What is a CT Scan?
A CT scan is a specialised diagnostic imaging machine that uses rows of rotating X-Ray tubes to create a highly detailed 3 dimensional image of your body.
At Panorama Radiology Specialists, our state-of-the-art 640 slice CT scanner is industry-leading technology, acquiring ultra-low radiation dose images in as little as 0.27 seconds (faster than the blink of a human eye at 0.3 seconds), and using exceptionally low radiation doses which for some examinations may be lower than a comparative X-ray. Our CT machine uses Artificial Intelligence image enhancement and deep learning technology to enhance the image quality of bone, soft tissues and blood vessels providing exquisite anatomical detail which allows us to diagnose subtle changes that may not be readily evident on conventional CT machines.
CT scans in our Gold Coast clinic are performed by highly trained imaging technologists who tailor the study to provide optimal image detail, whilst ensuring the radiation dose is kept to an absolute minimum. The scans are supervised and reported by our highly experienced specialist radiologists, who have subspecialist training and many years of clinical experience. The radiologist may discuss your case with your referring doctor to ensure the most appropriate test and techniques are performed for your clinical situation.
Radiation Dose in CT
CT scans, like all medical imaging tests, are only performed when the benefit of undergoing the scan significantly outweighs any small theoretical risks associated with the tiny radiation dose used, and any contrast dye which might be used for the scan.
We are all constantly exposed to normal natural low level background radiation (around 2.7 mSv pa), which is increased with certain activities such as international air travel due to atmospheric radiation at high altitudes. A flight from Sydney to London for example causes a radiation exposure of around 0.3mSv.
Panorama Radiology Specialists are committed to minimising radiation doses used for CT, X-Ray and EOS imaging studies through new and emerging technologies. Our advanced low-dose CT scanner uses radiation doses up to 80% lower than conventional CT machines.*
What are the risks of having a CT Scan?
The small dose of radiation from a CT scan has not been shown to cause harm to unborn babies. However CT is only used with caution in pregnancy when the clinical benefit significantly outweighs any small theoretical risk.
Please advise our staff if you are pregnant or think you might be.
CT Contrast Dye
Often CT scans require the use of contrast dye. The decision to use contrast is generally made by the specialist radiologist prior to scanning. CT contrast is an iodine based dye that highlights blood vessels, organs and some pathological processes, and improves the diagnostic accuracy of certain CT tests. CT contrast dyes are very safe and have been widely used for many decades. Modern contrast agents have a very tiny risk of allergy, however in some cases contrast may be withheld or given with prednisone cover to minimise any allergic risks.
What Happens During My CT Appointment?
You will be asked to complete a questionnaire which includes information about your health, any allergies and medical history. Our staff may ask you to change into a gown for your scan. Some scans require insertion of an IV line for contrast dye if appropriate. The IV line will be removed prior to leaving. Most CT examinations take around 5-10 minutes in total, although the actual scan time is typically under 1 second.
Please let our staff know immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms following your scan.
PRS has a bulk billing policy for all Medicare-eligible CT Scan referrals.
Our specialist Gold Coast based radiologist doctors will analyse your images following your appointment, and your results and CT images will be promptly electronically delivered to your referrer, mostly on the same day. Urgent results are typically telephoned through to your referrer.
You will need to return to see your referrer to discuss your results and any further management.
Our radiologists are always happy to discuss the scan findings with your referrer, and suggest any further tests or imaging guided procedures that may be appropriate in further management.