CT Scans and Radiation Exposure
By Irfan Ahmad, MD
You may have seen information online or in the news about CT scans and the amount of radiation that a person is exposed to when they have a CT scan. The fact is, CT scans are very useful tools to help diagnose and detect illness and injury, but they do expose the body to radiation that could potentially be harmful. The good news is, machines offering lower-dose radiation exposure are right here, close to home.
Like X-ray, CT scans produce pictures of the inside of the body, but unlike X-ray, CT offers much more detail of the body’s soft tissues, such as blood vessels and organs. For that reason, the amount of radiation involved is higher than plain X-ray. Radiation exposure does carry some risk, so physicians use the lowest dose of radiation possible to obtain the necessary pictures. The CT equipment at IU Health La Porte and Starke Hospitals, and LifePlex in Plymouth, makes that possible.
At IU Health Starke Hospital, for example, the new CT scan technology is designed to reduce radiation dose by up to 82 percent in a typical scan. A feature called Smart Dose technology helps the doctor monitor, measure and manage the radiation dose and select the lowest dose possible to obtain the highest-quality image possible – even for advanced procedures.
It’s important to have your CT exam at a facility that is accredited by the American College of Radiology. (IU Health La Porte and Starke Hospitals, and LifePlex, are accredited). This means that the facility has voluntarily completed a rigorous review of imaging processes to be sure they meet nationally-accepted standards, and that the staff are qualified and certified to perform and interpret diagnostic images. The facility also meets or exceeds quality assurance and safety guidelines.
For more information or to schedule your CT at IU Health La Porte or Starke Hospitals, or LifePlex in Plymouth, call 844-865-7459.