Low-Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT)

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Most people go see a doctor when they get hurt or injured to find out what is wrong and how to treat it. Sometimes the doctor can diagnose the issue through the symptoms alone but in many cases, they will use diagnostic imaging to confirm or investigate further.

There are different types of diagnostic imaging tests but one of the most effective imaging procedures that help doctors investigate possible causes for symptoms is a CT scan.

Historically, CT scans were reserved for only select circumstances due to the high dose of radiation emitted but advancements in technology have delivered a newer low-radiation CT scan. This Low-Dose CT scan (LDCT) technology splits the full X-ray beam into smaller thinner beams that can deliver high-quality image results but at a much-reduced radiation dose.

What Is A Low-Dose CT Scan?

A CT scan or computed tomography scan is a noninvasive test used for medical purposes that uses a combination of specialized X-ray equipment that works with a computer to display images of the inside of the body. A low-dose CT scan works the same way but the newer technology performs the same task without the use of as much radiation exposure.

A low-dose CT scan at IBI
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How Is A Low-Dose CT Scan Performed?

Sometimes, a contrast material (a special dye) is used to highlight the areas in question which will show up white on the resulting images. This special contrast material can be administered by IV or by mouth and can help doctors examine details such as blood vessels, intestines, etc.

A medical technician positions the patient on a table that is attached to the CT machine on their back, side, or stomach depending on the area that is to be examined. Then the table will move slowly through the CT machine as the scan is performed. During the scan, X-ray beams are sent throughout the body and form pictures of bones and soft tissue areas providing detailed pictures that provide insight to doctors for diagnosis purposes. The radiologist can move these images around to view different areas and the images can also be printed.

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What Can A CT Scan Diagnose?

CT Scans are used to diagnose injuries after an accident or to investigate issues with the lungs or chest, tumors, ovarian cysts, etc. Much like women are screened for breast cancer, low-dose CT scans can also be used to screen for early detection of problems such as lung or colon cancer and more.

Early detection of lung cancer using a low-dose CT scan can lower mortality rates for high-risk patients and it is recommended that if you smoke or have smoked and are 50+ you should be screened.

Low-dose CT scan can visualize

Parts of the body:

  • Abdomen
  • Pelvis
  • Chest
  • Extremities

Organs:

  • Pancreas
  • Liver
  • Intestines
  • Kidneys
  • Bladder
  • Sinuses
  • Heart
  • Lungs
  • Adrenal glands
  • Blood vessels
  • Spinal cord
  • Brain, etc

Why Might I Need A CT Scan?

A low-dose CT scan is a helpful diagnostic tool to find the root cause of unexplained or chronic pain. A CT scan can check for blood vessel issues and blockages that can cause serious and even life-threatening events. You might consider a CT scan for early detection of lung cancer, colon cancer, headaches, chest pain, abdominal or pelvic pain, chronic hip pain, and more.

How Much Does A Low-Dose CT Scan Cost?

The cost of the CT scan will vary by patient, the type of screening done, and whether contrast is used. Most self-pay LDCT scans start at around $350 without contrast and $400 with contrast at IBI Healthcare Institute.

Contact IBI Healthcare today to learn more about low-dose CT scans and this painless diagnostic process can help you. Set up an in-person appointment or an online consultation today!

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