Norwalk Radiology & Mammography Center provides a full spectrum of computed tomography - otherwise known as CT scanning. Our facility is fully accredited by the American College of Radiology.
Computed tomography (CT) is a diagnostic imaging test used to create detailed images of internal organs, bones, soft tissue and blood vessels.
CT scans provide detailed cross-sectional images and diagnostic information for nearly every part of the body that cannot be accommodated by conventional x-ray studies. CT is fast, painless, noninvasive and extremely safe.
The cross-sectional images generated during a CT scan can be reformatted in infinite planes, and can even generate three-dimensional (3D) images thereby giving physicians an unparalleled and non-invasive window into the human body.
CT scanning can identify infections, fractures, cardiovascular disorders, trauma and bleeding more efficiently and with incredible accuracy. It is often the best method for detecting many different cancers since the images allow the radiologist to confirm or exclude the presence of a tumor and determine its size and location.
At Norwalk Radiology & Mammography Center, CT scans are performed by certified technologists and every exam is interpreted by board-certified specialists in radiology.
Our team of radiologists and technologists plan each CT exam based on the individual patient's medical needs and to minimize radiation exposure.
The scan itself requires no sedation and usually takes about 10-15 minutes. Typically there is no recovery or observation period following the exam and patients can immediately resume their daily activity.
In addition, our computer-linked Teleradiology system allows for images to be archived and becomes part of your electronic medical record. They can be reviewed by specialists and medical experts at Norwalk Hospital as well as your own doctor on his/her computer.
CT scanning combines advanced computers and rotating x-rays to create highly detailed cross-sectional computer-generated images of all types of tissue to detect different disease processes. CT is one of the fastest and most accurate tools for examining the head, chest, abdomen and pelvis.
The exam is fast, non-invasive and has the unique ability to detect and diagnose a wide variety of medical conditions and abnormalities including infection, inflammation, stroke, obstructions, trauma, kidney stones, as well as the early detection of tumors.
- Performed on patients with symptoms such as chest or abdominal pain or difficulty breathing.
- Often the best method for detecting many different cancers, such as lymphoma and cancers of the lung, liver, kidney, ovary and pancreas since the image allows a physician to confirm the presence of a tumor, measure its size, identify its precise location and determine the extent of its involvement with other nearby tissue.
- Plays a significant role in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of vascular diseases that can lead to stroke, kidney failure or even death. CT is commonly used to assess for pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lung vessels) as well as for aortic aneurysms.
- Invaluable in diagnosing and treating spinal problems and injuries to the hands, feet and other skeletal structures because it can clearly show even very small bones as well as surrounding tissues such as muscle and blood vessels.
If your examination is of the abdomen or pelvis you may be asked to drink oral contrast 1 hour prior to your scheduled appointment. Patients have the option to pick-up the oral contrast and instructions before their appointment and begin drinking at home/work; patients must arrive 15 minutes prior to their scheduled exam. Pick-up is available Monday-Friday until 4:30pm.
Patients who do not pick-up the oral contrast in advance must arrive at our office 1 hour prior to their scheduled exam to drink the oral contrast.
If, on the other hand, your examination requires intravenous injection of contrast, one of our staff members will discuss the details with you at the time of your visit.
A specialty trained board certified radiologist with expertise in supervising and interpreting radiology examinations will analyze the images and send an official report to your primary care physician or the specialist who referred you for the exam. Once they have reviewed the report and the radiologists opinions they will discuss the results with you.
Because the CT is open at both ends (like a doughnut), most claustrophobic patients have little difficulty with the procedure. If you are severely claustrophobic, you can ask your doctor to prescribe a mild sedative to take prior to the scan.
- CT scanning is painless, noninvasive and accurate.
- A major advantage of CT is its ability to image bone, soft tissue and blood vessels all at the same time.
- Unlike conventional x-rays, CT scanning provides very detailed images of many types of tissue as well as the lungs, bones, and blood vessels.
- CT examinations are fast and simple; in emergency cases, they can reveal internal injuries and bleeding quickly enough to help save lives.
- CT has been shown to be a cost-effective imaging tool for a wide range of clinical problems.
- CT is less sensitive to patient movement than MRI.
- CT can be performed if you have an implanted medical device of any kind, unlike MRI.
- A diagnosis determined by CT scanning may eliminate the need for exploratory surgery and surgical biopsy.
- No radiation remains in a patient's body after a CT examination.
- X-rays used in CT scans should have no immediate side effects..
- There is no conclusive evidence that radiation at small amounts delivered by a CT scan causes cancer.
- Large population studies have shown a slight increase in cancer from much larger amounts of radiation, such as from radiation therapy.
- We are exposed to radiation from natural sources all the time. The average person in the U.S. receives an effective dose of about 3 mSv per year from naturally occurring radioactive materials and cosmic radiation from outer space. These natural "background" doses vary throughout the country.
- When a CT scan is recommended by your doctor, the expected benefit of this test outweighs the potential risk from radiation.
- You are encouraged to discuss the risks versus the benefits of your CT scan with your doctor and to explore whether alternative imaging tests may be available to diagnose your condition.
- Women should inform their physician and x-ray or CT technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.
- The risk of serious allergic reaction to injectable intravenous (IV) contrast that contains iodine is extremely rare, and radiology departments are well-equipped to deal with them.
- Patients with impaired kidney function should be given special consideration before receiving iodine-based contrast materials. Such patients are at risk for developing contrast-induced nephropathy, in which the pre-existing kidney damage may be worsened.