New 64-Slice CT Scanner Benefits Patients & Physicians
Patients and physicians in the region can now access the latest diagnostic imaging with the addition of a new 64-Slice CT (computed tomography) scanner at Fallbrook Hospital. A CT scanner, or computed tomography, is a procedure that generates cross-sectional views and three-dimensional images of internal organs and body structure, and is used to assist physicians in diagnosing life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, heart, lung and vascular disease and stroke. This advanced technology improves both the speed and accuracy of imaging results by producing ultra-sharp, detailed images of the body in just seconds, which enables physicians to detect and treat diseases at an early stage. “Our new CT scanner allows us to diagnose a whole host of medical problems faster and more accurately than ever before, commented Dr. James Erskine, Radiologist. Expanded imaging capabilities include CT angiography of the brain, heart, renal and peripheral arterial anatomy, and 3-D reconstruction of musculoskeletal pathology and virtual colonoscopy”.
In addition to the benefit of early detection, patients receive less radiation, and because of the increased imaging speed, the time a patient needs to hold their breath during the procedure is reduced to as much as half. This supports Fallbrook Hospital’s commitment to patient safety across the entire spectrum of patient care. “The faster CT scanning capabilities and the ability to achieve higher resolution, detailed images of the anatomy allows physicians to visualize the heart and entire coronary tree within one breath, and assists physicians in providing an accurate diagnosis,” says Fred Elliott, Radiology Director.
“Our advanced CT technology offers an excellent combination of clinical excellence and patient safety—with the biggest benefit being increased capabilities for early detection, said Alex Villa, CEO. It extends our capabilities to perform more in depth studies for cardio-vascular services and further demonstrates our commitment to expanding our services and meeting the needs of our community.
Answers to many commonly asked questions
If you or someone you care about needs a diagnostic scan, you might have questions about what to expect. Here are answers to commonly asked questions. Ask your doctor or CT technician for more information about this quick and pain-free diagnostic procedure.
Q: What is a CT?
A: CT stands for computed tomography (sometimes referred to as a CAT scan) and is a fast, painless tool doctors use to see inside the body. A CT scanner combines
X-rays with computer technology to create detailed images of your internal structures and organs.
Q: Will I feel claustrophobic?
A: Our advanced system is designed to enhance patient comfort and has a more open design than many traditional CT scanners. This allows patients to see outside of the machine during examinations and helps to reduce claustrophobic effects.
Q: Are there any people who shouldn’t get CTs?
A: If you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant, or have allergies to fish or iodine, you should inform your doctor and CT technician prior to your exam.
Q: Will the CT scan hurt?
A: No. CT is a painless, non-invasive test. Your exam might require you to take a contrast agent that will make your blood vessels and tissues more visible. You may also be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds during the exam.
Q: How long will my CT exam take?
A: It depends on which study your doctor has ordered. Most exams are quick and last just a few minutes. You may be asked to arrive 15 or 30 minutes prior to your exam time.
Q: Do I have to do anything special to prepare for my CT scan?
A: How you prepare for your CT scan depends on what part of the body is being examined. You may be asked not to eat or drink anything before your exam.
Q: What is a contrast agent?
A: It is a liquid substance that makes tissues stand out more clearly against their surroundings, enabling the details to show up on the X-ray. You may be given the contrast agent intravenously or orally. It will leave your body naturally within a few hours.
Q: Will I be alone during the CT exam?
A: During your CT exam, you will be in contact with a technologist. Even when he or she is not in the CT room you will be able to communicate via intercom. The technologist will inform you when an exam is about to start, and when it is finished. Family members and/or friends are typically not permitted to stay with you in the CT room.