Here at The Colony ER Hospital, we are proud to offer our in-house CT-scans and x-rays as part of our impressive Imaging and Laboratory services. If you’ve never had a serious physical injury, you might not know what exactly CTs or x-rays are. We hear the names of these tests tossed all over the place on our favorite TV medical dramas, but what do CT-scans look for? What can an X-ray help to diagnose?
We want to break down these mysteries and get to the root of what they can do.
A CT-Scan (also known as a CAT or Computerized Tomography Scan) is a medical scan that combines a series of X-rays taken from different angles, to create a cross-sectional image. It works with the same philosophy of a panoramic picture—combining many small pictures into a complete map. These tests are often used to observe bones, blood vessels, and soft tissues inside your body.
You might recognize a CT-scan from TV shows, too. They’re the iconic, big machines with a circular tube entrance. A patient will lay down on a narrow, motorized table which then slides the patient into the opening of the scanner, where the scan then begins. Depending on how much of the body needs to be scanned, a patient can be partially or completely inside the tunnel. It is important for patients to stay very still while they get a CT-scan, to not interfere with the imaging.
CT-scans are usually used for:
- Diagnosing muscle and bone disorders, tumors, or fractures
- Locating a tumor, infection, or blood clot
- Guiding procedures like surgeries, biopsies, and radiation therapy
- Detecting and monitoring diseases and conditions like cancer
- Monitoring the effectiveness of certain treatments
- Detecting internal injuries and internal bleeding
While CT-scans do use ionized radiation, they are minimal-risk scans and use only the lowest doses needed. Newer, faster machines use even less radiation than ever before, making them incredibly safe diagnostic tools for doctors. CT-scans are safe for children and adults, but should not be used on pregnant women, so be sure you inform your doctor if you an expecting mother.
X-rays are common place and, more than likely, you have had one before. Most dentists take x-rays of a patient’s teeth every couple of years, so you don’t even need to have a broken bone to get an x-ray. While CT-scans are composite images made up from multiple angles and cross-sections, x-rays are focused and only produce imagines for specific areas of the body. They can gather maps of dense substances, like bones and metal. An x-ray will send out beams into the area that doctors need to observe, and depending on the various densities of the tissue, they produce different images. Due to this, the uniform density of the bone will have some cracks in it that did not absorb the x-ray’s beams, which is how a doctor can observe a fracture in your arm through an x-ray.
X-rays are usually used to:
- Find fractures or infections
- Monitor and diagnose arthritis
- Monitor dental decay and osteoporosis
- Diagnose bone cancer
- Diagnose breast cancer
- Check for enlarged hearts
- Look for blocked blood vessels
- Diagnose digestive track problems
- Check for swallowed items (infants and toddlers can be at risk for this)
Just like a CT-scan, x-rays do utilize radiation to create their diagnostic images. The radiation used in x-rays is very low as well, and doctors do not consider it a health risk to get an x-ray. The benefits from these tests far outweighs any risks.
The Colony ER Hospital’s in-house Imaging offers all of its patients access to both CT-scans and x-rays. Having these technologies available in our facility helps all of our patients get results quicker. You won’t have to wait for hours at a hospital to get your fractured leg scanned. Our doctors can see you and have your condition assessed all in one place, which makes out diagnostic process fast and keeps our patients more comfortable.
Nutex Health, Inc supports you and your family’s health. You can depend on The Colony Emergency Room Hospital or any one of our concierge-level, freestanding emergency facilities to deliver the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.