What is Computed Tomography?
Computed Tomography (CT) scans are a quick and painless way to examine any part of the body when there is a clinical reason to suspect internal injury, disease, tumor or infection. To do this, a series of x-rays are taken from different angles around the body, combined and then processed by a powerful computer to create cross-sectional images of your body. Another way to think of the images are like slices of a loaf of bread.
What Should I Expect?
Preparation for CT scans depends on which area of your body is being examined. Prior to your arrival, you may be asked to abstain from eating and drinking for a few hours. Upon arrival, you may be asked to wear a gown. Sometimes you will be asked to drink oral contrast. This is a liquid that contains dilute material that allows the radiologist to separate your bowel from other visualized structures.
For more on how to prepare for your appointment CLICK HERE.
For the duration of your CT scan, you will be asked to lie very still on a table connected to the scanner. As the table moves through the large opening, your technologist may assist you and communicate further instructions. Each scan takes about 20 to 40 seconds and the entire exam may last for 20 minutes. For many exams, an IV will be started to allow the injection of contrast material (radiology dye) that improves identification of blood vessels and various organs.
After your exam, you can return to your activities as normal. Our highly trained radiologists will analyze your images and report the findings for you to discuss with your doctor.
What to Expect During Your Exam
This year, we installed a new Siemens 64-Slice Perspective CT Scanner. One of the key features of this new machine is the advanced dose reduction. Doses are automated according to each patients’ anatomy resulting in a 60% dose reduction across the board. In addition, this machine offers high-quality vascular imaging and a faster scanning speed enabling visualization of even the smallest diagnostic detail. Lastly, the patient friendly design allows easier access and positioning for patients, giving them more time with the technologists.
Radiation dose: Pueblo has a CT scanner that was developed to utilize the minimum dose necessary in providing high quality diagnostic images. We have installed a new CT scanner with techniques that allow us to use the lowest possible radiation dose with improved image quality. While radiation dose has been a concern in the past and we continue to need to use it appropriately, you can be assured that the radiation dose associated with your scan will be kept as low as possible.