UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital

Pediatric patients are now benefitting from this generation’s most comprehensive imaging facilities, which are located in the brand new UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. This is a part of UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay, UCSF’s new $1.5 billion, state-of-the-art campus in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood.

Top Care

UCSF Radiology doctors and staff play an important role in diagnosing and treating patients at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. That includes multi-disciplinary teams with a wealth of experience and training in pediatric medicine.  Our experts have helped treat thousands of different pediatric disorders, involving the chest, body, brain and spine, and extremities.

Our collaboration with neonatal experts on research and breakthroughs allows us to bring leading resources when we are following neonates.

With our UCSF Betty Irene Moore Women's Hospital right next door, pediatric imaging is also uniquely designed to help mothers and transition their babies from fetal to neonatal life.

Design and Development of a Caring Environment

We pride ourselves on being the best location in San Francisco and the Greater Bay Area for a child-friendly patient experience, with compassionate care for children and their families.

Design and Development of a Caring Environment

Child-Oriented Imaging Suites 

Patient-friendly scan suites at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital were specially designed to refocus kids away from their medical procedure and on to more fun and calming activities.  MRI-themed rooms engage children and their families in unique Bay Area activities: a cable car ride, a boat ride on the Bay, or a visit to Muir Woods. These experiences are expected to help kids cope better with their imaging examinations, reduce the need for anesthesia, and allow us to obtain better quality images to help make the appropriate diagnosis.

Child-friendly environment

One distinctive feature of our MRI suites is the use of MRI compatible video goggles, which help patients relax and hold still during their MRI exam. While wearing the goggles, patients (both pediatric and adult) may view videos from our library or brought from home on DVD.

Patient-Friendly Scan Suites

Patients undergoing imaging at the new UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital can go on an imaginary adventure to Muir Woods or see the sights of San Francisco from a cable car or boat, thanks to images projected on the imaging suites’ walls, ceiling and equipment. They can admire lush visuals, such as a sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge, and listen to the sounds of nature or soothing music that they select themselves.

Younger patients at the new UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital may prefer a more active role. Instead of a stark room with a drab table and scanning equipment, they can choose to be the operator of a cable car, where they can trundle around the city, take in local landmarks, and participate in hands-on activities with a cast of animated critters. Or if they would prefer to captain a boat for a nautical expedition instead, that option is also available.

Child-friendly environment

Themed suites are for patients undergoing MRI or SPECT and CT, two imaging techniques that look inside the body and help doctors pinpoint any areas of disease. The procedures can take from 30 minutes to an hour and are used to diagnose a variety of conditions, from tumors and congenital abnormalities to skeletal trauma such as ACL injury.

Among cancer patients, scanning may be especially stressful because it determines the success or failure of treatment.

All of the imaging room equipment at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital has the most advanced and accurate imaging capabilities and modalities, using no radiation whenever possible or at the lowest radiation level necessary for imaging children and young people. 

Although we have only been in our new hospital for a short time, already we are finding that children need less anesthesia when they come to us for imaging in these new colorful child-friendly designed imaging suites. One little child who needs an MRI every six months now needs no anesthesia whatsoever in order to quietly lie still for a few minutes in the MRI scanner.

John MacKenzie, MD, Chief of Radiology at UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay and Chief of Pediatric Radiology at UCSF