The LightSpeed® VCT System from GE Healthcare
used at our facility represents the latest generation
of GE CT technology. It produces images of
unprecedented detail in a very short time with a
lower radiation dosage to you.
What's a CT Scan?
Computed tomography (CT)—sometimes called CAT scan—uses special x-ray equipment to obtain image data from different angles around the body, then uses computer processing of the information to show a cross-section of body tissues and organs. CAT stands for Computerized Axial Tomography – which is a fancy way of saying exactly what the instrument is doing; and CT Scan is simply an abbreviated way of referring to exactly the same procedure (CT drops off the word “Axial” so it means Computerized Tomography).
A CT scan gives physicians a non-invasive way to see inside your body. One advantage of CT is its ability to rapidly acquire two-dimensional pictures of your anatomy. Using a computer, these 2-D images can be presented as 3-D images for in-depth clinical evaluation.
Reasons for CT scans
CT exams are performed when people are ill or injured, or when a doctor suspects a medical problem that cannot be detected easily with a routine physical examination. If you have any questions concerning your exam, please talk to your physician or the CT technologist.
What should I expect?
A technologist will escort you into the CT scanning room, where you'll see a table and a large, donut-shaped device called a gantry. The technologist will have you lie on the padded table and make sure you're comfortable. You'll be asked to lie very still during the scan and hold your breath for a short time to minimize any body movement.
During the scan, you might hear a humming or buzzing noise, but you should not feel anything unusual. You may feel the table move while images are being taken at certain locations of your body. The technologist will monitor you during the entire exam through a window and will communicate with you through an intercom.
The specific details of your upcoming examination will be explained fully by a CT technologist or your physician.
How long will the exam take?
The actual scan portion of the exam takes only a few seconds. You will be asked to stay still and hold your breath as the CT scanner acquires the X-ray images of your body. Depending on the specific exam, the entire exam may take up to 45 minutes as the physician reviews the images and makes a diagnosis.
Are IVs or shots involved?
The CT Scan utilizes X-Rays and can't create an image of soft tissues unless there is a contrast dye in the soft tissues to reflect the beam of x-rays. CT Scans may require patients to have a contrast dye in their body for the procedure to work. The contrast dye is given to you orally – a liquid that you will be asked to drink, or intravenously – through an IV. The procedure is absolutely painless (okay, the IV needle hurts for just a second) – but the CT Scan does nothing but allow you to lie back and relax!
After the CT Exam
A physician will carefully analyze your CT images, review the findings with your physician and provide a report. Your physician will then discuss the results with you.
Safety of CT Examinations
CT is a safe and effective diagnostic procedure. In fact, nearly 50 million CT exams are performed in the United States every year. Like many other imaging technologies, CT has been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Additionally, the GE LightSpeed VCT system has been designed with dose reduction features that minimize your exposure to radiation.
The profession is supported by the American Registry of Radiology Technologists (ARRT), which provides continuing education, certification and a registry of radiologic technologists. Our healthcare professionals involved in your care are professionals who can safely operate the CT scanner and obtain the best images to assist your doctor in making an accurate diagnosis.
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