed and accuracy of machines has improved many times over. CT scans reveal both bone and soft tissues, including organs, muscles, and tumors. Image tones can be adjusted to highlight tissues of similar density, and, through graphics software, the data from multiple cross-sections can be assembled into 3-D images. CT aids diagnosis and surgery or other treatment, including radiation therapy, in which effective dosage is highly dependent on the precise density, size, and location of a tumor.

Important for AFTER your CT Scan “Click Here”


What is a Digital Mammogram?

A Digital Mammogram is an x-ray procedure that produces an image of the breast tissue, and is one of the most effective tools in the early detection of breast cancer.

How often should I have a mammogram?

The American Cancer Society recommends that every woman have an annual mammogram beginning at age 40. Along with the annual mammogram women in this age category should also have an annual clinical breast exam and perform monthly self-breast exams.

What is a clinical breast exam and how often should I have one?

The clinical breast exam is a manual exam performed by your physician. It is recommended that women ages 20 to 39 have a clinical breast exam every three years and annually for women over age 40.

What is a self-breast exam and when should I perform it?

A self-breast exam is a procedure every women should perform on a monthly basis to exam their breasts for lumps or any changes. The best time to perform it is seven to ten days after the start of your menstrual cycle when your breasts are less tender, or on the same date of each month if you are past menopause. If you ever detect a change in your breasts, contact your physician.

I have heard that having a mammogram is uncomfortable.

SHA has taken several steps to increase the comfort for all women even those who have experienced difficulties in the past.

Having invested in the latest technology, SHA’s digital mammography unit features an automated release function that significantly reduces the amount of time the breast is compressed.

Our digital mammography unit also tilts to comfortably accommodate women whose posture is stooped because of a forward bending of the spine.


The growing demand for MRI services is due in large part to the increasing versatility of the equipment and high-resolution images that allow physicians to pinpoint brain lesions, detect circulatory problems, and identify other problems in the body. Invented by Raymond Damadian, the first MRI equipment was put into use in the 1980s, revolutionizing the field of diagnostic medicine.

Unlike the CAT scan, which uses X-rays to identify tissue density, magnetic resonance imaging uses magnetism and radio waves to “scan” the water content of tissue in a particular part of the body, then produces clear, 3-D pictures of the area. Tissues and organs have distinct water contents that can be changed by diseases. These changes are detected by MRI, helping physicians with early diagnosis of a variety of neurological (brain and nervous system) disorders, musculoskeletal problems, and cancer and organ disease.


What is Nuclear Medicine?

Nuclear Medicine is the Medical Imaging modality that measures the function of the body’s organs/systems, through the introduction of a small dose of radioactivity. Some commonly ordered Nuclear Medicine exams include HIDA/gallbladder scans, bone scans, cardiac exams, renal scans, and thyroid scans, as well as many others.

What do I need to do to prepare for my Nuclear Medicine exam?

Prep for a Nuclear Medicine exam depends on the test that your doctor ordered–specific instructions will be given to you by the person scheduling the test, usually the doctor’s office staff or a Nuclear Medicine technologist.

How long do Nuclear Medicine exams take?

Again, that depends on the test ordered. In order to gauge the function of an organ/system, we have to let your body function, so tests can be lengthy.

The clinical discipline concerned with the diagnostic and therapeutic uses of radionuclides (an isotope of artificial or natural origin that exhibits radioactivity), excluding the therapeutic use of sealed radiation sources. Certain imaging procedures, including PET scanning, employ radionuclides to provide real-time visuals of biochemical processes. One device, a nuclear imaging machine, employs a scintillation camera, which can rotate around the body to pick up radiation emitted by an injected substance (e.g., radioactive iodine, which localizes in the thyroid, or radioactive thallium, which localizes in the heart). Through computerization, a digitized image of a particular organ is produced.


Ultrasound imaging, also known as Sonography, is a method of obtaining images using high frequency sound waves. The sound waves area displayed as a real time image on an ultrasound monitor. Unlike conventional x-ray, ultrasound is obtained without the use of ionizing radiation.

Sweetwater Hospital Association offers several different exams which include abdominal, breast imaging, gynecological/obstetrics, vascular, heart and 3D/4D imaging.