Pediatric Imaging

When your child needs an imaging scan, turn to the pediatric radiology specialists at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. Not only do we understand that children need specialized care tailored to them, but we offer the most advanced technology in the region. Our scans are:

  • Faster, which means we can often capture images with the wiggliest child, without the need for sedation
  • Safer, since our highest-level equipment allows us to reduce the amount of radiation dose used
  • High quality, thanks to our newly designed, state-of-the-art imaging suite, offering some of the latest Philips diagnostic imaging technology in the Southeast

Our Team | High-Tech Services | Just for Kids | Preparing for Your Child’s Procedure  

Our Team

When your child needs a doctor’s appointment, would you take him or her to a doctor who treats adults? Of course not — so when it comes to imaging, it’s important that your child receives an exam from radiographers and radiologists who work specifically with children.

Our pediatric radiographers are skilled in the proper radiation dose parameters for children and can ensure your child receives the lowest dose possible. They also have experience in helping children overcome their fears of the large and sometimes noisy imaging machines so they can remain still and complete the exam successfully.

At the Children’s Hospital of Georgia, we also employ the region’s only board-certified pediatric radiologists. Pediatric radiologists are specifically trained to understand children’s unique bone structures and their disease processes, so they are the most well-equipped to read and interpret these imaging scans and diagnose diseases and disorders in children.  ^

High-Tech Services

We offer a wide array of pediatric imaging exams and image-guided procedures, both inside the Children’s Hospital of Georgia and in conjunction with Augusta University Medical Center. Our high-tech pediatric imaging suite includes:

  • X-ray. Our two X-ray suites are the first in the Southeast to offer advanced SkyFlow technology from Philips, which produces a more detailed image with less radiation.
  • Fluoroscopy. Fluoroscopy combines X-ray technology and contrast material to get a moving image of a specific organ. Inside our two pediatric fluoroscopy suites, our technologists use pulsed fluoroscopy to reduce radiation dosage.
  • Computed tomography (CT). CT takes X-ray technology a step further to obtain very detailed “slices” or cross-sectional images of the body. Our pediatric 256-slice CT scanner is the most advanced technology available today and includes iterative reconstruction, a specialized computational technique that requires minimum radiation to produce a high-quality image. 
  • Ultrasound. Inside our two pediatric ultrasound rooms, our sonographers use a handheld device known as a transducer to produce sound waves that “echo” off organs to produce a real-time image.
  • Interventional radiology. We offer a number of image-guided, minimally invasive procedures as an alternative to open surgery.

Your child may also receive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and nuclear medicine at our dedicated suites inside Augusta University Medical Center. MRI is a painless, noninvasive exam that uses a magnet, radiofrequencies, and a computer to obtain detailed still and moving images inside the body in real time, while nuclear medicine uses a very small amount of radioactive material and a gamma camera to help reveal information that might otherwise require surgery or more invasive diagnostic tests.  ^

Just for Kids

Rooms that light up in different colors, bright murals, and other kid-friendly touches. As part of the region’s only children’s hospital, our radiology staff knows how to “kid” around — and ensure your child is comfortable, relaxed, and can remain still throughout his or her radiological exam. We offer:

  • Our main waiting area features soft lighting, comfortable chairs and an interactive video wall.
  • Families who prefer a more private waiting space may use the patient lounges inside the suite-  a series of cozy nooks flanked with intimate seating and illuminated in varying colors of light.
  • Rooms where your child can choose the color of the lighting and a room theme, complete with visuals and sounds. This helps give your child a sense of control and also relaxes your child so he or she can be more comfortable during the exam.
  • A “kitten” scanner, a miniature simulated CT scanner, where children can choose a character to be a test patient.  This allows us to show and tell your child how his or her scan will work, helping to calm any fears or anxiety.
  • Radiographers who are specially trained to work with children, to help them get over their fears, cooperate with instructions during the exam, and have a positive experience.
  • Full sedation only when necessary.  ^

Preparing for Your Child’s Procedure

In many instances, little or no preparation is required for your child’s exam. Our specially trained radiographers will work with your child to ensure he or she is comfortable during these tests. Learn more now about what happens during:

  • X-ray
  • Fluoroscopy
  • MRI
  • Ultrasound
  • Interventional Radiology

For certain tests, you and your child will need special preparations:

Upper GI Series and Esophagram (Barium Swallow). During this test, we will take images while your child is drinking barium, which is a white chalky liquid, to examine how liquids move through the upper GI tract. These images may be taken while they are lying on their side or on their back.

Preparation for an UGI (NPO means Nothing to Eat or Drink):

  • 0 – 1 years of age: NPO 3 hours prior to exam
  • 1 – 2 years of age: NPO 4 hours prior to exam
  • 3 – 19 years of age: NPO 8 hours prior to exam

Modified Barium Swallow (with Speech Therapy). Your child will sit in a chair and will drink barium, which is a white chalky liquid.  They may drink several different consistencies. They may also eat applesauce, pudding or a cracker with barium mixed in.

Preparation for Modified Barium Swallow (NPO means Nothing to Eat or Drink):

  • 0 – 1 years of age: NPO 3 hours prior to exam
  • 1 – 2 years of age: NPO 4 hours prior to exam
  • 3 – 19 years of age: NPO 8 hours prior to exam

Small Bowel Follow Through. Your child will have to drink barium, which is a white chalky liquid. After your child drinks the barium, we will wait 30 minutes to take an image of the abdomen to see how far the barium has moved through the small bowel. After the initial scan, we will continue to take abdominal images approximately every 30 minutes to see the passage of the barium through the small bowel. This test can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours, depending on how rapidly the barium passes through.

Preparation for a Small Bowel Follow Through (NPO means Nothing to Eat or Drink):

  • 0 – 1 years of age: NPO 3 hours prior to exam
  • 1 – 2 years of age: NPO 4 hours prior to exam
  • 3 – 19 years of age: NPO 8 hours prior to exam

Barium Enema. Your child will have an enema tip placed into their rectum, and we will put a special contrast liquid called gastrografin into the rectum through the tube. 

Voiding Cystourethrogram (VCUG). Your child will have a catheter placed in their bladder.  We will run a special contrast liquid called Cysto-Conray through the catheter into the bladder.  Once the bladder is filled, we will ask the child to empty their bladder on the table.  ^