At TRMC, we are extending our commitment to providing only the best in healthcare. We boast a 128-Slice CT Scanner to shorten examination times and provide superior images for more accurate diagnosis. Only the third such system in Texas, our CT eliminates the need for beta blockers and is ideal for patients who have previously not been candidates for this diagnostic imaging test. Our CT also accomodates individuals weighing up to 440 pounds.
CT Scanning, sometimes called a CAT Scan, is a noninvasive test that helps diagnose a wide array of medical conditions. It combines special x-ray equipment with sophisticated computer technology to produce pictures of the inside of the body. These cross-section images provide greater clarity than regular x-ray exams for intergnal organs, bones, soft tissues and blood vessels.
You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to your exam. You may be given a gown to wear during the procedure. Metal objects including jewelry, eyeglasses, dentures and hairpins may affect the CT images and should be left at home or removed prior to your exam. You may also be asked to remove hearing aids and removable dental work. You may be asked not to eat or drink anything for several hours beforehand, especially if a contrast material will be used in your exam.
You should inform your physician of any medications you are taking and if you have any allergies. If you have a known allergy to contrast material, or "dye," your doctor may prescribe medications to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction.
The CT scanner is typically a large, box like machine with a hole, or short tunnel, in the center. You will lie on a narrow examination table that slides into and out of this tunnel. Rotating around you, the x-ray tube and electronic x-ray detectors are located opposite each other in a ring, called a gantry. The computer workstation that processes the imaging information is located in a separate room, where the technologist operates the scanner and monitors your examination.
With CT scanning, a special computer program processes this large volume of data to create two-dimensional cross-sectional images of your body, which are then displayed on a monitor. CT imaging is sometimes compared to looking into a loaf of bread by cutting the loaf into thin slices. When the image slices are reassembled by computer software, the result is a very detailed multidimensional view of the body's interior.
The technologist begins by positioning you on the CT examination table, usually lying flat on your back or possibly on your side or on your stomach. Straps and pillows may be used to help you maintain the correct position and to hold still during the exam. You will be alone in the exam room during the CT scan, however the technologist will be able to see, hear and speak with you at all times. Next, the table will move quickly through the scanner to determine the correct starting position for the scans. Then the table will move slowly through the machine as the actual CT scanning is performed. You may be asked to hold your breath during the scanning because motion, whether breathing or body movements, can lead to blurring of the images. This is similar to the blurring seen on a photograph taken of a moving object. CT exams are generally painless, easy and fast - usually completed within 30 minutes.
One of our board-certified radiologists will analyze the images and send a report to your referring physician, who will discuss the results with you.