CT Scan (Computed Tomography)

CT (or CAT) scan is a painless imaging procedure that uses X-rays and computers to create detailed 360-degree pictures of your body.

About CT scans

A CT scan shows cross-sectional and 3-D images of your organs, bones and tissues in greater detail than an X-ray. CT imaging can be compared to looking at a slice of bread by cutting the loaf into thin slices. When the slices are reassembled by the computer, the result is a detailed multi-dimensional view of the body. A CT scanner is not a full body tube like an MRI, and in most cases, you will be able to see outside the machine.

Common uses of CT

CT imaging is valuable because your doctor can examine several types of tissue one slice at a time. It’s useful in studying most parts of the body and is often the best method for detecting cancerous tumors. CT technology may be used to provide internal imaging during biopsies and minimally invasive procedures.

CT scans are also used to diagnose:

  • Injuries to the liver, spleen, kidneys and internal organs
  • Spinal problems
  • Injuries to the hands, feet and other skeletal structures
  • Heart and vascular disease
  • Cancer

Low-dose CT scan (LDCT)

Low-dose CT scans provide images that are of higher-quality than X-rays and with less radiation exposure than traditional CT scans. Your doctor may order a low-dose CT scan for the early detection of lung cancer if you are considered high-risk, but have no symptoms. This is often the case if you are 55 or over and have a significant history of smoking. Ask your doctor if you are a candidate for LDCT. 

CT technology and safety

SCL Health offers the most advanced CT technology available, including two of only a few 320-slice CT scanners in the country, located in Billings, Montana, and Denver, Colorado. This highly sophisticated unit allows your doctor to diagnose you faster, easier and with less exposure to radiation – which is especially useful if you have a life-threatening condition. SCL Health strives to use the lowest doses of radiation possible with your safety in mind. We are accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR), which means we are committed to quality assurance and safety.

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