ROCK SPRINGS — Why is it important that your next X-ray is done on a 64-slice CT scanner?
The more slices, the more detail your doctor has to work with. Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County recently replaced its 13-year-old 64-slice CT scanner – it remains the only 64-slice CT in the region.
CT, or CAT scans, are special X-ray tests which produce a cross-sectional image of the body using X-rays and a computer, said Tracie Soller, MHSC Medical Imaging Director.
“A 64-slice means exactly what it sounds like,” Soller said. “Think of a slice of bread – the CT machine divides the body up into ‘slices’ and takes pictures of those slices, which are then reconstructed using the computer.”
A 64-slice CT scanner combines a series of X-ray views taken from many different angles, and then uses a computer to reconstruct the “slices” to produce actual pictures, Soller explained.
“These slices can be as thin as one-half millimeter,” she said. “So, a 64-slice offers more image detail than scanners of a lower slice number; meaning the doctor gets the best information when making a diagnosis.”
CT scanning is the type of diagnostic imaging recommended when soft tissue – such as internal organs – must be evaluated. The 64-slice CT scan has the ability to give the physician a better view of the size, shape and position of soft tissue structures than what’s available via regular X-rays. The 64-slice CT scan also helps identify tumors and cysts, as well as diseases of the liver, lungs, coronary arteries and other organs.
Sweetwater Memorial’s Medical Imaging Department has seven technologists trained to operate the CT equipment, which is used around the clock. MHSC also has the area’s only large-bore MRI and PET/CT Scanner, and has the area’s only accredited ultrasound department.
For more information, call the MHSC Medical Imaging Department at 307-352-8426.