What is a CT Scan or CAT Scan?

A CT scan uses a technique that combines X-rays to create a cross-sectional view of your body. You may hear a CT Scan called a CAT Scan.

What Does CT Stand For?

CT ScanCT stands for “computed tomography.” Tomography comes from the Greek word tomos meaning “slice.” Tomography refers to any form of imaging displaying a cross-section through the body or object using either X-ray or other technologies. Computed tomography is combining the X-ray features with computer technology in order to create highly detailed images or slices that physicians use to diagnose and treat patients.

How Do CT Scans Work?

CT scans are extremely beneficial because they allow medical professionals to see into the interior of the body without making incisions. This technology was not available 40 years ago which lead to a lot of invasive, exploratory procedures that may or may not have yielded conclusive results.

CT scans use the power of X-rays and computer software in order to create medical images. The equipment looks like a large circular chamber with a bed inside. You’ll lie down and are then slowly moved inside the circular chamber or “gantry.” The that you are lying on will move you in and out of the gantry. The interior of the chamber is equipped with video and microphone so CT technicians and doctors can still hear and see you.

CT scans do not take too much time, at most 30-45 minutes. It is very important for patients to remain as still as possible in order to produce the clearest images. Inside the CT’s opening, on one side there is an X-ray tube that emits X-rays and on the other side of the circle is a large detector. As the machine makes an entire rotation,  X-rays move through the body and are caught by the detector. The detector captures the X-rays as one “slice” or angle and transfers them to computer software that translates the image.

What are CT scans used for?

What a CT scan searching for in the body is dependent on what the patient needs. Doctors use CTs for a number of reasons: broken bones, cardiovascular problems, blood clots, bleeding, cancer detection and much more. At Doctors Imaging in Metairie, our CT machine ensures a thorough examination for patients and accurate diagnosis for doctors.

If you have more questions about what a CT scan is, what to do to prepare for your CT or what to expect, you can visit our CT Services Page. If you would like to schedule a CT appointment you can do so through our Request an Appointment page or you can call our offices at 504-883-8111 Monday through Friday 8:00am until 5:00pm.

Learn More About CT Scans and CAT Scans

Medical Options That Can Help You Quit Smoking


Smoking is one of the worst vices to have. Thankfully, over the past 50 years, research and education about the dangers of smoking have become widespread. Still, knowledge of the danger is only part of the battle. For current smokers, it’s never too late to quit and there are several medical options that can support your efforts to quit.

Nicotine Patches and Gum Can Ease Your Cravings

Nicotine is the highly addictive chemical additive in cigarettes that keeps you coming back for more. In some ways, nicotine is as deadly as the dangerous carcinogens found in cigarettes. Patches and gum provide just enough nicotine to avoid immediately harm you. But be careful: You can actually overdose on nicotine. While using these products, you may still be addicted to nicotine. Nicotine gum has proven effective at stopping people in the beginning of their transition out of smoking cigarettes. In the beginning, you are taking in about the same amount of nicotine. And then you slowly decrease your levels in an effort to wean yourself off the habit of smoking. For many smokers, one of the hardest parts of quitting is losing that oral habit, so chewing gum can be helpful in keeping that bit of routine. However, be careful not to give in to the cravings when you are using nicotine replacement products. The overload of nicotine to your system can have harmful side effects.

Prescriptions Can Assist With Nicotine Withdrawal


Some smokers have found relief from the addiction through nicotine replacement therapy found with certain prescription medicines. The two major brands of anti-smoking medications are Zyban and Chantix. Zyban contains the active ingredient Bupropion and helps to lessen the urge to smoke. Chantix contains Varenicline which helps with nicotine withdrawal. If a user decides to smoke again, the medicine in Chantix blocks the nicotine from cigarettes. These medicines have serious side effects such as nausea, sleep disturbance, constipation, flatulence, and vomiting as well as headaches, abnormal dreams, and taste disturbance as well as some psychological problems.

Electronic Cigarettes and Vaping Products Are Unproven for Helping You Quit Nicotine


The sale of electronic cigarettes or e-cigs has exploded in the last 3-5 years. The products allow users to enjoy the sensation of smoking without tobacco. Early e-cigarettes were filled with a solution of propylene glycol, glycerin, nicotine, and flavorings which are superheated to a breathable vapor. Like the patch and gum, the amount of nicotine in the e-cig solution is supposed to decrease your smoking until you don’t have the urge anymore. Electronic cigarettes have come under fire because of the health risks of the chemicals in the solutions. Additionally, some critics say that the product simply acts as a stall before actually quitting.

In September 2019, researchers studied 53 lung disease cases linked to vaping. The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine: 91% of the patients had abnormal chest x-rays. Forty-eight of the 53 patients underwent CT imaging, and the CT findings were abnormal 100% of the time. The authors offered this guidance:

“Since no single product or substance has been associated with the illness, persons should consider not using e-cigarettes while this investigation is ongoing, especially those purchased from sources other than authorized retailers (e.g., e-cigarette products with (tetrahydrocannabinol) THC) and those modified in a manner not intended by the manufacturer.”

“Adult smokers who are attempting to quit should consult with their health care provider and use proven treatments. Irrespective of these findings, e-cigarettes should never be used by youths, young adults, pregnant women, and adults who do not currently use tobacco products.”

On Sept 9, 2019, the FDA warned Juul Labs that it had illegally marketed its vaping products as a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes without approval from the Food and Drug Administration, the agency said. In a warning letter to the e-cigarette company, the FDA raised concerns over Juul’s outreach efforts, including testimony that a representative told high school students that Juul was “totally safe,” The New York Times reports. The letter comes amid the public health crisis over e-cigarettes, with more than 400 cases of potentially vaping-related illness reported in the U.S.

Never buy electronic cigarettes and related products from unauthorized sellers because of the risk that vaping ingredients can trigger fatal lung disease in otherwise healthy people.

Find Support From Your Doctor, Peers and Others

If you are interested in using medical smoking cessation products, speak to your doctor about your quitting solutions before you start. Weaning yourself off of any addiction is extremely difficult. That’s why if you are starting this journey, you should definitely find support. Reach out to an online community and start avoiding same activities that you may associate with smoking. The benefits of quitting smoking, no matter when, can be felt immediately. Former smokers report better moods, better digestion, better taste, better sleep patterns and not to mention the long-term health benefits.

The Next Step: Lung Cancer Screenings

By using low-dose CT scans as lung cancer screenings, radiologists are able to determine the presence of lung cancer better than ever before. Because of our technologically advanced low-dose CT technology, our radiologists’ experience, and highly trained staff, patients of Doctors Imaging can be assured that their lung cancer screening is thorough. Doctors Imaging often sees the damage of smoking on the body and encourages you to enjoy the benefits of quitting smoking as soon as possible. We recommend that if you are over 50 and used to or still smoke cigarettes or tobacco, you should consider a lung screening. The earlier lung cancer is detected and treatment has begun, the higher your chances are of survival.

If you would like to schedule a lung cancer screening CT or you have questions about lung cancer in Louisiana or lung cancer symptoms you can call us at 504-883-8111. You can also Book an Appointment online.

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What is the difference between a CT and a PET-CT scan?


CT and PET-CT scans are very common procedures that doctors administer every day to help localize their examination and to provide the most thorough diagnosis. Both procedures contain varying, minimal risks but can provide huge benefits for patients that need a more in-depth examination and specialized treatment.

What is a CT scan?

A CT scan or a Computed Tomography scan is a medical procedure that uses x-ray radiation and fascinating computer technology to create cross-sectional images of the body’s organs and tissues. CT scans can also be called CAT or Computed Axial Tomography. CT scans take helical images of the examined part of the body which produces better 3-dimensional imaging. The better the image, the better the diagnosis your doctor can make. CT scans are particularly useful in the examination of tissues, cancer staging, and determining vascular disease.

What is a PET-CT scan?

A PET-CT scan or Positron Emission Tomography is a medical procedure similar to a CT scan but PET-CT scans are commonly used in determining the difference between healthy and diseased tissue. Using nuclear medicine these exams allow particular focus on oncological symptoms in the brain and heart as well as any vascular or tissue abnormalities.

What are the procedures like?

The biggest difference between a CT and a PET-CT scan is the machinations of the procedure. There are varying states of discomfort between both procedures, but both are relatively painless and easy to complete for any patient.

A CT machine looks like a large tire with the patient placed inside the “hole.” The patient is placed on the examination table and will be administered contrast material through the mouth or intravenously. The feet will be the first to enter into the machine and the body will be slowly moved into the chamber. The procedure lasts approximately 10-30 minutes. Patients typically report that they hear a slight whirring sound which is the machine rotating around them gathering imaging. The doctor will able to speak to you and you will be able to respond.

A PET-CT scan is similar to a CT scan in some ways but the biggest difference between the two is the instructions prior to the exam. Most doctors and facilities will request that a patient not eat at least 4 hours prior to the scan and to drink lots of water. The exam also lasts slightly longer at about 30-45 minutes. Contrast material is commonly used as well and will either be  administered through an IV or by inhalation. If the PET-CT scan is being administered because of possible heart disease, the patient will often be asked to perform a stress test. The body will be examined at rest and during exercise in efforts to determine any cardiovascular problems. You may also hear a buzzing or clicking sound during this procedure.

Which procedure is more painful?

Both procedures have a minimal amount of pain and discomfort. The most common complaint is concerning the IV injection site or a claustrophobic feeling. But the contrast material is necessary for properly determining the condition of tissues and veins as well as highlighting possible cancerous cells. Furthermore, the body moves through the machine. It only covers the area that will be examined — it does not encapsulate the entire body.

Are there any risks?

Doctors and imaging facilities have been able to minimize the risks surrounding these procedures to practically nothing. Both a CT and PET-CT scan use small amounts of radiation to image the examined area. If you are pregnant or could possibly be pregnant, you should let your doctor know. There is no medical evidence that the amount of radiation is dangerous for an unborn child. But if there is another safer method to examine, your doctor can help you understand your options. Also if you have any implanted devices, artificial body parts or features such as hearing aids or dentures, talk to your doctor about what needs to removed for the procedure.

Ready to make your appointment? You can use our request an appointment form online or just call us at 504-883-8111.

The History of Medical Imaging

The first X-RayMedical imaging is a form of technology that has revolutionized the medical field in the past century.  With these new innovations, doctors were able to elevate the standard of practice and the experience of the patient. Now, areas of pain or trouble can be non-invasively examined and treatment can begin without the patient even needing to go under. But when did the innovation of medical imaging begin?

Read below to take a trip down memory lane and find out how the medical field and the technology industry have been working together to build a better, healthier world.

Röntgen performs X-Ray in 1895

Professor Wilhelm Röntgen accidentally discovers the ability to look through the skin and see the bones of the body while performing experiments on another project. While working with a cathode ray generator, he noticed an image that was left when the cathode rays came into contact with the vacuum tube. He performed the first X-ray on his wife’s hand and even gave the technology the name we use today, calling this discovery “X” rays because they were unsure what exactly they were. This invention was eventually standardized by William Coolidge and his X-ray known as the “Coolidge tube” is what all modern X-ray machines are based from.  The first X-rays required at least 11 minutes of exposure to produce a quality image. Now X-rays take only a few seconds and they use about 2% of the radiation amount seen in the early 20th century machines.

Scientists Use Ultrasounds in the 1960s

The basics of sonar had been discovered and utilized during World War II as a form of maritime warfare. In the early 1960s, scientists discovered that sending sound waves into the body would bounce off the internal structures and then returned to the ultrasound machine to be reformatted into images for doctors to see. This allowed doctors to non-invasively search for tumors and other growths.

Damadian Discovers MRI in 1970

Dr. Raymond Damadian discovers that different animal tissues emit different signals, as well as that cancerous tissues, take much longer to return the signal sent through them. This is the basis for magnetic resonance imaging. In 1977, Dr. Damadian created the first full-body MRI machine which he named the “Indomitable.”

Hounsfield Invents CT Scans in 1972

The 1970s showed the first instance of computer technology mixing into the medical field with Sir Godfrey Hounsfield’s invention of the CT machine. He theorizes that you could see into an object if you took X-rays from different angles of the object through a machine that would appear as “slices” which could then be put together to form an image. With his idea, he formed the first “axial tomography” machine which we now know as the CT machine. In 1979, he received the Nobel Prize in Medicine and was later knighted by the British Royal Family.

Since then, all of these machines have entered into the digital age and are now updated with the latest technology available. This means that there is less potential risk for patients as well as a greater ability to diagnose and treat.

Looking for medical imaging in Louisiana? At Doctors Imaging, we’re Radiologists concerned with patient care. Meet our Radiologists or request your next medical impaging appointment online.

A Look at Doctors Imaging’s Medical Equipment

At Doctors Imaging, we like to provide the best service, staff, and equipment along with the best price for our patients. We believe that everyone should have access to these machines so that they can be confident in their treatment plans and knowledgeable about their health conditions.

We have a 3T MRI and we offer an open MRI for the patients that feel uncomfortable or claustrophobic in the traditional MRI. A 3T MRI is the most powerful MRI machine for every part of the body and we are the region’s first freestanding center to offer its capabilities. There are other facilities and hospitals that use the 1.5T MRIs, but at Doctors Imaging, we want the most powerful equipment and since insurance companies usually charge the same price no matter what the equipment is, you can have the best equipment and images for a lower price than you would pay at a hospital.

In addition to our MRI machines, we also offer the low-dose CT machine, a powerful CT machine with the lowest radiation settings possible. We use the Toshiba Lightning Aquillon CT scanner with Adaptive Iterative Dose Reduction 3D software. With this technology, multiple “slices” or pictures of the examined area can be provided to doctors allowing them to see further and deeper into the body so they can give a thorough diagnosis and treatment plan. This machine allows for up to 75% reduction rate in radiation as opposed to many other CT machines on the market. We understand that radiation exposure is a concern for many of our patients which is why we dedicate ourselves to providing the best and safest care possible.

At Doctors Imaging, we also provide digital X-rays so there is less radiation exposure from this as opposed to the traditional X-ray machines. We also offer 3D ultrasounds so that expectant mothers, as well as medical patients, can have the most in-depth and detailed images of their babies and bodies available to them.

We want people to know that if you need a medical imaging procedure, you are not required to go to a hospital. Instead, you can come to Doctors Imaging in Metairie and have an immediate appointment, almost no waiting time, fast results and a great affordable price.

Visit our Make an Appointment page or call 504-883-8111 for the best days and times for your imaging procedure.  

Can I Have an MRI During Pregnancy?

When we become injured or sick, it can be troubling, but with support and medicine, we can treat ourselves and our symptoms. However, when a woman is pregnant and becomes sick or injured, there are more lives than hers to consider during treatment. There are lists of activities and products that pregnant woman have to avoid but should medical imaging be one of these? We are going to discuss the precautions and protections in place to help keep both mommy and baby healthy.

The first thing that probably comes to mind when considering the danger of medical imaging while pregnant is radioactive substances and procedures that utilize this kind of medicine. And when we think of radioactive medical procedures, the first that come to mind are X-rays, CTs, and PET-CT scans. All of these procedures have a radioactive element. But before expectant mothers become worried, they should know that there are safety guidelines for their benefit.

Expectant mothers should not be barred from accessing potentially life-saving imaging procedures. As such, medical imaging equipment manufacturers and researchers work hard to give the best quality equipment along with the safest for all potential patients. Being the oldest form of medical imaging technology, X-rays have been used by pregnant women since their invention. Having your X-rays performed at a facility like Doctors Imaging means that your doctor and our radiologists will seek alternatives to radiation and, if unavoidable, will work to reduce the dosage of radiation exposure. As with all medical procedures, if you think that you might be pregnant, be sure to let your doctor or the radiology technician know.

At Doctors Imaging, the procedures that seem to cause mothers the most worry are CT scans and MRIs. Please know that CT scans use X-rays combined with computer technology in order to compose images for medical use. Pregnant women: Please talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of CT scans.

The other procedure we hear the most concern about from expectant mother is an MRI. Fortunately, we can often alleviate these concerns because MRIs are one of the safest procedures for pregnant women. Having an MRI during pregnancy is safe because MRIs, or magnetic resonance imaging, only use the magnetic mechanical components along with radio frequencies in order to map the interior of the body. There are absolutely no radioactive components for mothers to worry about and the detail that can be gleaned from MRIs during pregnancy is both valuable and necessary. At Doctors Imaging, our 3T MRI technology is the most powerful MRI in clinical use for every part of the body. For MRI patients with claustrophobia, we also have an open MRI machine this tends to be much less intimidating.

Finally, please know that we don’t recommend PET-CT scans for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers. PET (positron emission tensor imaging CT scans) use nuclear medicine in order to highlight differences between healthy and diseased tissue in the body and brain. This test utilizes a radioactive drug that is administered directly into the body. This drug can be harmful to the baby. Often, physicians will find an alternative diagnostic method in these cases.

We are committed to keeping both mom and baby as comfortable and healthy as possible at Doctors Imaging. If you have more questions about X-rays, CT scans or MRIs during pregnancy, please feel free to call our offices in Metairie at 504-883-8111, Monday through Friday.

What is better at Evaluating for Heart Disease and Stroke? MRI or CT?

With the constant advertisements about what is “heart healthy” or “preventative” it can be difficult to decipher what is actually beneficial to your health and what is just clever marketing. Heart disease and stroke are two of the leading causes of death in the United States. Everyone knows that a well-balanced diet and regular exercise are some of the best ways to keep your heart well and to offset the chance of developing a stroke, but what else can be done? If you have a history of heart disease or stroke in your family, or if you are high-risk for these conditions, a good way to determine your probability of developing these conditions is for you and your doctor to consider having medical imaging procedures performed regularly. The two most recommended for these conditions would be an MRI or CT scan. Read more to find out which of these procedures or others will provide the most warning if you are at risk for a heart attack or stroke.

MRI

MRIs or magnetic resonance imaging is a medical imaging procedure that uses a combination of magnets, radio waves and computer technology to create highly detailed images of the body’s internal organs. MRIs are particularly beneficial for the detection and diagnosis of cardio-vascular disease because of the ability of the machinery to see the difference between healthy and diseased tissue which can be symptomatic of heart disease or blood clot.

MRIs can be performed on both the brain and the heart. Images will be taken of the aorta, and surrounding blood vessels to determine the functionality and condition of these structures. These procedures are the easiest ways for your doctor to see if there are areas for concern. If there is an alarming image or if your doctor just wants to be thorough, he may recommend you have an echocardiogram or further cardiac testing.

CT Scan

CT scans are another extremely beneficial medical imaging test that doctors use to help determine the probability of heart attack, stroke and other conditions. CTs or computed tomography use computers and x-ray technology to produce cross-sectional images of the body. If you are concerned about the condition of your heart or the possibility of a stroke, having a CT scan performed is recommended because they can image bone, soft tissue and blood vessels all at once in order to determine the functionality of all of these elements together.

CTs can be performed on every part of the body but if the possibility of heart disease or stroke is worrying you, you can ask your doctor to order a screening Calcium Score test and if abnormal to consider a CT angiogram (CTA) or a standard angiogram. During a CTA, contrast material is injected into the body in order to highlight the functionality of the blood vessels and arteries in the chest. If there is a blockage in this area, the contrast will allow doctors to see the exact location so that imaging can be localized to that area. If your doctor is concerned about the possibility of stroke in the brain, they may order a perfusion CT, a new imaging technique that draws maps of the blood flow in the brain, the blood volume and the time blood takes to travel throughout the brain. Using these technologies, doctors are better equipped to find problem areas in the brain and access the risk of stroke.

Which Should I get then?

In conclusion, CT scans are not as proficient at seeing the details of soft tissue as MRIs are but MRIs and CT are some of the best imaging procedures that a patient can have if they are concerned about stroke or heart attack. Speak to your physician or radiologist about having these imaging tests performed to better understand the possible risks and results.

Looking for a CT scan or MRI near New Orleans, Louisiana? At Doctors Imaging, our radiologists are concerned with patient care. You can schedule your imaging exams online, or by calling 504-883-8111.

What do CT Results Look Like? What is my Doctor Looking For?

CT scans are a commonly performed medical imaging procedure because they generate incredibly useful information while providing just a low level of discomfort for the patient. CT, or computed tomography scans, are helpful due to their use of a combination of X-ray and computer technology to create the images that doctors and patients will examine together to find the best treatment options.

When doctors ask patients to undergo a CT scan, there could be a number of reasons why. CT scans are primarily used for looking at the different tissues of the body such as: lung, bone, soft tissue and blood vessels. Doctors will also order these scans when they need to examine the chest or body prior to surgery or after an injury. Other reasons to have this procedure would be for the diagnosing of cancer, skeletal malformations and vascular dysfunction.

Once you have had your CT scan performed, the results will be prepared for patient and doctor review. CT technology creates cross-sectional images of the internal structures meaning that the images will be layers or splices of the same location. To the unfamiliar patient, all of the images may look similar or unrecognizable. Doctors will walk the patient through the results and answer any questions they may have.

By having several layers of images of the same structure, doctors are able to observe the structure from different angles. This kind of imaging assists doctors by allowing them to see the size, shape, depth, location and degree of growth of the examined area. This will help doctors in their diagnosing capabilities and finding the best treatment options for the patient. The most up-to-date and thorough information is best for keeping you healthy and informed. Speak to your doctor today if you would like to schedule an appointment for a CT scan or if have further questions or concerns.

If you require a CT Scan in the Greater New Orleans or Metairie area, contact us at Doctors Imaging. We’re Radiologists concerned about patient care. You can either schedule your appointment via online form, or give us a call at 504-883-8111.

Doctors Imaging has recently introduced a new Lung Cancer Screening program using a 19-second low dose CT scan for only $99

What started as just one day of awareness nearly 20 years ago has turned into a month full of spreading news and important information about lung cancer to a global audience.  Lung Cancer awareness month is dedicated to educating people of the risks associated with the disease, ways to help prevent it, and to treat it.

Doctors and researchers are dedicated to decreasing the amount of deaths due to lung cancer through earlier detection and extensive screening. Lung Cancer is currently the leading cause of death among cancers, but with CT screening professionals think they can help through non-invasive tests.

The Lung Cancer Alliance is an organization that is devoted to helping advocate for those affected by the disease and spread awareness. Most people don’t know some of the shocking facts and figures ( about Lung Cancer. Here are five that we find the most astounding:

  1. A high percent of people diagnosed with Lung Cancer are current or former smokers

  2. It kills over 150,000 people a year—the second cause of death in the US next to heart disease

  3. Awareness is key because Lung Cancer research gets less government funding than Breast, Prostate, or Colon cancer

  4. Only 15 percent of cases are diagnosed early enough that the disease is still confined to the primary site because of lack of screening

  5. There is only a 15.9 five-year survival rate


The key to early detection and treatment is awareness, and so for Lung Cancer awareness month, we encourage you to share these facts and figures with your friends and families!

For further information about Lung Cancer Screening, call Doctors Imaging at  (504) 883-8111 or click onto

http://www.doctorsimaging.com

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The Art Behind a CT Scan

Who know peering into the human body could be so mesmerizing? Dr. Kai-hung Fung is not only a Hong Kong-based radiologist, but he is also known as an artist. While developing 3-D images that allow surgeons to visualize complex anatomies before surgery, Dr. Fung discovered that CT scans are not just black and white.

Using CT scans that show slices of organs at a different depth, Dr. Fung was able to stack the slices into a single image and develop a method to indicate the changes in depth with contour line that resemble those on a topographic map. Human anatomy is beautiful, and a CT scan of a female nose can resemble a beautiful, exotic flower.

Since then, Dr. Fung’s art career has blossomed. His amazing diagnostic images have been awarded, exhibited and published. His CT and MR scans are more than just psychedelic images, they are “4-D visualizations” that help surgeons visualize the changing perspectives and relative relationships of various anatomical structures. Think of “Fantastic Voyage” but this is not science fiction.

This accidental discovery has changed the way we will view CT and MRI scans forever.