Our Services 

SSM Imaging offers the latest in diagnostic imaging, multi-detector CTs up to 128-slice, high-field open and 3T MRIs, and nuclear imaging. These superior imaging technologies empower our physicians and specialists with the information they need to obtain clear, quick, precise results that contribute to the accurate diagnosis and treatment of cancer, heart disease, and other serious medical conditions.

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Computed tomography (CT or CAT) scans are non-invasive diagnostic tests that generate three-dimensional images of your internal body. CT scans create images by combining multiple “slices” of digital information into a single image that is primarily used to diagnose and treat cancers and other internal medical issues. CT scans typically focus on internal organs, bone, soft tissue, and blood vessels and have the ability to show more detail than traditional X-rays. Frequently, patients are given a contrast agent by injection or to drink prior to the exam to help to reveal details of specific areas of the body for clearer imaging.

128-Slice CT scans are the highly advanced; offering greater detail and taking less time than traditional CT scans. This non-invasive procedure allows physicians to view the most intricate features of your brain, heart, and peripheral vascular system.

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) creates highly detailed images of your internal body by combining a large magnet field with radio frequencies. This non-invasive, diagnostic testing procedure offers the most detailed images of soft tissues and organs. It is especially effective in the evaluation of neuromuscular disorders such as brain abnormalities, back pain and joint injuries. MRI excels in detection of breast cancer as well as body solid organ diseases such as liver and kidney problems. In addition, MRI procedures do not employ radiation that is used in traditional X-rays and CT scans.

An open MRI is similar to a conventional MRI, except that the device is "C" shaped instead of circular, so it does not completely surround the patient. Open MRIs offer a more comfortable experience, and are especially ideal for patients who suffer from claustrophobia symptoms. On par with our standard of excellence, SSM has the largest network of open MRIs in the area, including the largest network of high-field open MRIs.

A high strength, or high field, MRI offers the highest resolution images possible with unmatched speed. These detailed images of unsurpassed quality improve diagnosis and treatment.

SSM Imaging at DePaul and St. Clare Health Centers feature the region’s few 3T MRIs, the most powerful MRI technology. It is particularly useful in the diagnosis of various neurological, spinal and brain conditions. See the difference.

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Positron Emission Tomography (PET) studies metabolic activity and body function, while Computed Tomography (CT) provides detailed anatomy and structure. Combined, these technologies help physicians pinpoint, for example, both the location of cancer and its growth rate. It can also be used to help diagnose the extent of stroke or Alzhiemer’s disease, and to assess heart viability, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease. PET/CT is a type of nuclear imaging that involves the injection of a radiotracer that detects metabolic signals. This test can diagnose many disease before they become apparent with other imaging examinations. With PET/CT, both exams are performed at the same time.

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SPECT stands for single photon emission computed tomography. It is a nuclear medicine imaging test that uses gamma rays to capture, view and manipulate cross-sectional images in 3-D. This test is most commonly used for tumor imaging, thyroid imaging or bone imaging.

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Also known as sonography, ultrasound machines use high-frequency sound waves and computers to create detailed images of your internal body. Using a hand-held transducer, a physician or specialist moves the device over various parts of the body to generate very high-resolution images. Ultrasounds are especially important to monitor pregnancies and are considered safe to record the progress of both the mother and baby. Other parts of the body that are evaluated by ultrasound include the abdomen, breasts, female pelvis, scrotum, thyroid, and vascular system. In addition, breast ultrasounds are used to diagnose breast abnormalities, typically after they are discovered through a mammogram or during a physical exam. Ultrasounds are non-invasive, have no known dangers or side effects, and do not require radiation, anesthesia, or special dyes.

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X-rays (or radiographs) are non-invasive, and use small amounts of ionizing radiation to produce images of your internal body. The most frequently used form of medical imaging, X-rays help physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions, and are most effective for producing images of bones. The chest X-ray is the first line evaluation of many symptoms of the thorax, including cough, shortness of breath and fever.

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Bone Density

Bone density scanning is an enhanced form of X-ray technology. Bone density is often measured to detect or monitor osteoporosis or other medical conditions found in the bones. The scan is also known as dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), or bone densitometry, and is most often performed in the lower spine and hips. It is the established measuring standard for bone mineral density (BMD). In some adults and most children, the whole body is scanned. DEXA uses very low radiation amounts.

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Fluoroscopy is used to study moving body structures. Often referred to as an “X-ray movie," this technology beams a continuous X-ray through the body. The beam is transmitted to a TV-style monitor for detailed examination. Used in many types of procedures, from barium X-rays to the placement of intravenous (IV) catheters, fluoroscopy may be part of an outpatient or inpatient examination.

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Typically used for the early detection of breast cancers and diseases, mammograms are very low-dose X-rays specifically designed to examine the breasts. Non-invasive mammograms can detect suspicious masses and calcifications before they can be discovered by hand. All mammograms are performed by an SSM Imaging female registered technician. To obtain the clearest possible image, the technician will gently but firmly pull as much breast tissue as possible within the field of the X-ray detector. After pressing the breast firmly against the detector, the image will be recorded in a few seconds and the entire testing process will take between 15 to 30 minutes.

Digital mammograms have been proven to detect breast cancers better than conventional mammograms in three groups of women: those younger than 50, those with dense breasts, and those who are pre-menopausal. Digital mammography, also known as full-field digital mammography, makes it possible for the images of the breast to be viewed on a computer monitor or printed on a special film similar to traditional mammograms.

Learn more about our breast care services.

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