New CT scanner provides sharper image with low radiation

By Roslyn Giles

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM)- The Medical Center in Columbus is the only hospital in the state of Georgia and East Alabama to offer an innovative, low radiation, high definition scan imaging system.  The facility purchased the new General Electric CT750 scanner seven months ago.

Dr. Glen Vahjen, Medical Director of the Imaging Services at the Medical Center explained, the CT scanner not only produces the highest definition images ever seen, but does it using half the radiation compared to older devices.  "CT scanners are the most commonly used tools in a diagnostic imaging department to figure out what's going on in a patient," added Vahjen.

Ailments including headache, stroke, cancer and abdominal pelvic pain are some of the main illnesses in which CT scanners are used to diagnose a medical condition.

The patient is placed on a bed that slides into a large opening in the center of the machine.  The inside the gantry, there's an x-ray tube that rotates around the patient.  Data is collected by the computer producing detailed images of the patient's organs.

"The difference in the image detail-- it's similar to the old-fashioned TV image and the newer generation high definition TV images that show detail and clarity, but the beauty of the CT scanner is that it produces images better, but uses only a small amount of radiation," replied Vahjen.

The CT scanner can capture an object as small as a grain of sand inside a person's body.  The time it takes to process the image is extremely fast. It can scan the entire chest from the neck to the belt line in just 7 seconds.

All patients entering the hospital who need a CAT scan can use this new machine.  When purchased by the Medical Center, there were only 8 installed worldwide.  The nearest CT scan from Columbus is located in Birmingham, Alabama.