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Low Dose Radiation CT Scan

Low dose CT ScannerImaging Services at St. Francis Medical Center offers Low-Dose CT Scans which cut patients' radiation exposure by up to 40 percent compared to traditional scanners. We are proud to be the first imaging center in southern Colorado to bring you this technology.

Our Imaging and Radiology Center uses the GE Healthcare LightSpeed VCT 64 slice scanner which enables us to drastically reduce radiation levels while maintaining quality images. The system employs ASiR (Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction), a new and advanced image reconstruction technique that dramatically reduces radiation dose to patients. This radiation reduction is especially beneficial to children, women of child-bearing age and patients who may need multiple imaging tests, such as cancer patients.

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Whether you have been referred by your doctor for your first CT scan, or are returning for a follow-up scan, you can be assured that our systems will provide your physician with the most detailed images possible, and that you will be receiving the lowest radiation exposure necessary for your particular exam*. Our CT Technologists are registered through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologist (ARRT) which ensures that you will have the highest quality exam possible.

If you or your child needs a CT scan, ask your doctor about low-radiation CT scan systems.

*Exposure may vary due to patient size and scanning protocol.

St. Francis Medical Center is Accredited in Computed Tomography by the American College of Radiology. When you choose an ACR-accredited facility, you know that:

  • Your hospital, clinic or health center has voluntarily gone through a rigorous review process to be sure it meets nationally-accepted standards
  • The personnel are well qualified, through education and certification, to perform and interpret your medical images
  • The equipment is appropriate for the test or treatment you will receive, and the facility meets or exceeds quality assurance and safety guidelines





What is Computed Tomography?
CT stands for Computed Tomography (sometimes referred to as a CAT scan).  A CT scan produces hundreds of cross-sectional pictures of the body, using x-rays and advanced computer processing.  It is roughly analogous to looking at a loaf of bread by picking up each slice and looking at it individually.  Some examinations require an injection of iodinated contrast material to be given during the scan, while others can be performed without an injection.  If it is anticipated that an exam should be performed with an injection of contrast material, the patient may be given pre-medication to reduce the possibility of a reaction to the contrast material.  If you have allergies, diabetes or may be pregnant, be sure to inform your physician and the technologist prior to the exam.

How do I prepare for a CT? 
Some exams do not require any contrast agents; there is no prep for these exams.

Your doctor may order your exam with contrast.  There are two different types of contrast: oral (barium) and IV (intravenous).  You may require one or both types of contrast, depending on the exam.  Patient Prep for exams requiring contrast is as follows: Nothing to eat or drink for 2 hours prior to examination.  You will be allowed to take your medications (with a small amount of water) as you normally do the day of your procedure.

The oral contrast is barium sulfate. This is used to help the Radiologist see your digestive tract, starting from your esophagus all the way through your colon. You will need to drink this contrast prior to your examination. You should pick up the barium in our radiology department the day before your procedure. Our staff will give you directions for drinking the barium.

The IV contrast is iodinated contrast that will be injected through an IV that will be started prior to your exam. This contrast is sometimes referred to as iodine or x-ray dye. This contrast will highlight your blood vessels and organs such as your liver, pancreas, kidneys, spleen, etc.

It will help expedite your exam if you can avoid wearing clothing with metal or metal jewelry such as necklaces and underwire bras etc. We have gowns available and will provide you a place to keep your belongings while you have your exam.

The technologist will give you discharge instructions following your examination

Exam results are typically available to your physician within 1 business day.

All exams listed below require paperwork to be filled out, so we can make sure the medications we are going to give you will not interact with your current medications or cause a complication related to your past medical history.  Please click on the following link to print and complete forms #1 and #2, and bring them with you to your appointment.  www.penrosestfrancis.org/radforms.

What types of CT do you perform?
We perform the following CT scans.  For more information, click on the group of exams.

CT Head
CT Neck
CT Chest
CT Abdomen/Pelvis
CT Spine
CTA Exams: CT Angiography
Cardiac CT or CCTA

To schedule a CT at St. Francis Medical Center Imaging Services, call Scheduling Services at 719-776-8010.





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