Medical diagnostic imaging center in Walterboro, South Carolina

Colleton Medical Center’s medical imaging department offers a wide range of services on an inpatient and outpatient basis. Our imaging department takes pride in prioritizing our patients' needs, time and comfort. We also work closely with radiology specialists and our emergency department to ensure our patients can receive fast diagnoses when they need them most.

For more information about our radiology and imaging services, you can call us at (843) 782-2545.

Our diagnostic imaging services

We use digital radiography technology whenever possible to reduce patients' exposure to radiation. We can also send imaging results to the Trident Health System for urgent readings when a radiologist is not on site. Our imaging services include:

  • Computerized tomography (CT) scans—a technique using X-rays to take cross-sectional images the body
  • Mammograms—uses low-dose X-rays to examine breast tissue
  • Medical resonance imaging (MRI) scans—uses magnetic waves to take pictures of the inside of the body
  • Nuclear medicine scans—uses a dual head camera to perform nuclear stress tests, bone screenings, liver scans and similar tests using very small amounts of radioactive materials
  • Ultrasounds—examines internal organs using high frequency sound waves so physicians can see blood flow through major blood vessels

Breast screening and imaging

We use advanced imaging techniques, modern diagnostic methods and comprehensive treatment options to address changes in breast tissue. For more information about breast screening or to schedule a mammogram, you can call us at (877) 357-0155.

What is a mammogram?

Mammography uses low-dose X-rays to take pictures of the tissue inside the breast. The resulting image is called a mammogram.

This process enables us to screen for and diagnose changes in breast tissue, which aids in the early detection of breast cancer and improves chances of successful treatment. No diagnostic tests are necessary before a mammogram, although monthly self-exams and yearly breast exams by your regular practitioner are recommended.

Who should schedule a mammogram?

For patients 40 years old and older, mammograms should be performed every year. You may need to schedule annual mammograms sooner if you have a family history of breast cancer (especially breast cancer before menopause) or have had previous biopsies.

What are the benefits of a mammogram?

Scheduling a mammogram each year:

  • Aids in the early detection of cancer, which improves patients' chances of successful treatment
  • Can help doctors identify a lump’s location before a biopsy or surgery
  • Can help doctors identify abnormalities before a lump can be felt
  • Provides the only reliable method of locating abnormal growths in the milk ducts

How can you prepare for a mammogram?

Knowing what to expect before, during and after the mammogram can help you prepare for the imaging appointment and your test results. It's a good practice to schedule a mammogram when breast tissue is least tender (typically a week after your menstrual cycle). Some women report less discomfort if they avoid caffeinated beverages and take vitamin E, as recommended by their doctor. If you have breast implants, ask if the facility uses special techniques to accommodate implants.

The day of your mammogram

On the day of your mammogram, your doctor may recommend that you:

  • Bring copies of previous mammograms and reports with you, if possible
  • Describe any breast problems to the technician before X-rays are taken
  • Inform the technician if you are pregnant or have breast implants
  • Not apply deodorant, talcum powder, lotion, or perfume near your breasts or under your arms
  • Wear a two-piece outfit (you will need to remove all of your clothing and jewelry from the waist up and change into a gown that opens in the front)

During the procedure

We want you to feel as comfortable as possible during your mammogram. The procedure takes about 30-45 minutes. Most women feel discomfort, and some feel pain. Tell the technician about any pain so the plastic plate can be adjusted. During the mammogram:

  • Two pictures of each breast are taken. During one, you face toward the platform. The image is taken looking down at the breast. For the second, you stand beside the machine for a side view. The X-rays are repeated on the other breast. Extra images, from different angles, may be necessary if you have breast implants.
  • You will stand in front of a special X-ray machine, which has a platform to place your breast on. The technician adjusts the height of the platform, then lifts and positions one breast between a special cassette that holds the film and a clear plastic plate.
  • The plate is brought close to the platform and compresses the breast to hold it in place and allow for a clearer image. Tell the technician if the plate compresses so tightly that it feels painful.

After the mammogram

You’ll be asked to wait at the facility until the X-rays are developed, in case more images are needed. Often, patients simply go home after the screening study. If this happens, the radiologist will call you to come back in the near future for further films, if necessary.

Getting the mammogram results

The radiologist analyzes the images and may speak with you at the end of the appointment. Usually, you will receive your results by mail within 30 days. If you do not hear from the mammography center, call and ask for the results. If a doctor referred you, they will receive a report describing anything out of the ordinary and suggesting a possible diagnosis. Depending on the results, additional views or tests may be ordered.