Diagnostic and therapeutic services
The Diagnostic and Therapeutic Care Line facilitates the provision of timely, cost-effective, and high-quality diagnostic care in safe and secure environments.
It includes the clinical services of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Oncology. These services function in the settings of ambulatory care, acute care, mental health, geriatric, and rehabilitative care. Facility based diagnostic service employees include physicians, nurses, technicians, technologists, administrators, as well as program assistants and analysts. Combining these diagnostic services and employees into an interdisciplinary group facilitates the sharing of knowledge and permits uniformity of practices and policies.
Laboratory and pathology
We offer blood tests and other advanced testing services to help you and your VA health care team monitor your health, find and understand any health problems and make informed treatment decisions.
Our laboratories provide a full range of clinical and diagnostic testing services:
- Study of blood, urine, and other bodily fluids for illness management
- Testing for infectious diseases
- Cytopathology (study of unusual cells) and surgical pathology (study of tissue removed during surgery) (not available at VA community outpatient clinics)
- Autopsy services (not available at VA community outpatient clinics)
- Hours for blood collection at our community based outpatient clinics vary per location. Please check with your clinic location for their blood collection hours.
We offer a variety of imaging services to include X-ray, Ultrasound, Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Interventional (special procedures) and Breast Imaging to diagnose and treat diseases within the body.
- CT: Monday through Sunday, by appointment
- MRI: Monday through Saturday, by appointment
- Ultrasound: Monday through Saturday, by appointment
- X-Ray: Walk-ins Monday through Sunday with a Radiology order
- Interventional Radiology: Monday through Friday, by appointment
- Vascular Access/PICC Team: Monday-Friday, by appointment
Radiology location: 2C-400 , 2nd floor (X-Ray, CT, IR, and Ultrasound)
Breast imaging location: 1st floor, inside Women's Health Center
MRI location: 1C-318, 1st floor
Schedule Radiology imaging study: 713-794-8723 (provider must first place the order)
Nuclear Medicine is a medical specialty that uses radiopharmaceuticals to image the body and treat disease. Radiopharmaceuticals are tiny amounts of radioactive materials. They can be detected by advanced instrumentation to provide information about the physiology (functioning) and the anatomy of the body.
The information gathered helps to establish a diagnosis and aids the physician in the determination of the most effective treatment. Some of Nuclear Medicine’s most frequently performed studies include:
- Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
- Nuclear Cardiac stress test
- Bone Scan
- Bone Density (BMD)
- HIDA Scan
- MUGA Scan
- Gastric Emptying Scan
- Renal Scan
- Thyroid Uptake & Scan
- V/Q (Lung Scan)
Patients will receive a courtesy call from a Nuclear Medicine technologist or Physician Associate a day prior to the scheduled appointment to discuss the test and go over any concerns.
Nuclear medicine location: 2C-260, 2nd floor, near green elevator, next to Radiology
PET location: 1st floor (Check in is in MRI)
Hours: 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Appointments: Patients are referred by their physician.
The radiation oncology section works with your health care team to target cancerous tumors safely and precisely using radiation therapy.
Radiation oncologists specialize in using high-energy X-rays to kill or damage cancer cells and either destroy tumors or control their growth. Our doctors sometimes use radiation therapy in combination with surgery, chemotherapy, or other cancer treatments. The radiation therapy you receive will depend on cancer type, tumor size and location, and your general health. Our services include:
- 3D-Conformal Radiation Therapy (3D-CRT): uses computer planning to deliver precise radiation doses that match the 3D shape of your tumor.
- Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) and Volumetric-Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT): uses sophisticated computer planning with arcs to deliver faster and more precise radiation treatments.
- Intracranial Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS): uses targeted radiation to treat a brain tumor or lesion while minimizing radiation effects on healthy brain tissue.
- Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT): uses precisely focused radiation to treat tumors in your lungs, spine, liver, or other soft tissues in as little as 1-2 weeks.
- Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT): uses detailed daily images prior to treatment, to ensure treatments are delivered accurately and precisely.
- CT simulation performed with new GE Discovery RT scanner with the ability to minimize artifacts from metal implants.
- Cyberknife radiosurgery: a robotic radiation delivery system with real-time tracking of tumor with submillimeter accuracy.
- Participation in VA Cooperative Studies Program (CSP) and NCI’s National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) cooperative group clinical trials.
- An American College of Radiology (ACR)-Accredited Radiation Therapy Center