Computed Tomography (CT) combines a special spinning x-ray scanner with sophisticated computers to produce multiple images of the inside of the body. At Rochester Radiology, we employ sophisticated, state-of-the-art scanners and software that allows us to capture incredible detail while using little radiation.
The CT procedures we perform in our offices include everything from CT Virtual Colonoscopy to CT Angiography and more. Our board-certified physicians will work with you and your referring doctor to ensure you are well-informed and comfortable with the procedure you will be undergoing. At Rochester Radiology, our greatest concern is you.
Computed Tomography procedures performed by our experienced staff:
- CT Imaging
- CT Virtual Colonoscopy
- CT Angiography
- Coronary CT Angiography
- CT Colonography
- CT Enterography
What is CT Imaging?
CT, or computed tomography, combines a special spinning x-ray scanner with sophisticated computers to produce multiple images of the inside of the body. Instead of creating a two-dimensional image as an x-ray does (like a photograph), a CT scan creates both 2-D and 3-D models of the imaged portion of the body, which can then be looked at in various ways.
Newer state-of-the-art CT scanners, such as the ones used in our facility, are so sophisticated that they can capture incredible detail in milliseconds, allowing the ability to recreate a beating heart image or a 3-D model of the colon. Our state-of-the-art software now allows us to use less radiation than other typical scanners while performing these exams.
Why is this exam done?
CT scans are done for a much higher level of detail and can be used to image almost any part of the body. They are performed fairly quickly (ranging from 10 seconds for a head CT to a few minutes for more advanced body scans).
What will happen during the exam?
One of our highly skilled technologist will help position you on the CT examination table, which is an open ring around the table (unlike an MRI). The table will move through the scanner to determine the correct starting position for the exam. The table will then move slowly through the machine as the CT scan is performed. (You may be asked to hold your breath during the exam.)
You may have an IV so as to administer IV contrast, which greatly enhances the images obtained. While you will be alone in the exam room during the actual scan, you will be able to see and hear the technologist at all times.
What are the risks and benefits?
Excessive exposure to radiation can be harmful, but the exposure during a CT scan is minimal and the benefits of an accurate diagnosis far outweigh the risk. Moreover, our state-of-the-art software now allows us to use less radiation than other typicals scanners while performing these exams.It is important to inform your doctor of any recent illnesses or medical conditions as some conditions may increase the risk of an adverse effect.
Women should always inform their physician and the technologist if they are pregnant or may be pregnant. Nursing mothers should wait 24 hours after receiving contrast before resuming breast-feeding. Allergic reaction to contrast (mild or severe) is also a rare but possible risk. Our team is well-prepared to deal with such reactions should the need arise.
How should I prepare for my test?
Do not eat or drink for 2 hours prior to the exam. You will need to bring your prescription. When you arrive, you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire in order to confirm that all necessary precautions have been taken.
Please inform the technologist if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant, if you have kidney disease or are diabetic, or if you are allergic to the IV contrast.
Take all of your prescribed medications as scheduled unless otherwise instructed. You may be asked to drink a liquid that allows us to obtain better imaging of your GI system.
Any special instructions for after my test?
After a CT exam, you can return to your normal activities.
CT Virtual Colonoscopy
What is CT Virtual Colonoscopy?
CT Virtual Colonoscopy is a safe, non-invasive procedure to identify growths (polyps) in the colon. Polyps have been shown to be the precursor of many cancers in the colon and rectum (colorectal cancer), and the goal of CT Virtual Colonoscopy is to find these potentially dangerous polyps before they can cause a serious problem.
CT Virtual Colonoscopy is an alternative to conventional colonoscopy, which requires the introduction of a long tube into the rectum and is then advanced through the entire colon. Unlike optical colonoscopy, virtual colonoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure and requires no sedation. While conventional colonoscopy takes two or more hours to perform, virtual colonoscopy can be completed within a half-hour and is a far more comfortable procedure.
Who should have a CT Virtual Colonoscopy?
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. According to guidelines endorsed by the American Cancer Society and other national groups, screening for colorectal cancer utilizing a technique that examines the entire colon is recommended for individuals beginning at age 50. Screening is recommended beginning at age 40 for individuals at high risk for colon cancer, including those with:
- Personal or family history of colon cancer
- Personal history of ovarian, endometrial or breast cancer
- History of chronic ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
Potential reasons for having a CT Colonography exam are an incomplete optical colonoscopy, low-to-average risk patients who prefer not to have a colonoscopy, and frail patients and others who are unable to tolerate a colonoscopy.
How do I prepare and what can I expect before, during and after my CT Virtual Colonoscopy?
In order to obtain the best images, bowel preparation is required. The preparation is similar to that required for conventional colonoscopy.
In addition, it is necessary to distend the colon for the best images. After you enter the examination room and are placed on the CT examination table, the nurse or technologist will insert a small plastic tip into the rectum. Air is slowly pumped through the tube to inflate the colon.
Two scans are performed, one while lying on your back, the other while lying on your stomach. The actual time of each scan is 20 seconds. There is a three-minute pause between the two scans to allow the computer to process the many images acquired. You will be asked to hold your breath for up to 20 seconds. You should remain as still as possible to produce the clearest images. After the second scan, your examination is complete. Total examination time, from the moment you enter the scan room until completion, is approximately 15 minutes.