Computed Tomography (CT) Scan
CT scan technology has advanced over the years and is an increasingly powerful and effective tool in the diagnosis and treatment of countless injuries and diseases. A CT scan uses special X-ray equipment to produce multiple images or pictures of the inside of the body and a computer to join them together in cross-sectional and three dimensional views of the area being studied. During the scan, a thin beam of X-ray is focused on a specific part of your body. The X-ray tube moves very rapidly around this area, enabling multiple images to be made from different angles to create a cross-sectional picture. The X-ray beam information goes to the electronic detector and then into a computer, which analyzes the information and constructs an image for the radiologist to interpret.
CT examinations improve health care and are an essential part of diagnosis and treatment planning. However, there are some risks associated with the level of radiation exposure during a CT and therefore the medical benefit of conducting the exam should always outweigh any risks involved. No direct data have shown that CT examinations are associated with an increased risk of cancer; estimates from studies of radiation exposure suggest there is a very small incremental risk.
Safety is a paramount concern at St. Elizabeth Medical Center's Radiology-CT Department. St. Elizabeth’s utilizes state-of-the-art CT equipment with a special technology that significantly reduces the amount of radiation used during a test. In our main department on Medeiros 4, we have Philips Brilliance CT 64-channel and Brilliance CT 16-slice scanners. Our Emergency Room is specially equipped with a Philips ICT 256-slice scanner. Exam dose reports are sent to the American College of Radiology Dose Index Registry to closely monitor radiation dose. We employ a medical physicist to work closely with our CT equipment and its manufacturers to ensure that patients are receiving the lowest possible dose of radiation. The radiology team closely monitors radiation doses and exam quality, and makes changes when necessary to create the safest environment for patients.
CT technologists at St. Elizabeth’s are specially trained to optimize the quality of your CT scan. We are licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Radiation Control and accredited by the American College of Radiology. All of our CT technologists have special training and qualifications in CT imaging from The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. St. Elizabeth’s CT technologists receive ongoing education and updates on CT imaging and radiation exposure to stay current on the latest information in the field.
CT scans are performed in the main radiology department on CMP 4. There is also a CT scanner in the Emergency Department that is used for certain outpatient non-ED exams as well. You should report to CMP 4 for scanning unless instructed otherwise.
Outpatient CT scan appointments are available seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
What should I expect before my scan?
Learn what to expect before your CT scan so you are prepared for your appointment.
What will happen during my scan?
Learn what you will experience during your CT scan so you are prepared for your procedure.
Radiologyinfo.org for Patients
The radiology information resource for patients. RadiologyInfo.org tells you how various X-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound, radiation therapy and other procedures are performed. It also addresses what you may experience and how to prepare for the exams. The website contains over 200 procedure, exam and disease descriptions covering diagnostic and interventional radiology, nuclear medicine, radiation therapy and radiation safety and is updated frequently with new information. All material on the RadiologyInfo.org website is reviewed and approved by experts in the field of radiology from the ACR and RSNA, as well as other professional radiology organizations.