Diagnostic Imaging Services

South Texas Health System McAllen has an Advanced Imaging Center that gives physicians a clear picture of their patients' problems. Our diagnostic services include state-of-the-art diagnostic tools including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), ultrasound and nuclear medicine that enable physicians to diagnose and understand the nature of illness.

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Diagnostic imaging services at South Texas Health System McAllen include:

  • Canon Genesis 640 Slice Spiral CT
  • 2D-3D Mammography
  • Stereotactic Biopsy
  • Digital X-Ray
  • Canon Vantage Titan 1.5T MRI
  • CT Low Dose Cancer Screening
  • Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA)
  • Nuclear Medicine
  • Vascular Lab
  • Ultrasound
  • Interventional Radiology
  • Diagnostic Radiology
  • Swallowing Function
  • Surgical Radiology

To find a doctor for radiology and imaging services, call the South Texas Health System Reserve and Learn line at 800‑879‑1033 and select option 1.

Computed Tomography (CT)

ACR Gold Seal of Accreditation

Computed tomography, also known as a CT or CAT scan, 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.

South Texas Health System McAllen is accredited in computed tomography by the ACR. The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety.

3D Tomosynthesis 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.

Advantages of 3D tomosynthesis mammography over traditional 2D mammography include:

  • More accurate detection
  • Earlier diagnosis of cancer
  • Better detection in dense breast tissue
  • Less anxiety as a result of improved accuracy and fewer false alarms
  • Safer and more effective

Special Savings on Screenings

Get coupons for special savings on digital mammograms, bone density screenings and low-dose CT lung cancer screenings at South Texas Health System McAllen.

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging

ACR MRI Accreditation

South Texas Health System McAllen received accreditation in MRI in 2017 as the result of a review by the American College of Radiology (ACR). The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety.

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 liver and bowel. Breast MRI is also available.

Non-contrast Magnetic Resonance Angiogram of the vessels is also available.

Additional Patient Resources

Nuclear Medicine

Gold Seal for Nuclear Medicine Accredited Facility

Nuclear medicine uses small amounts of radioactive material, administered to the patient, to diagnose and treat a variety of diseases, including many types of cancers, heart disease and certain other abnormalities within the body. Nuclear medicine offers unique diagnostic information about the function of many organs in the body that other imaging methods may not provide. This form of imaging can often identify abnormalities very early in the progression of a disease, enabling treatment to begin at the earliest stage of a disease.

South Texas Health System McAllen is accredited in nuclear medicine by the ACR. The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety.

Ultrasound (Sonography)

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, kidney or gallbladder, and is a crucial tool for obstetrics. Breast ultrasound is also available.


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.

NOTE: If you are pregnant or nursing, you should not have any form of X-ray. Please tell your technician of any medication you’re currently taking.