Common Tests

CT Scan (Computed tomography scan or CAT scan) 

CT scans use X-rays to produce very detailed pictures of your body, which help establish a diagnosis. These scans are used to evaluate the brain, neck, spine, chest, abdomen, pelvis and sinuses, as well as cardiac and orthopedic exams. The CT scanner looks like a large donut with a narrow table. The patient lies on the table as it moves through the center of the machine. The CT Technologist performs the scan from the next room and will be able to see and speak with you at all times.

Before:  Some CT scans require a contrast or dye to be injected into your arm during your exam or ingested prior to your exam.

Estimated Time:  If you are required to drink oral contrast or have an injection of contrast, a good estimate of time is 1 to 2 hours. If you are not required to have contrast, a good estimate is 15 to 45 minutes. 

Results:  All studies are read by a Board Certified Radiologist and reports are sent to your doctor within 24 hours. You will need to contact your doctor’s office for the results.




MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging)

MRI uses magnetic fields to obtain very detailed images of the human body. This is the most sensitive exam for brain tumors, strokes, and some chronic disorders of the nervous system such as multiple sclerosis. It’s also used to examine brain abnormalities in dementia patients. The MRI scan is performed inside a large elongated tube-like machine. The patient lies on the table which is positioned for the exam. Since the machine uses a strong magnetic field, all patients are screened thoroughly before entering the exam room. The staff works to ensure a sense of safety and security for those with claustrophobia. It is important to remain motionless throughout the exam. 

Before:  Some MRI exams require an injection of an MRI contrast or dye.

Estimated Time:  45 to 60 minutes

Results:  All studies are read by a Board Certified Radiologist and reports are sent to your doctor within 24 hours. You will need to contact your doctor’s office for the results.


Ultrasound
(Sonography)

Ultrasound (sonography) is a noninvasive procedure that uses sound waves to create images of major organs, veins and arteries and to evaluate pregnancies. It is used to examine the soft tissues, including the heart, liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, blood vessels, breast and bladder. An ultrasound is performed by placing gel on the patient’s skin and moving a hand-held device over the area to generate images. Ultrasound does not use radiation which makes it safer for everyone, including pregnant patients and children.  

Before:  Some ultrasounds exams do require pre-exam preparation, such as having a full bladder upon arrival or not eating or drinking for 6-8 hours prior to the procedure.

Estimated Time:  30 minutes to1 hour

Results:  All studies are read by a Board Certified Radiologist and reports are sent to your doctor within 24 hours. You will need to contact your doctor’s office for the results. 




Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine is a branch of medical imaging that determines the function of organs, soft tissue and bone, as well as determining the severity of diseases. It is used to detect disease, analyze kidney function, determine the presence or spread of cancer, and check bones for breaks, infections, arthritis or tumors.

Before:  Nuclear medicine requires a radioactive isotope to be injected, inhaled or ingested prior to scanning. 

Estimated Time:  Scans can average between 1 to 4 hours and may require multiple visits to the scan table over a period of time.

Results:  All studies are read by a Board Certified Radiologist and reports are sent to your doctor within 24 hours. You will need to contact your doctor’s office for the results.


X-Ray

An X-ray is a test that produces images of the structures inside your body by passing X-ray beams through your body. Bone X-rays help determine bone density, texture, erosion, and joint diseases such as osteoarthritis. Chest X-rays are used to diagnose pneumonia, heart failure, pleurisy or lung cancer.

Before:  In most cases, you do not need to take special steps to prepare for X-rays. Depending on the area that your doctor and radiologist are examining, you may want to wear loose, comfortable clothing that you can easily move around in. You may be asked to change into a hospital gown for your test. You may also be asked to remove any jewelry or other metallic items from your body before your X-ray is taken.

Estimated Time:  Routine X-ray: 30 minutes; X-ray Procedure: 45 minutes

Results:  All studies are read by a Board Certified Radiologist and reports are sent to your doctor within 24 hours. You will need to contact your doctor’s office for the results.


Interventional Radiology

In interventional radiology, radiological imaging is used to guide minimally-invasive surgery procedures. It helps diagnose and treat diseases with less risk, less pain and less recovery time than traditional surgery. It is used to diagnose and treat uterine fibroids, blood clots and fractures of the vertebrae.

Before:  Depending on the procedure, moderate sedation may be given. 

Estimated Time:  1 to 6 hours

Results:  All studies are read by a Board Certified Radiologist and reports are sent to your doctor within 24 hours. You will need to contact your doctor’s office for the results. 



Echocardiography
(Echo)

Echocardiography (echo) is a diagnostic test that uses ultrasound waves to create an image of the heart muscle. It helps to identify heart valves that are not working correctly or damage to the heart tissue. Echocardiography is also used to diagnose certain cardiovascular diseases.

Before:  Please do not use lotions the day of the procedure.

Estimated Time:  45 to 60 minutes

Results:  All studies are read by a Board Certified Radiologist and reports are sent to your doctor within 24 hours. You will need to contact your doctor’s office for the results.


Mammography

Mammography is a low-dose X-ray exam that produces images of the breast called a mammogram. It is used to detect early breast cancer. Mammograms can show changes in the breast up to two years before a patient can feel them.

Before:  Please do not use lotions or deodorant the day of the procedure.

Estimated Time:  45 to 60 minutes

Results:  All studies are read by a Board Certified Radiologist and reports are sent to your doctor within 24 hours. You will need to contact your doctor’s office for the results.


Bone Density (DEXA) Studies

Bone density (DEXA) produces images of the inside of the body (usually the lower spine and hips) in order to measure bone loss. It is used to diagnose osteoporosis and risk for broken bones.

Before:  No calcium medication 24hrs prior to exam. No contrast 7 days prior to exam.

Estimated Time:  45 minutes

Results:  All studies are read by a Board Certified Radiologist and reports are sent to your doctor within 24 hours. You will need to contact your doctor’s office for the results.

Imaging & Diagnostic Services Locations

Methodist North Radiology Department
Methodist North Radiology Department

3960 New Covington Pike
Memphis, TN 38128

901-516-9000

Methodist University Radiology Department
Methodist University Radiology Department

1265 Union Avenue
Memphis, TN 38104

901-516-9000

Methodist Germantown Radiology Department
Methodist Germantown Radiology Department

7691 Poplar Ave.
Germantown, TN 38138

901-516-9000

Margaret West Comprehensive Breast Center - Germantown
Margaret West Comprehensive Breast Center - Germantown

7945 Wolf River Blvd.
Germantown, TN 38138

901-516-4300

Methodist Diagnostic Center - Midtown
Methodist Diagnostic Center - Midtown

1801 Union Avenue
Memphis, TN 38104

901-516-9000

Methodist South Radiology Department
Methodist South Radiology Department

1300 Wesley Dr.
Memphis, TN 38116

901-516-9000

Methodist Diagnostic Center - Germantown
Methodist Diagnostic Center - Germantown

1377 S. Germantown Rd.
Germantown, TN 38138

901-516-9000

Methodist Diagnostic Center - North
Methodist Diagnostic Center - North

3950 New Covington Pike, Suite 115
Memphis, TN 38128

901-516-9000

Methodist Diagnostic Center - Southaven
Methodist Diagnostic Center - Southaven

7400 Airways Blvd.
Southaven, MS 38671

662-996-2122

Methodist Olive Branch Radiology Department
Methodist Olive Branch Radiology Department

4250 Bethel Rd.
Olive Branch, MS 38654

662-932-9000

Margaret West Comprehensive Breast Center - Midtown
Margaret West Comprehensive Breast Center - Midtown

1801 Union Ave.
Memphis, TN 38104

901-516-4300

Margaret West Screening Breast Center
Margaret West Screening Breast Center

1381 S. Germantown Rd.
Germantown, TN 38138

901-516-4300