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Elliot Health System is a non-profit organization serving your healthcare needs since 1890.
Diagnostic Imaging

Diagnostic Imaging

Central Scheduling Phone: 603-663-2180

CT Scan (Computed Tomography)

ACR-Designated Lung Cancer Screening Center ACR CT Accredited Facility

Accredited by the American College of Radiology and Designated as a Lung Cancer Screening Center.

CTscan 1A computerized tomography (CT) scan combines a series of X-ray images taken from different angles around your body and uses computer processing to create cross-sectional images (slices) of the bones, blood vessels and soft tissues inside your body. CT scan images provide more-detailed information than plain X-rays do.

A CT scan has many uses, but it's particularly well-suited to quickly examine people who may have internal injuries from car accidents or other types of trauma. A CT scan can be used to visualize nearly all parts of the body and is used to diagnose disease or injury as well as to plan medical, surgical or radiation treatment.

CT scanners are shaped like a large doughnut standing on its side. You lie on a narrow, motorized table that slides through the opening into a tunnel. Straps and pillows may be used to help you stay in position. During a head scan, the table may be fitted with a special cradle that holds your head still.

While the table moves you into the scanner, detectors and the X-ray tube rotate around you. Each rotation yields several images of thin slices of your body. You may hear buzzing and whirring noises.

A technologist in a separate room can see and hear you. You will be able to communicate with the technologist via intercom. The technologist may ask you to hold your breath at certain points to avoid blurring the images.

Radiation Exposure

Are CT scans safe?
CT scans have many benefits that outweigh any small potential risk. Protocols are designed to use the lowest dose of radiation possible to obtain the needed medical information. Also, newer, faster machines like the ones at the Elliot require less radiation than was previously used. Talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of your CT scan.

Why was I not given a lead apron?
We have stopped using lead shielding for patients for radiation-based imaging exams, including CT scans. This change is based on the best scientific evidence available and supported by multiple national medical organizations, including the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) and the American College of Radiology (ACR).

We are committed to continually evaluating our practices and updating our technology in order to provide you with safe care. We encourage you to discuss additional questions or concerns with your provider or radiologist.

Learn more about the discontinuation of lead shielding