CT stands for Computed Tomography, a computer-enhanced X-ray that provides your healthcare provider with a three-dimensional view, or slice, of a particular part of your body. CTs clearly show bone and soft tissues and are used to diagnose disease, tumors and injuries. They are also used for wellness scans.
At Advanced Imaging, we use a low-dose, 128-slice CT machine, which reduces patient exposure to radiation significantly compared to 16, 32 or 64 slice machines. It is also considerably faster and creates a clearer, more detailed image for your healthcare provider to review and diagnose. It can accommodate patients up to 500 pounds in weight.
CT scans can detect many conditions that normal X-rays cannot. By ordering a CT, your healthcare provider will have the information needed to help make an accurate diagnosis and determine the right course of treatment across a variety of injuries, diseases and other medical issues.
Preparing For Your Scan
Some CT studies require an oral contrast agent to enhance the images taken of your body. You will receive special instructions if your exam requires you to consume an oral contrast agent (Redicat) in advance. Other studies may use an I.V. contrast agent (Visipaque or Omnipaque) to enhance the images. You will be instructed to arrive 20 to 30 minutes prior to your scan time to be properly instructed for your exam. At this time the technologist will answer any questions regarding the procedure.
The following tests do not require any preparation:
>> Chest only
>> Head without contrast
>> Spine: Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar
Advanced Imaging takes great pride in ensuring you’re informed every step of the way. Prior to your visit and during your visit, you’ll have ample opportunity to get questions answered.
What to Expect
You’ll be scheduled to arrive about 20 or 30 minutes before your actual scan time. We start by answering any initial questions you have and asking you to complete a short health form. If you need to change clothes, you’ll be taken to the dressing room. You’ll be given a locker to safely store your clothing, jewelry and valuables. From there, you go to the CT room.
The CT itself is a large, open tube with a table that moves through it. It works by passing X-rays through your body, capturing those as images and delivering them to a computer. To be scanned, our technologist will have you lie on the table. If necessary, a contrast agent will be administered.
Once on the table, all you do is lie still for five to 15 minutes, depending on the area of concern being covered. The tabletop will move you through a gantry (shaped like a big donut), which houses the x-ray tube and a multiple set of detectors. Images are acquired by the detectors and sent to the computer, which reconstructs the data as full-color, 3-D images onto the screen for the technologist to view. The technologist will then review the quality of the images, once satisfied with the content of the exam you will be free to leave.
The technologist will then process this information to create an examination that the radiologist can then review and interpret.
Getting Your Results
At Advanced Imaging, all CT exams are reviewed by a local radiologist, who then within one business day sends a report to your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider will contact you with the results once he or she has reviewed the report.
Specialized CT Exams
CT Lung Cancer Screening — A wellness scan recommended for patients with a long history of smoking or exposure to hazardous materials, CT lung scans can help healthcare providers diagnose lung disease at early, more-treatable stages. Advanced Imaging is designated as a CT Lung Cancer Screening Center by the American College of Radiology.
Coronary CTA — This noninvasive exam uses CT to detect unstable arterial plaque, the kind most likely to cause blockages. Through early detection, healthcare providers can work to reduce risk of heart disease with treatment or even lifestyle changes. Recommended for symptomatic or asymptomatic patients with risk factors for heart disease.
Virtual Colonoscopy — Deploys CT to conduct routine colorectal cancer checks. Requires no sedation, is less expensive and is less invasive than traditional colonoscopy. Recommended for average risk patients seeking a more comfortable colonoscopy alternative.
Click here to view our Image Wisely Radiation Safety Certificate