Medical Imaging for Detection, Diagnosis and Treatment

South Texas Health System Edinburg has a variety of technologies to help look inside your body. The technology used depends on what your doctor is looking at — bone, muscle, your heart and the flow of your blood or other parts of the body.

Different methods are capable of capturing small or large and dense or light parts of your body in varying amounts of detail.

South Texas Health System Edinburg offers a wide range of procedures, including:

  • Computed tomography
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Digital mammography
  • Ultrasound
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Interventional radiology
  • Diagnostic radiology
  • Swallowing function
  • Surgical radiology
  • Virtual colonoscopy
  • X-ray

Computer Tomography

Computed tomography (CT) generates detailed images of an organ by using an X-ray beam to take images of many thin slices of that organ and joining them together to produce a single image. The source of the X-ray beam circles around the patient and the X-rays that pass through the body are detected by an array of sensors. Information from the sensors is computer processed and displayed as an image on a video screen.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to create clear, detailed images of internal organs and tissues. Since X-rays are not used, no radiation exposure is involved. Instead, radio waves are directed at the body. Many studies will require a small intravenous injection of a contrast agent. MRI is often used to evaluate tumors and diseases of the heart, liver and bowel. Breast MRI is also available.

Advanced 3T MRI

South Texas Health System Edinburg offers the advanced 3T MRI system.

The 3T MRI has a larger opening than traditional MRI machines, which makes it easier for patients who are claustrophobic to have a scan without sedation. The machine runs quietly, offers a quicker exam for patients and provides doctors with more detailed images.

Digital Mammography

Digital mammography is a highly advanced procedure for breast cancer screening that can drastically improve results.

The machine takes an electronic image of the breast and stores it on a computer, allowing it to be enhanced, modified or manipulated for further evaluation. Unlike film mammography, digital mammograms can be viewed on a computer or printed and can even produce traditional films, allowing for improved means of transmission, storage and retrieval of images. Digital imaging allows the images to be manipulated in numerous ways to aid in the identification of tumors.

Digital mammography can provide significant improvement in breast cancer detection for some women. Specifically, studies have found enhanced detection through digital mammography in the following groups:

  • Women under the age of 50
  • Women with dense breasts
  • Premenopausal and perimenopausal women

Digital mammography also possesses considerable advantages in terms of radiation use. The new system is able to use a lower dosage of radiation without compromising its diagnostic accuracy.

The ability of digital mammography to improve the detection of breast cancer in many women makes it an important addition to the services that we offer our patients.

Special Savings on Mammogram and Bone Density Screenings

Get coupons for special savings on digital screening mammogram and bone density screenings at South Texas Health System Edinburg.

Learn more

Ultrasound (Sonography)

During an ultrasound, high frequency sound waves are used to see inside the body. A transducer, a device that acts like a microphone and speaker, is placed in contact with the body using a special gel that helps transmit the sound. As the sound waves pass through the body, echoes are produced and bounce back to the transducer.

By reading the echoes, the ultrasound can produce images that illustrate the location of a structure or abnormality, as well as provide information about its composition. Ultrasound is a painless way to examine the heart, liver, pancreas, spleen, blood vessels, breast, kidney or gallbladder, and is a crucial tool for obstetrics.


An X-ray image is produced when a small amount of radiation passes through the body to create an image on sensitive digital plates on the other side of the body. The ability of X-rays to penetrate tissues and bones depends on the tissue's composition and mass, and the difference between these two elements creates the image. Contrast agents, such as barium, may be swallowed to outline the esophagus, stomach and intestines to help provide better images of an organ.

Find a Doctor

To find a doctor that's right for you, call the South Texas Health System Reserve and Learn line at 800-879-1033.​