Imaging Services at The Princess Grace Hospital
Thank you for visiting the imaging section of The Princess Grace Hospital website. This section is designed for patients and referrers who wish to know more about our department, our services and our staff. If you have any unanswered questions after reading this section then do not hesitate to contact the team here at the hospital who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
We offer a full range of diagnostic and interventional services in a newly refurbished, clean environment.
An introduction to our services
We provide a comprehensive range of General, Ultrasound, MR and CT Imaging. We are growing our Interventional Fluoroscopy portfolio and are excited to develop this modality over 2014 in a newly purpose built suite.
The Princess Grace Hospital has 2 general x-ray rooms which use the latest digital technology.
We offer a walk in service for general x-ray Monday – Friday 07.30 – 22.00 at The Princess Grace Hospital site.
X-Ray examination involves exposing the area of interest to a small amount of radiation. This radiation passes through your body and is then detected on a special plate. This plate used to contain film which was developed, producing an ‘x-ray’. Today, the plate contains digital receptors which help produce an image on a screen. This image can be sent throughout our hospitals for your doctors to view.
Ultrasound services are split between the Devonshire Street and Princess Grace Hospital sites.
The Princess Grace Hospital has 3 Ultrasound scanners. Devonshire Street has 1 scanner.
Ultrasound examinations do not use x-rays; yet rely on ultrasound waves bouncing from anatomical structure (much like an echo). We use Ultrasound to visualize organs and structures of the body and, increasingly, to guide needles into the body for the purpose of delivering pain killers directly into a joint or to extract a biopsy sample.
Computerized Tomography (CT)
CT is by appointment only and the referral will usually be discussed by your consultant with a consultant radiologist.
The Princess Grace has 1 GE definition scanner.
CT uses x-rays which circle around the body to create cross sectional images, or ‘slices’ of the internal structures of the body. You do not see or feel the x-rays; however an injection of x-ray dye is often used to help visualize internal organs and vessels. Our CT scanner uses the latest technology to create 3D volumes of the anatomy from which measurements and reconstructions can be obtained.
Increasingly, CT is being used to guide needles into the body for the purpose of delivering pain killers directly into a joint or to extract a biopsy sample. We also use CT to perform specialist ablation procedures.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRI scanning will be discussed with you by your consultant and, as it requires you entering a room with a powerful magnetic field, some patients are unsuitable for MRI procedures (those with pacemakers for example).
The Princess Grace has 1 MRI scanner and 2 scanners are placed at Devonshire Street.
MRI uses a powerful magnetic field to align hydrogen atoms in your body. By then changing the atoms position and allowing them back into the rested state, a signal is produced. It is this signal which is received and the information is converted into an image. MRI has specific advantages in that it can characterize structures more accurately in the body. This modality is used extensively at The Princess Grace for demonstrating tendons, ligaments and bone, as well as for imaging of the liver, brain and spine. Although there are no known hazards from MRI, this modality is not suitable for everyone (due to the powerful magnetic field) and your Radiographer will screen you prior to entering the room with a safety questionnaire.
Meet the Imaging team
A number of professionals are involved in providing our services:
Radiologists are medically trained medical Doctors who have undergone specialist training in Radiology. Radiologists review the images produced by Radiographer and write a report to your referring consultant. Radiologists are involved in multidisciplinary team meetings regarding patient cases and advise as necessary as to which tests to perform given an individual patient’s condition. Radiologists perform Ultrasound examinations as well as interventional and special procedures (such as barium studies).
Radiographers are professionals allied to medicine and perform a wide range of x-ray, CT and MRI examinations. Radiographers assist the Radiologists in a number of Ultrasound procedures and are utilized in theatre where they take ‘live’ x-ray procedures in theatre to guide surgeons. All of our Radiographers at The Princess Grace are qualified and are registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC).
Radiology Department Assistant will assist the Radiologists and Radiographers during the procedures. Many Radiology Department Assistants will call patients form the waiting area, change patients and prepare them for their examination. They are on hand to ensure comfort and safety of our patients, as well to answer any initial questions you may have.
Radiology Nurses support the Radiologists during interventional procedures. The nursing team here is led by a Clinical Nurse specialist who advises and counsels patients on some interventional procedures. Depending on your procedure, you may have spoken to a Radiology Nurse prior to your appointment.
Patient Admin Officers make appointments over the telephone, welcome you into the department and will also collect payment as appropriate. Patient admin officers may also assist our Radiology colleagues in translation.
Porters collect and return patients from the wards to and from the imaging department. Porters also transport biopsy samples, urgent reports and images around the hospital and surrounding buildings.