A CT scan combines multiple X-ray images from different angles to produce cross-section views of the body. Our advanced CT device, the Aquilion PRIME, can produce 160 of these virtual “slices” per rotation. It rapidly yields exceptional images while exposing the patient to far less radiation than less advanced devices. With a wider couch and gantry than most CTs, it also ensures patient comfort and convenience.
What Is CT?
Computed tomography (CT) uses an X-ray source and a computer to create multiple CT images. The final pictures are a far more detailed diagnostic tool than a single X-ray film.
For patients, the CT experience is quick, easy, and comfortable. The machine looks like a doughnut-shaped ring, not a tunnel. Typically, the only pain you feel is the poke of a needle to deliver a contrast material into your bloodstream. If no contrast is required, there will be no pain at all.
How CT works
Inside the CT scanner is an X-ray detector, which can distinguish hundreds of levels of density. With the help of swallowed and injected contrast material, the scanner can see the different tissues inside any solid organ.
During the scan, the X-ray beam makes a spiral path. Scanning in a helical motion (like a Slinky), it gathers continuous data with no gaps between the images. This data is transmitted to a computer, which builds and displays 2-D and 3-D cross-sectional pictures of any part of the body.
Our superior scanner
To make CT exams as fast, safe and accurate as possible, Bay Area Hospital employs the Aquilion PRIME CT system from Toshiba America Medical Systems Inc. Aquilion PRIME provides faster exams and produces high-quality images required for accurate diagnoses. Yet its X-ray doses are as low as reasonably achievable, thanks to industry-leading dose-reduction software.
The speed of the Aquilion PRIME enables our clinicians to obtain critical patient information for enhanced diagnoses faster than ever before. The Aquilion PRIME’s large bore opening offers a more spacious feeling for patients, while a higher table weight limit accommodates a full range of patients.
This advanced device represents Bay Area Hospital’s commitment to leading-edge technology, providing excellent diagnostic information to our doctors while assuring safety and comfort for our patients.
Preparing for Your CT scan
Different CT scans require different kinds of preparation, and some scans need no preparation at all. Be sure to ask your doctor’s office what preparation you need for your particular scan.
For most scans of your torso, you’ll be asked not to eat solid foods for four hours before the exam. During this time you should drink only clear liquids, such as black coffee, apple juice, broth, or water.
For some kinds of exams, you may be asked to drink a specified amount of water a certain period of time before your exam. Some abdominal scans require you to drink contrast fluid, either one hour or four hours before your exam.
- Do not wear metal items such as zippers and buttons.
- Let our staff know what medications you are taking.
- Let our staff know if you could be pregnant, are breast feeding, are allergic to contrast medium (dye), or are diabetic.
If you have any questions, please check with your doctor’s office, or phone one of our imaging technologists at (541) 269-8090.
What to Expect
When you come to Bay Area Hospital for a CT scan, you’ll check in at our Digital Imaging desk. The friendly, professional staff will verify your laboratory tests and double check your allergies and other health history. In some cases, you’ll be asked to drink contrast material that will enhance the CT images.
Next you’ll meet your CT technologist, who will take you to the scan room. You will be asked to remove all jewelry and other metal objects. Depending on what part of your body is being scanned, you may need to partially disrobe. You’ll be asked to lie on a table that passes through the bore of the gantry -- the “doughnut hole.”
The technologist will give you a full explanation of the process. You probably will be given contrast material by intravenous injection, in addition to the material you already swallowed.
When the contrast material is administered, you may feel unusual sensations such as a “hot flash” or a metallic taste. These will pass quickly. The entire scan takes between five and 20 minutes, though a few specialized scans can last longer.
After your scan, the results will be reviewed by one of our board-certified radiologists, who will relay the information to your physician. We will recommend that you drink water to help flush the contrast material from your body. You shouldn’t see or feel any aftereffects.
Our Professional Team
In addition to bachelor’s degrees and radiography licenses, all of our CT technologists have advanced certification through the American Registry of Radiologic Technicians specifically for CT. They have an average of more than 10 years’ experience.