Pediatric Imaging

St. Mary's offers the area's most advanced pediatric radiology capabilities. And to minimize any anxiety or pain for our young patients, we provide sedation options during procedures if they are recommended for by our pediatric physicians.

Our nurses specially-trained in Pediatrics place IVs and urinary catheters to minimize any trauma or pain to your child. And we use pain reducing practices and distraction techniques to ensure your child's comfort during procedures and testing.

CT Scan

A CT scan can also be called a CAT scan. For some scans, the radiologist or ordering physician requests the use of contrast. If an IV is required a special numbing cream can be applied so that your child cannot feel the IV poke.

When you Arrive

The Radiology staff will need to know the following:

  • Patient allergies
  • The last time the patient ate and drank
  • If the patient has diabetes
  • If the patient has had any other Radiology procedures lately
  • If the patient has a history of kidney problems
  • If there is a chance of pregnancy for anyone entering the scan room

After the Scan

The results of the test will be faxed or called to the ordering Physician.


The MRI is a way to take pictures of the body using a large magnet, radiowaves, and a computer. For some scans, the radiologist or ordering physician requests the use of contrast. If an IV is required a special numbing cream can be applied so that your child cannot feel the IV poke.

It is very important that the patient holds very still while the MRI is taking pictures. Your child may be able to wiggle between a series of pictures. If the child is unable to hold still, it might be necessary to schedule the exam with anesthesia or sedation.

If the child will be awake for the procedure, we encourage you to bring a favorite DVD or CD (if applicable) for the patient to watch or listen to during the exam. The St. Mary's 3T MRI also features CinemaVision - the CinemaVision experience is similar to watching a high-resolution 62-inch screen from 5.5 feet away. CinemaVision provides multiple entertainment options from standard television, DVD, CD, and AM/FM input, while offering two-way communication with technologists and dramatically reducing outside noise.

It is best if your child is dressed in comfortable clothes that do not have zippers or buttons. If the clothing may interfere with the pictures, a gown will be provided. All metal objects must be kept outside of the room.

When You Arrive

The Radiology staff will have you fill out screening forms before the exam begins.

After the exam

The results from the exam are sent directly to the ordering physician. Your child's physician will discuss the findings with you.

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine is a form of imaging that uses radiopharmaceuticals in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. The most common pediatric procedures are bone, kidney and gastric (stomach) scans. View more information on these scans.


Ultrasound uses sound waves to take pictures of the inside of your body. These sound waves create a picture that comes up on a computer screen. A sonographer will take you and your child into a private scanning room. The rooms are pretty dark so that the sonographer can see the images well. Your child will be on a table for 30 minutes or longer.

The sonographer will place a warm gel onto your child's body where they will be taking pictures. The sonographer will slide a transducer over the area of interest. The ultrasound test does not hurt and the sound waves will not hurt your child. Parents are encouraged to stay with their child during the procedure. During the test, your child will have to hold very still.

Before the test

Before you come in for the exam, read through this material and explain to your child what will happen. Bring a pacifier or a comfort item for your child to help comfort them.

After the test

After the test is complete, your child can resume regular activity. The report will be sent directly to the ordering physician. Your child's physician will discuss the findings with you.


X-Ray or Radiography, is the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging. X-rays are used for imaging all types of boney structures. It is also very helpful in evaluating the chest, abdomen, and other soft tissues.

X-rays are used to produce images, which are viewed on a monitor in "real time." Fluoroscopy is used for exams such as Upper GI, Lower GI (enema) and VCUG.

View more information on these procedures.

Anesthesia Imaging

Anesthesia may be required in order to perform some exams. MRI is the most common procedure in Radiology where the patient will undergo anesthesia. The St. Mary's Anesthesiologist will perform the general anesthesia.

Once it is determined by your child's physician that he or she will need anesthesia for a Radiology procedure, you or your physician's office will contact St. Mary's registration to schedule and pre-register your child.

Once the exam is scheduled, an admission nurse will contact you to get the pertinent patient history.

Before the Procedure

On the day of the procedure you will report to the Same Day Surgery Department. There will be a complete patient assessment by the nurse with a brief description of the procedure. Your child's airway, heart and lungs will be examined carefully. An IV will be started. When all preparations have been completed, you and your child will be transported to MRI.

During the Procedure

General anesthesia will be given to your child. He or she will be very comfortable before the procedure begins. Anesthesia will be maintained with IV agents.

Throughout the exam, an Anesthesiologist will monitor your child closely while the MRI technologists perform the procedure.

After the Procedure

Recovery from these procedures is generally quick. Your child will be monitored for a short time after the procedure to make sure that all of their needs are met. Your child may be a little sleepy when you get home but will be able to resume normal activities once rested.


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