Lourdes is home to the most advanced CT technology in the area. Our two Toshiba CT Scanners provide remarkably clear images allowing views of every angle of an organ, along with blood flow and function.
We can image the entire heart in less than a heart-beat and an entire brain in a minute. Our faster testing with less radiation makes our CTs ideal for pediatric patients and it can mean less need for additional testing.
Computed Axial Tomography (CAT or CT) is a way of looking at the inside of your body. The images produced are cross-sectional - patterned much like slices of bread. By taking a series of such images, a CAT scan can create a multidimensional view of the body.
Over the years, computed tomography systems have played an integral role in the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases and health conditions. Advances in CT technology have improved patient care and created new ways to diagnose and treat disease.
Lourdes CT Department now has two Toshiba CT scanners, the most advanced CT system on the market. This system provides a uniquely comprehensive exam to reduce the diagnosis time from hours or days to mere minutes for patients experiencing symptoms of heart conditions, stroke and other diseases.
Our Toshiba CT scanners can:
- scan the entire heart in one rotation
- scan in less than one heart beat's time
- eliminate most artifacts: this leads to the best quality scan ever
- scan a heart even with abnormal heart rhythms
- decrease the radiation dose you are exposed to
- decrease the amount of contrast dye needed to perform the test
Now it is possible, for the first time, to image an entire organ in a single rotation, ensuring greater accuracy and diagnostic confidence. It is fast enough to image the entire heart in less than a heartbeat--0.35 seconds, opening the door to accurate and safe imaging of patients with an irregular heart beat. Physicians can see not only a three-dimensional depiction of an organ, but also how the organ and blood flow are dynamically functioning or moving within and around the organ. No other CT system can do this.
Lourdes' new CT scanners can perform uniquely comprehensive exams, including functional studies, that can reduce overall healthcare costs by replacing the need for multiple tests and invasive procedures, while reducing the amount of contrast material and reducing the amount of radiation to which a patient is exposed. This new technology will drastically improve patient care by providing comprehensive examinations for the treatment of patients with heart conditions, stroke, cancer and other conditions faster, safer and more accurately. This equipment shows not only whole organ anatomy, but also the changes in the entire organ over time resulting in a better, faster, more complete diagnosis.
CAT scans of the body and head can be used to diagnose a wide variety of medical conditions.
- You must have a signed order from your physician to have any study within Diagnostic Imaging.
- If someone accompanies you, there is a waiting room for visitors in the Diagnostic Imaging Department.
- If you are pre-registered for your exam, please report directly to the Diagnostic Imaging Department, located on the main floor of the hospital, at your scheduled time.
- If you are not pre-registered, please report to Registration, on the ground floor of the Ambulatory Care Center, 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment.
- If you have questions or are unable to keep your scheduled appointment, call Central Scheduling at 607-798-5723.
What to Expect
- If you are claustrophobic, speak with your technologist. He/she can do a test run at any time prior to your study.
- To assist in the scan, very often an IV contrast agent is used. This agent contains iodine, which x-rays cannot penetrate. By injecting the agent into the body, the radiologist can better see organs and structures that might not be seen otherwise.
- Depending on what part of your body is being studied, you may also be asked to drink oral contrast called ReadiCat. You will be instructed to report to Radiology 1 ½ hours prior to your scanning appointment to drink the ReadiCat. The contrast opacifies the GI Tract and will aide the radiologist with the diagnosis.
- You may also be asked to swallow effervescent granules, a substance that will build up air in your stomach.
- You will be asked to remove jewelry (please leave valuables at home), dentures, or metal objects that might interfere with your scan.
- You will be taken to a room that contains the CT scanner. Some patients are surprised by the size of the machine, however, it does not cause pain and does not touch you.
- You will be asked to lie down on a moveable table. You will be positioned so that the part of your body to be examined lies in the middle of the scanner ring.
- If clinically indicated, an IV will be started by qualified personnel prior to your procedure.
- You'll be left alone in the room, but a technologist will keep in close contact with you via an intercom and/or watch you through a glass window.
- As the procedure begins, the table will start to move. It will slide you a short distance every few seconds, moving you through the ring and stopping so that a new "slice" can be imaged. The technologist may ask you to hold your breath each time a new picture is taken. Keep absolutely still, so you don't blur the picture and have to repeat the process.
- If a contrast is being used, a preliminary set of scans may be done before the agent is introduced. Depending on the part of your body being studied, the agent may be given by mouth, injection into a vein, or by enema. The scans will be repeated after the contrast has been injected.
- Procedures vary in time from 2 to 30 minutes. Allow 2 hours for exams that require oral contrast such as with the abdomen and/or pelvis.
Getting the Results
After your study is completed, the radiologist will study your examination and give a report to your doctor. Contact your physician to discuss the results.
Where to go.
For information on where to go when you arrive for your appointment, visit our Where to Go page.
For more information call the Lourdes Diagnostic Imaging Center at 607-798-5225.