CT Scans: A New Pro Radiology Service!
The Professional Radiology team is excited to announce that we now offer CT scans! CT scans are commonly referred to as one of the top 5 medical advancements in modern medicine, with its inventors even winning a Nobel Prize for their efforts. Our team believes these accolades to be well deserved, and we’re happy to offer the tech to our patients.
But why are CT scan machines lauded so heavily in the medical and radiology community? In our latest blog, we discuss the function, uses, and importance of CT scan technology and what that means for our patients!
Wait, What Is A CT-Scan?
Computed tomography or CT, is a type of radiological technology developed in 1972 by British engineer Godfrey Hounsfield. Hounsfield, like many others, recognized that simple x-ray imagery was useful but had serious limitations, and sought to create a device to circumvent those limitations.
In a normal X-ray exam, several layers of the body are normally seen at once. For instance, an X-ray of the torso will show ribs, the heart, the lungs, and other elements all in the same image. This can make looking for anything specific in the body a task and can lead to misdiagnosis.
CT scan technology addresses this problem by utilizing an X-ray tube. By using a tube, the device can take multiple images at different angles, also referred to as “slices”. Once the images are taken, the CT machine then synthesizes the images to remove all obstructing structures and show what is needed by the radiologist and patient.
What Are CT Scans Used For?
So CT technology was a revolutionary technology in the 70s and remains one today, but what exactly is it used for now?
Pre-Planning of Procedures/Surgeries
One of the most important uses of CT-scanning technology is the ability to use imaging for the pre-planning of surgeries or procedures. Before this breakthrough, X-rays or exploratory surgeries would have to be used before a procedure or surgery.
CT scans allow for radiologists and doctors to get clear imaging of the desired area before a procedure or surgery. This can reduce the danger of certain surgeries and procedures.
Locate Blood Clots, Tumors, & Other Health Issues
If there is a suspected health issue like blood clots or tumors, CT scans can be an incredibly useful source for finding and isolating those issues. Due to the “slicing” nature of the CT imaging machine, it represents one of the best ways to isolate damaging medical issues like blood clots and tumors.
Diagnose Bone & Muscle Disorders
CT scans are often used to diagnose bone or muscle disorders. Since bones and muscles can often be obstructed by other bodily structures, CT scans provide a way to isolate certain bones and muscles that may be disordered.
Monitor The Effects of Certain Procedures/Treatments
CT scans aren’t just used for diagnosis. CT imaging is also incredibly useful for monitoring the effects of certain procedures and treatments. Doctors often order periodic CT imaging for their patients to determine if a procedure is having the intended effects.
Risks & Concerns of CT Imaging
As CT imaging has become more ubiquitous, concerns related to safety have been raised. The vast majority of the concern related to CT is related to its use of X-rays and its effects on the body.
According to the vast majority of experts, CT imaging is exceedingly unlikely to harm patients in any way, given that the machines use the minimal amount of radiation required to acquire images. Newer CT imaging machines also utilize less radiation that has been used by earlier, like the CT imaging we utilize here at Professional Radiology.
Some individuals, like people who are pregnant for example, might be at an increased risk of undesirable effects. While most experts believe the risk to unborn babies to still be minimal, it’s important to discuss with your doctor whether or not the benefits outweigh the risks.
Another area of concern for patients is the use of contrast material. Contrast material is a special dye that is used to “highlight” areas that are being examined for certain CT scans. Contrast material is either drunk, injected, or applied through an enema depending on the area of the body being examined.
Contrast material, however, is not dangerous to patients. At most, the adverse effects of contrast material are limited to mild allergic reactions. If you are unsure if you may be allergic to contrast material, talk to your doctor or our staff.
Choose Professional Radiology For Your CT Imaging!
Professional Radiology is proud to offer CT imaging for our patients! We are excited to begin helping the doctors and patients of El Paso, and make El Paso healthier and happier. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment!