The Radiology/Nuclear Medicine Department provides a full range of diagnostic testing services and operates under established protocols adapted from the American College of Radiology. Utilizing state-of-the-art equipment, the department performs more than 150,000 procedures each year. All technologists who provide radiology services are board registered and licensed by the State of West Virginia.
A radiologist will review the images. Your health care provider will receive a copy of the results to review with you. It usually takes one to three days to interpret, report and deliver results. Urgent results will be called immediately to your doctor.
X-rays at Wheeling Hospital are no longer taken with film, but are computerized instead. If a copy of your images is needed, it will be burned onto a CD for your doctor to review.
To obtain a CD of the images, contact the Radiology Department at 304-243-3270. The Radiology Department prefers 24-hour advance notice prior to picking up the images, although we understand this is not always possible and are always willing to meet your needs as quickly as possible.
You may be required to show identification upon pick-up. If someone other than yourself is picking up your images, you must send a signed letter giving them permission to do so.
General Diagnostic Imaging
A diagnostic x-ray is a procedure used to make radiographs (x-ray pictures) of the body’s bones and internal organs. Radiographs help physicians detect or rule out abnormalities and disease, such as pneumonia, broken bones or signs of cancer.
Do I need a physician’s order to get an x-ray?
Yes, your physician must order the x-ray. If you are given a written order (script) for your test, bring it with you or the exam may be delayed.
Where can I get my x-ray taken?
You may get your x-ray taken at Wheeling Hospital or one of the Outpatient Clinics.
Do I need an appointment?
You do not need an appointment for a regular x-ray, such as a chest x-ray. You only need an appointment for specialized exams, such as an IVP, upper GI or barium enema.
How long will my x-ray take?
The time it takes to complete an x-ray depends on the number of exams your physician orders. It could be as quick as 10 minutes for a single chest x-ray or longer for multiple exams. It also depends on whether there are other patients ahead of you.
Will I need to put on a patient gown?
Depending on the exam, you may be asked to put on a patient gown. The technologist may also ask you to remove jewelry, hair clips or dentures if they will interfere with the area of interest.
Questions the technologist may ask:
- Do you have allergies, asthma or diabetes?
- Have you ever had a reaction to a contrast medium (x-ray dye)?
- Are you pregnant or could you be pregnant?
During the exam:
The technologist will position you and ask you to remain still for the exposure. You may be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds. The technologist will move in and out of the x-ray room while the images are processed. After the exam, your healthcare provider will receive a copy of the results to review with you.
Hours and Locations
1 Medical Park
Wheeling, WV 26003
Monday – Friday: 8 am to 5 pm
NOTE: Stop at Outpatient Registration (Tower 4) before going to the x-ray Department. Outpatient Registration closes at 5:30 pm. If you arrive later than that, register by entering through the Emergency Room.
Computed Tomography (CT)
Computed Tomography (CT) is an imaging procedure that uses special X-ray equipment with the aid of a computer to produce detailed images. Besides routine CTs the CT department offers CTA (computed tomography angiography) and Coronary CTA imaging. CTA allows for noninvasive imaging of the vascular anatomy.
How do I prepare for the scan?
You may wear comfortable clothing for your exam, but try to avoid clothing with zippers and snaps, as they can affect the image. You may have to change into a hospital gown for some exams. If you are to receive intravenous contrast, you may need labs done prior to the exam. If your exam requires labs they will be done at the time of your procedure if they have not been done within 30 days of your exam. If your examination is of the abdomen or pelvis, you will have to arrive an hour before your scheduled exam time to drink the oral contrast. For these exams, you will not be permitted to eat solid food for approximately four hours before the test, but you may have clear liquids. Prescription medicines can be taken the day of the test.
Where may I pick up the oral contrast?
You will be given the oral contrast to drink when you arrive at the CT department an hour before your scheduled exam.
Are there any special instructions for diabetics?
It may be necessary to stop taking your diabetes medication for 48 hours after the test. If you take oral medication for diabetes inform the CT technologist and they will provide special instructions following your exam.
Monday through Friday: 7:30 am to 8 pm
Saturdays and Sundays: 8 – 9:45 am
What is an ultrasound?
Unlike other diagnostic tests which use x-rays, an ultrasound, also called a sonogram, uses sound waves with a frequency too high to be audible.
How does an ultrasound work?
A liquid medium (gel) is spread onto the patient’s skin over the area of study. The gel optimizes the transmission and pickup of sound waves by eliminating air between the transducer and skin. A transducer is a small device, shaped like a microphone, which emits sound waves and receives returning waves or echoes.
Once the gel has been spread, the transducer is placed on the lubricated area. The transducer emits sound waves into the area of focus. When the waves encounter a border between two tissues that conduct sound differently, echoes will bounce back to the transducer. The echoes are read as data by a computer and transformed into images that appear on a small monitor. As the transducer moves along the body, the images will correspond with the changing placement.
Do I need a physician’s order to get an ultrasound?
Yes, your physician must order the ultrasound. If you are given a written order (script) for your test, bring it with you or the exam may be delayed.
I am scheduled for an OB scan. May my family members come into the scan room to see the baby?
Patients only will be taken to the scan room for the technical imaging. This will last approximately 45 minutes. One visitor will be taken into the scan room after the technical imaging is finished and given the opportunity to see their future bundle of joy. Scan pictures will be taken and given to you.
Monday through Friday: 6:30 am to 4:30 pm
Saturday: 7:30 am to 3 pm
Nuclear medicine performs diagnostic imaging to look at the function of organs and detect diseases in the body. A radioactive material is injected into the arm or given by mouth so imaging may be performed. The material will not make you sick and gives off about the same amount of radiation as a chest x-ray.
Do I need a physician’s order to get a nuclear medicine exam?
Yes, your physician must order the nuclear medicine exam. If you are given a written order (script) for your test, bring it with you or the exam may be delayed.
Is the injection a dye?
No, it is a radioactive material and it does not have side effects like some dyes.
Can I take my medications?
With most nuclear medicine exams, taking medications will not interfere with the test. However, medications may interfere with stress tests or thyroid scans. Check with the Nuclear Medicine Department if you are not sure.
How much radiation am I getting?
Most scans will give the amount of radiation similar to one chest x-ray. Therapy doses and PET scans provide more radiation but are still within safe limits as required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Monday through Friday: 6 am to 4 pm
The Wheeling Hospital Mammography Department is accredited by the American College of Radiology and FDA. Mammograms are performed by licensed board-certified technologists.
Mammography is used to detect breast abnormalities. The procedure is widely used to detect breast cancer, which can be effectively treated in the early stages.
Wheeling Hospital offers three digital mammography units, as well as one at the St. Clairsville Health Center. The outcome for women depends on the stage at which breast cancer is detected. Early detection can make a tremendous difference in survival rates. 3D mammography provides faster, clearer and overall better results compared to regular mammography. Physicians can view and maneuver mammography images on high-resolution computer monitors that enhance visualization of the structures within the breast tissue.
If an abnormality is found, the patient can have full diagnostic exam at Wheeling Hospital. Diagnostic 3D mammography, breast ultrasound, stereo guided breast biopsies and ultrasound guided biopsies are all services provided at Wheeling. In addition, MR and MR guided biopsies can also be performed when indicated.
Annual screening mammograms for all women over age 40 are recommended by the American College of Radiology. Any changes in the breasts such as a rash, nipple discharge or a lump (which can be felt) should be reported to a physician. In those cases, a diagnostic mammogram and breast ultrasound may be required.
Do I need a physician’s order to get a mammogram?
Yes, your physician must order your mammogram. If you are given a written order (script) for your test, bring it with you or the exam may be delayed.
During a breast examination my doctor felt a lump, but I cannot feel it. What should be done before I get my mammogram?
If your doctor can feel a lump but you cannot, you will have to have that area of the breast marked by your doctor before the mammogram. Additional cone compression views and ultrasound will be done at this time.
Hours and Locations
1 Medical Park
Wheeling, WV 26003
Monday through Friday: 6:30 am to 6:30 pm
Saturday: 7 am to 3 pm
St Clairsville Health Center
51339 National Rd E
St Clairsville, OH 43950
Monday through Friday: 7:30 am to 3 pm
WVU Medicine interventional radiologists specialize in using advanced imaging to guide medical instruments through the blood vessels and deliver therapy at the source of the problem. Procedures are performed through small incisions with catheters and wires that are about the size of a piece of spaghetti, preserving surrounding tissue and avoiding a large, open incision.
Interventional radiology techniques have fewer complications than open surgery and are often performed on an outpatient basis. Patients experience less bleeding, reduced pain, and a quicker recovery.
Treatments and Services
WVU Medicine interventional radiologists have extensive training in the diagnosis and treatment of vascular diseases and work with other specialists to determine the best treatment for each individual patient. Our minimally invasive techniques make it easier to examine and treat your medical condition. Diagnosis methods could include procedures, like angiography to look for blockage and narrowing of the arteries using x-ray imaging or needle biopsy to take a tissue sample and provide diagnosis without surgery.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an imaging modality used to produce high- quality images of the body, without the use of X-rays. Instead, it uses a strong magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to produce images of various body parts.
Do I need a physician’s order to have an MRI?
Yes, your physician must order your MRI. If you are given a written order (script) for your test, bring it with you or the exam may be delayed.
How do I prepare for the scan?
Before the scheduled exam, a member of the MRI team will call you and ask a few health history questions. This screening is to ensure any implanted devices on or in y our body are cleared prior to your appointment. For your safety, this screening is repeated after you arrive for the exam. If you have a history of working with metal, you may be required to have an orbital exam prior to the MRI.
Will I experience claustrophobia?
Claustrophobia is the fear of confined spaces. Wheeling Hospital offers wide-bore MRI scanners. Wide-bore scanners have larger openings and the bore length is shorter that traditional MRI scanners. There is constant communication between the patient and the technologist via an intercom system. Also, depending on the body part being imaged, headphones with music can be provided for a patient’s comfort.
Who may not be able to have an MRI?
The majority of patients with implanted devices can have an MRI. Many devices have scanning conditions that must be met in order to proceed with an MRI. Examples of device manufactured scanning conditions are: limitations to the part of the body that can be imaged, wait time since implantation until an MRI can be performed, or implanted devices that must be evaluated pre- and post-MRI. All these conditions must be taken into consideration by MRI staff prior to the exam.
Before the exam:
You change into a hospital-provided gown and pants.
You will remove:
- Hearing aids
- Jewelry and watches
- Medical skin patches
What happens during the scan?
You will be positioned on the MRI table. The technologist will operate the scanner from an adjoining room. You will have to lie still for periods of 3-10 minutes at a time, while a series of images are collected. You will not feel anything during the scan, but you may hear thumping, knocking or humming sounds from the scanner. You can breathe freely for most of the MRI exam. Most single body part exams last between 30 and 60 minutes.
What is contrast?
Some MRI procedures require contrast. Contrast is the term used for the material that is injected intravenously into a vein in your arm or hand to enhance the visibility of certain tissues or blood vessels.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
Positron emission tomography (PET) is a nuclear medicine procedure that produces pictures of the body’s biological function.
How do I prepare for a PET scan?
Your physician will advise you, but typically, patients are asked not to eat or drink anything besides water for four to six hours prior. Take any prescribed medications on exam day unless the physician instructs otherwise. Diabetic patients should ask about specific diet guidelines to control glucose levels during the day of the test. You may wear comfortable clothes during the exam.
What can I expect during the PET scan?
Before the scan, you will be injected with a radioactive tracer, which is a compound such as glucose, labeled with a short-lived radioisotope. You then will be asked to rest for approximately 30 to 45 minutes while the radioactive compound distributes throughout your body and is processed by the organs being evaluated. Different colors or degrees of brightness on a PET image represent different levels of tissue or organ function. The radiation exposure associated with PET is safe and much lower than that associated with conventional CT scanning. You will lie on the scanner table, which will then slowly pass through the PET scanner. The scanner detects and records the emitted tracer signals. The signals are then reassembled into actual images through a computer.
How long will my PET scan take?
Every PET exam is different, but most patients are at the clinic for at least two hours. This includes the time needed for the injected tracer to distribute throughout your body, as well as the time actually spent moving through the PET scanner. The exact length is determined by the type of study being performed.
What will happen following my PET scan?
You should feel fine following your PET scan. There are no known side effects from the injected tracer.
How do I find out the results of my PET scan?
Your PET scan will be reviewed by a radiologist. Your health care provider will receive a copy of the results to review with you. It usually takes one to three days to interpret, report and deliver the results. In order to facilitate interpretations, you may be asked to bring any previous radiologic images with you, such as recent CT or MRI images.
Outpatient radiology services are provided at four locations in West Virginia and Ohio. The radiology services at each of these locations offer state-of-the-art medical technology as well as a caring and skilled professional staff.
A physician order is necessary for all radiology procedures.