Diagnostic Imaging Services 

Our experienced team of certified radiologists and technologists provides a range of quality imaging services to fit your healthcare needs. Using advanced technology and up to date procedures ensures that your doctor receives the most accurate and detailed information about your health, from head to toe.  

The Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center Imaging Department fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Hospital Organizations and certified by the California Department of Public Health.

 Diagnostic Imaging

General Radiography (X-ray)
An x-ray (radiograph) is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Imaging with x-rays involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body. X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging.  A bone x-ray makes images of any bone in the body, including the hand, wrist, arm, foot, ankle, knee, leg or spine.  The chest x-ray is the most commonly performed diagnostic x-ray examination. A chest x-ray makes images of the heart, lungs, airways, blood vessels and the bones of the spine and chest.
General Radiography (Fluoroscopy)
Fluoroscopy makes it possible to see internal organs in motion. When the upper and lower GI tract is coated with barium, the radiologist is able to view and assess the anatomy and function of the right or ascending colon, the transverse colon, the left or descending colon, sigmoid colon and the rectum esophagus, stomach and duodenum. 
In addition to drinking barium, some patients are also given baking-soda crystals (similar to Alka-Seltzer®) to further improve the images. This procedure is called an air-contrast or double-contrast upper GI.
An ultrasound test uses reflected sound waves to produce an image of a targeted organ or collection of tissue. These images allow medical professionals to closely examine many of the body’s internal organs and structures, including the gallbladder, kidneys, liver and breast tissue.
Computed Tomography
A CT scanner consists of a moveable table that glides through an x-ray machine that circles the body. Cross-sectional images are created of the organ being studied. These views are then manipulated on a computer to produce clear and detailed three-dimensional images.  Doctors use CT scans for a wide range of medical applications, such as diagnosing muscle and bone disorders, locating a tumor or blood clot, and detecting cancer or heart disease.
Nuclear Medicine
Nuclear medicine scans produce images from different parts of the body by detecting a radiator that had been injected into a vein, inhaled as a gas or swallowed by mouth. The radiotracer emits energy in the form of gamma rays that is detected using a gamma camera or probe. Radiotracers expose the patient to approximately the same amount of radiation as a routine chest x-ray and have no side effects. Most patients are able to resume normal activities and diet immediately.


The radiologists at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center will interpret your tests and send a detailed report to your physician. Images can also be viewed in real-time in the hospital or in the physician’s own office using Picture Archiving Communications System (PACS). Your physician will advise you on the results and discuss what further procedures or treatment options, if any, are needed.

While the technologist who performs the test can help answers questions about the procedure itself, they cannot discuss results with you.

Pre-Exam Instructions

CT Scan

  • Notify Department of any allergies or if you are pregnant.
  • Head/Chest: Clear liquids okay before the exam.
  • Abdomen/Pelvic: Pick-up EZ CAT preparation at Outpatient Services the afternoon before your study and follow the directions given.


  • Pelvic/OBGYN: Drink one full quart of fluids, 1-2 hours prior to your exam and do not urinate. A full bladder is essential. If you feel like you do not have to urinate, your bladder is not full enough; your study will be delayed or rescheduled.
  • Abdomen: Fast 8 hours prior to your exam.
  • Gallbladder: Do not eat or drink anything 8 hours prior to your exam.

Nuclear Medicine

  • Hida Scan: Do not eat or drink 8 hours prior to your exam.
  • Thyroid Scan: Do not eat or drink 8 hours prior to your exam. No strawberries or shellfish 48 hours prior to your exam.
  • Gastric Emptying: Do not eat or drink 8 hours prior to your exam.
  • Cisternogram: Do not eat or drink 8 hours prior to your injection.


  • Upper GI Series: Do not eat or drink 8 hours prior to study.
  • Barium Enema: Eat a clear liquid lunch and dinner one day prior to your study (no milk, milk products or high residue foods). Pick up Barium Enema kit at Outpatient Services at least two days prior to your study and follow the enclosed directions for 24 hour preparation.
  • Intravenous Pyleogram (IVP): Pick up preparation kit at Outpatient Services one day prior to your study and follow the enclosed directions.


Outpatient Services
1010 Murray Avenue
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
Phone: (805) 546-7676
Fax: (805) 546-7813
M-F 8am-5pm

Selma Carlson Diagnostic Center
77 Casa Street
Suite 102
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
Phone: (805) 546-7733
Fax: (805) 549-9217
M-F 8am-5pm
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