What is a CT/CAT?
A CT (computed tomography) or CAT scan, is an assessment that uses advanced X-ray technology to take 360-degree images of the internal organs, head, neck, spine and/or other extremities. During this procedure, many pictures are taken at one time to attain different angles of the target area, which are then processed by a computer to create a cross-sectional view. Our providers of Imaging at Valley View in Glenwood Springs, Colorado are patient-focused caregivers who will take their time to walk you through the entire process from start to finish with great attention and compassion.
CT for children
Imaging at Valley View also performs CT/CAT scans for children. Our radiology team is a compassionate and patient group of professionals who will do their best to ensure you and your child are as comfortable as possible. During your visit, our registered technologists will take their time to walk your child through their imaging exam with great care to help keep them calm and relaxed.
Why is it used?
Generally, a CT/CAT scan is used when your primary care provider needs to get a better understanding of what is causing you pain or contributing to your current health condition. This scan provides a detailed internal look of your body, which is superior to traditional X-rays. Once your scan is complete, your doctor can gain a better insight into what is going on and determine a diagnosis and treatment plan.
How do I prepare?
We recommend that patients wear loose-fitting clothing to their exam. A hospital gown will be provided, if necessary. All jewelry, including watches, should be left at home as metal objects can interfere with the CT/CAT imaging. Hearing aids and dental fixtures may need to be removed as well, if possible, and you may be required to fast from food and/or water for a short period before your exam.
At the start of your scan, our registered technologists may inject a dye and/or have you drink an oral contrast to differentiate between healthy and diseased tissue. From there, you will be positioned comfortably in a horizontal position on the procedure table for the scan. You will need to lie very still, and we may also ask you to hold your breath for a short period to get the most accurate pictures possible. You can expect the table to move with every image it takes, and you may hear a noise that sounds similar to a machine moving in a circular motion (like the sound a drill makes) or a high-pitched beep.
Benefits and risks?
Although your body will be exposed to a small amount of radiation, CT scans are very safe and extremely accurate. It's important to let your provider know if you are currently on any medication, have any known allergies (especially to iodine), and if you are pregnant. Rare adverse reactions may include hives, hitching, or an allergic response to the contrast and/or medical dye used during your exam. A great benefit of a CT/CAT scan is that it can catch various diseases (i.e., malignant cancers or tumors, malformations of the heart, bowel diseases, cystic fibrosis, and severe injuries) in their early stages, which can prevent a more serious condition from developing.
Our Valley View providers work diligently to provide quality care every step of the way and look forward to helping you get the answers you need to attain optimal health. When patients visit Valley View, they are treated like family and are provided the undivided attention they deserve. Call Imaging at Valley View in Glenwood Springs, Colorado to schedule your CT/CAT scan today. We offer flexible scheduling hours and will do our best to get you in as soon as possible.