Diagnostic Services
What is an Ultrasound?
A computed tomography (CT) scan uses x-rays and a sophisticated computer to view specific parts of the body's anatomy in great detail. It is a very common imaging exam. Unlike a traditional x-ray, where the radiation beam comes from a stationary or non-moving source, a CT scan is created by moving the x-ray beam around the patient to obtain horizontal and vertical cross-sectional views. Spiral or helical CT scans can capture three-dimensional images.
Ultrasound allows a physician to view and evaluate veins, arteries and blood flow in a person's neck, arms, abdomen and legs. In pregnancy, ultrasound can help determine fetal age and anatomical development. It also may be used to screen a fetus at risk for Down syndrome in the first trimester. Ultrasound technology is helpful too in the area of breast health, when a questionable mammogram finding requires more detailed exploration.
Why would I need a CT scan?
A CT scan allows the physician to see various angles of a particular structure such as the brain, the heart or joints inside the body. It is sometimes used to diagnose coronary artery disease
What to Expect?
The CT scanner is a large doughnut shaped machine. The patient lies on a table with the part of the body to be examined positioned within the scanner opening. The table moves slowly and periodically during the procedure. A whirring or whooshing sound may be heard as the scan is performed. It's important for the patient to lie still during the exam to make the images as clear as possible. The patient will be able to speak to the technologist performing the exam through a built-in intercom system at all times. Depending on the part of the body being scanned, a contrast medium, administered orally or by injection into a vein, may be required. For other organs, fasting may be required. A CT scan usually takes about 20-30 minutes. Female patients who may be pregnant or are breastfeeding should discuss this with the physician prior to scheduling and with the technologist prior to the scan. Radiology services are generally pain-free, non-invasive and available to both outpatients and inpatients.