|CT (Computerized Tomograghy)|
A CT (Computerized Tomograghy) is also known as a CAT scan. Alliance Urology Specialists utlizes a GE lightspeed QX1 Multi-Slice Scanner. The scanner provides detailed cross sectional views of the body. The speed of multi-slice scanner allows the images to be obtained in minutes.
The CT scanner is a large square machine with an opening in the middle (like a doughnut). The patient lies on the table which slowly moves through the opening. The area around the patient is open and as the table moves, the x-ray tube (beam) spins around sending a thin x-ray beam through the body. By using a thin low dose x-ray beam, radiation exposure is minimized.
The CT procedure is painless and is explained by the technologist. Your insurance company may require precertification before a scan is obtained. This is performed in our office prior to the scan. Instructions are given throughout the entire exam. Once the study is completed the images are stored and reviewed by the Urologist and a report will be submitted by a board certified Radiologist.
Your referring physician should be informed if you think you may be pregnant. Depending on the study, patients may be required to drink an oral contrast. Oral contrast would be consumed 2 hours prior to the appointment time and one additional cup just prior to scanning. The purpose of oral contrast is to outline the stomach and bowel in order to get clearer images of organs. Certain studies require IV contrast. Non-ionic contrast is always used. IV contrast is injected through a catheter placed in the vein to allow the veins to bwe seen more clearly. This helps to enhance the organs and show any abnormalities on the scan.
Many abdominal and urinary diseases require a CT for proper diagnosis including: kidney stones, infections, trauma to internal organs and tumors.
With kidney stone patients, the scan is very important because certain stones are only visualized on CT images which are often missed on traditional x-rays.
Urinary Tract Abnormalities
CT scans are useful in the evaluation of kidney, ureteral, and bladder abnormalities that could be causing problems such as pain and hematuria (blood in the urine).
Diagnosing and staging cancer for treatment and follow up is often performed with the help of a CT scan.