Computerized Tomography (CT)


Scan What is a CT scan?

Computed tomography (CT) is an x-ray technique that uses a special scanner and computer to create cross-sectional images of parts of your body (somewhat like slices of bread).


How do I prepare for my CT scan?

Preparation varies depending on the CT exam you are having. You may be given contrast media to drink in order to highlight a certain body area. It is important that the entire amount of contrast be taken to insure your test is complete. You may be asked not eat or drink anything after midnight. Medications can be taken. For CT scans requiring intravenous (IV) contrast:

  • Blood work may be required prior to procedure
  • Intravenous dye may cause warm sensations throughout your body
  • Final consideration for IV contrast is dependent upon the radiologist

CT Questionnaire

General Patient Preparation Instructions

General Patient Preparation Instructions


What can I expect during the CT scan?

When you enter the exam room, you will be asked to lie on the scanner table. A radiologic technologist, who is trained in the use of this specialized equipment, will assist you into the correct position. The table will then be moved into the scanner's opening to perfectly align the portion of your body to be studied. After each image is taken, the table will advance slightly to scan the next portion. The cross-sectional images are taken by the computer. As you are moved through the scanner, relax and remain as still as possible. If a scan of your chest or abdomen is being taken, you will be given breathing instructions. This is to avoid any blurring of the image created by breathing movements.


How long will my CT scan take?

The length of your CT scan depends on your needs. The radiologic technologist performing your exam will advise you as to the approximate length of your exam. What will happen following my CT scan? You may resume your regular diet and medication schedule immediately after the exam, unless your physician has advised you differently. If contrast fluid is injected, the fluid is eliminated from your body mainly through your kidneys. It is important to drink at least eight (8) ounces of water an hour for the first 3 - 6 hours. This helps your kidneys eliminate the contrast liquid. You will not notice any change in your urine.


How do I find out the results of my CT scan?

Your CT scan will be reviewed by a radiologist. The radiologist will send a report to your physician, who will discuss the results of the scan with you.


Important

  • The contrast liquid used contains iodine. If you have an allergy to iodine or have had an allergic reaction to a previous contrast (dye) exam, please tell your physician before having this exam.
  • Any woman who is pregnant or suspects she may be pregnant should let her physician know before scheduling this exam.

Advanced High Resolution Multi-slice Computerized Tomography

  • We put our patients' safety, health and welfare first by optimizing imaging examinations to use only the radiation necessary to produce diagnostic quality images;
  • We convey the principles of the Image Wisely/Image Gently campaigns to the imaging team in order to ensure that our facility optimizes its use of radiation when imaging patients;
  • We communicate optimal patient imaging strategies to referring physicians and to be available for consultation; and
  • We routinely review imaging protocols to ensure that the least radiation necessary to acquire a diagnostic quality image is used for each examination.

We offer a full range of imaging, including:

  • Arthography
  • Urography
  • Neurological
  • Angiography
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Abdomen/pelvis

Screening studies include:

Virtual Colonoscopy

  • More comfortable than conventional colonoscopy for some patients with no sedation needed. The patient can return to his/her usual activities or go home after the procedure without the aid of another person.

Pulmonary nodule (Lung Scan)

  • Detects lung nodules before they are visible by CXR.
  • Detects lung cancer at an earlier stage.
  • Exams are double-read by on-site board-certified radiologists.
  • Quick results sent to both patient and physician.

Cardiac calcium scoring (Heart Scan)

  • Detects calcified plaque and determines risk for significant coronary artery blockage.
  • Can detect plaque disease before you have symptoms.
  • Exams read by on-site board-certified radiologists.
  • Quick results sent to both patient and physician.

Sedation

When your child has radiology exam, it is important to stay still, from a few minutes to a few hours. To help with this, MDI offers sedation (relaxing medicine). It is our goal to give the safest doses of medicine possible. MDI has highly experienced radiology nurses and pediatric radiologists that provide sedation for both pediatric and adult patients as needed to ensure the patient is as comfortable as possible.

 


Heart Screening

Why should I have a heart scan for coronary artery calcification?

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of heart attack and death for men and women. Chances are you or someone you know is at risk for CAD. People can be unaware of having CAD until they have a serious complication such as a heart attack. Unfortunately, by that time the arteriosclerotic process is relatively advanced and any opportunity for prevention is lost. Early detection of CAD is now possible with a heart scan for coronary artery calcification. This is an x-ray test of your heart using a CT scanner. It is a painless, risk-free test, which determines the presence or absence and the extent of any calcification in the coronary arteries. The amount of calcification in the arteries does correlate to the overall amount of arteriosclerosis. This means that the test can tell you your relative risk for having significant CAD. With this knowledge in hand one can modify lifestyle choices to help prevent or limit the progression of heart disease.

Who should consider a heart scan for coronary artery calcification?

People who are at risk for CAD should consider the scan. Risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, family history of heart disease, diabetes, and being overweight.

What does the test entail?

The test is simply a CT scan of your heart. It is painless and performed without needles or contrast dye. The scan takes only a few minutes while your heart rate is being monitored. The only preparation is that we ask you to refrain from coffee or other caffeinated beverages during the morning of your test.

What results should I expect?

The images of the heart are analyzed and the total amount of calcification is determined. The value obtained corresponds to your risk category of having significant coronary artery disease. These results are sent to you and your physician so appropriate measures can be initiated if necessary.

Does insurance cover the cost?

A heart scan for coronary artery calcification is considered a preventive test. Therefore, most insurance carriers including Medicare will not cover the cost at this time.

How can I schedule this test?

Individuals can schedule this test for themselves by calling (414) 325-4300. One does not need a physician's order or prescription to obtain the test. A physician to whom a report can be sent is required. Feel free to call or stop by for more information. We are open evenings and weekends for your convenience with easy freeway access and plenty of free parking.


Lung Screening

Why should you consider lung cancer screening?

More Americans die of lung cancer than from the three other most common cancers (colon, breast, prostate) combined. Screening programs for these other cancers have been shown to be beneficial. Now, low-dose spiral CT is available as a new screening technique for lung cancer. CT scans have been proven to detect small cancers before they are visible in a chest x-ray. Most of the cancers detected are early stage respectable tumors. Some authorities believe that earlier detection will result in an improved cure rate. Large-scale trials are currently in progress to confirm this.

Who should consider lung cancer screening?

People who are at greatest risk for developing lung cancer are those over 50 years who have smoke at least 10 pack-years, i.e. 1 pack/day for 10 years or 2 packs/day for five years. Those exposed to secondhand smoke are also at risk.

What does the test entail?

The test is easy, painless, and without needles or contrast dye. The scan takes only a few minutes to complete. It is a "low-dose" study meaning that the radiation exposure is considered minimal and just slightly more than a standard chest x-ray.

What results should I expect?

The exam will be double-read by two board-certified radiologists. A report is generated and sent to you and your physician. The results of the screening test will be either negative (meaning it is normal and no further diagnostic tests are needed) or positive (meaning a follow-up diagnostic scan will be needed).

Does insurance cover the cost?

Spiral CT screening for lung cancer is considered a preventative test. Therefore, most insurance carriers including Medicare will not cover the cost at this time.

How can I schedule this test?

Individuals can schedule this test for themselves by calling (414) 325-4300. One does not need a physician's order or prescription to obtain the test. A physician to whom a report can be sent is required. Feel free to call or stop by for more information. We are open most evenings and weekends for your convenience with easy freeway access and plenty of free parking.

 

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