What is Computed Tomography (CT)?
Computed tomography (CT) is a special type of x-ray exam that produces detailed pictures of structures inside the body. CT uses a narrow x-ray beam that is directed through the body and recorded by sensitive detectors. This information is analyzed by a computer to produce a cross-section picture or “slice” of the area being studied.
During a CT scan, the area being examined will be positioned inside a ring or “gantry” that is part of the CT scanner. The ring can tilt and the x-ray scanning devices within it can rotate to obtain the views needed. CT scanning can be used to obtain information about almost any body part.
The amount of radiation used in these exams is equivalent to that of a standard x-ray. However, the information obtained from CT can be much more detailed than that from a standard x-ray.
In order to make blood vessels, organs and other structures more visible on the images as is often injected into the blood. This is called contrast. This is given intravenously unless it is an abdominal study and then contrast is usually given orally.
In addition to a CT that your doctor may order, you can also elect for a Peace of Mind Screening. These screenings are CT’s or even Ultrasounds that check for disease before symptoms may be present in high risk patients.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Lung Scan or Chest Scan
If you are a smoker and over the age of 55, this is a scan that can detect the early signs of lung disease. In many cases, if detected soon enough lung disease can be treated. Government officials are even recommending that those at risk get annual scans. This government endorsement may also soon clear the way for insurers to cover CT scans. At this time it is a self pay option only.
If you are 55-79 and have smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years or 2 packs for 15 years you are considered high risk for lung cancer and therefore you should schedule a screening today.
Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans. The good news is that heart disease is often preventable and curable. Don’t wait, we have the machine and the expertise to give your doctor’s the results they need to determine if you have signs of the disease. Once again, early detection is the key.
Using an electro cardiac gating technique. Our technicians will evaluate any calcification’s in the coronary arteries.
Body CT Scan
Chest includes evaluation of lungs, the mediastinum, including the blood vessels and any abnormal lymph nodes, the bones, the pleura, and the chest wall.>
Abdomen includes evaluation of the liver, spleen, pancreas, adrenal glands, kidneys, gallbladder, stomach, bowel, bones, and any abnormal lymph nodes.
Pelvis includes evaluation for abnormal lymph nodes, bones and bowel, including the rectum, prostate and seminal vesicles in males, and uterus and ovaries in the females.
Cost: $175 per test or all 3 for $495
How do I prepare for my CT scan?
If you have a history of kidney problems or diabetes, blood tests (creatinine, blood urea nitrogen) will be done before the CT scan to check that your kidneys are functioning properly. The intravenous contrast material used during a CT scan can cause kidney damage in people with poor kidney function.
- Tell the technologist if you are on Metformin for diabetes control.
- Tell your doctor if you are, or suspect you might be pregnant.
- You may be asked not to eat or drink for four to six hours prior to your exam.
What can I expect during my CT scan?
Our technologist will discuss the procedure with you and answer any questions you might have. A radiologist will review your medical history and then customize the CT study specifically for your medical problems.
For most abdominal exams, you will be given a cup of contrast to drink thirty to sixty minutes prior to the exam. For some exams, intravenous contrast will be injected into a vein in your arm before or during the procedure.
The technologist will position you on the exam table in a donut shaped gantry. At times during the exam the table will move, you may be asked to hold your breath, and you will hear the sound of the x-ray tube circling your body. At all times, the technologist will be able to see you and communicate with you. Most procedures take from thirty to sixty minutes.
What will happen following my CT scan?
After your CT scan, you may resume your normal activities, diet, and medications unless instructed otherwise by the technologist or your doctor. Any contrast given for your exam will be eliminated in a day or two.
Your examination will be reviewed by the radiologist after the exam has been completed. A full report will be sent to your doctor in 24-48 hours Monday-Friday. If you need immediate results, two hours or less, please make this request known when you schedule your appointment. Before leaving our office you will also receive a CD of the images.