ImagingCT Centre and Ultrasound
CT Centre Offers Latest Technology
The Surgical Clinic operates its own CT Centre to offer our patients the latest technology in diagnostic testing in a comfortable and convenient setting. Computed Tomography (CT) and computed tomography angiography (CTA) are more commonly referred to as CAT scans. These are digital diagnostic tests that allow your surgeons to see the internal structures of your body. These soft tissue areas and bones are examined using the GE™ Lightspeed 16 Slice Scanner.
The data from this exam will be used to help the Surgeon determine the best treatment plan and surgical approach for you. The goal in the CT Centre is to provide you and your surgeon with the highest quality of images so that you are comfortable in making decisions about next steps.
CT and CTA procedures are done while you are awake. While you may feel that the process is a little bit like an x-ray, there are some things you will may be instructed to do to be ready for your procedure. Since the images are looking at soft tissue, it is sometimes necessary to drink a liquid that will work as a contrast agent about 8 hours before your exam. It helps light up areas of tissue so that abnormalities can be seen. In these cases, it is important to let the CT Centre know about any allergies or kidney problems you may have so that they can insure that the contrast will not be harmful to you. It is also possible that contrast will be added through an IV or an injection while you are in the exam. Regardless of how the contrast may have been added, your body will naturally eliminate it within a day of your exam.
In some cases, no contrasting is needed, but you may be asked not to eat or drink for the 8 hours prior to your appointment. In this case, you need to discuss any daily medication schedules (including for diabetes) that might be impacted by an 8-hour delay. Results from your CT or CTA will be sent to your doctor. You should expect a phone call or a follow up appointment with your Surgeon to discuss your results and to develop your next steps.
Learn more about the CT Centre at the following links:
Vascular Laboratory (Ultrasound)
Vascular ultrasound and physiologic vascular procedures are booked for The Surgical Clinic patients in the Vascular Laboratory. This convenient and comfortable settings allow Registered Vascular Technologists (RVTs) to evaluate the blood supply to and from various parts of the body. This information is obtained without any invasive procedures. After an appointment, you will, therefore, be able to return to your regular schedule of activities. It is important to point out that your care will be delivered by a professional with an RVT certification. The RVT certification, not required in many labs, is the standard at The Surgical Clinic’s labs and helps to assure you that your tests are being conducted by people specialized in these diagnostic procedures.
The Surgical Clinic understands that many times patients will want to get things moving as fast as possible. Two Vascular Labs are part of The Surgical Clinic in the convenient locations of St. Thomas West or the Downtown Clinic. These locations allow you to access advanced laboratory professionals without the congestion of a hospital setting. While appointments are required, it is often possible to make a ‘same-day’ appointment. Your test results will be sent to your Surgeon to help determine a recommended course of treatment.
The state-of-the-art laboratory is accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission www.intersocietal.org/vascular and each of the RVT’s are registered through the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) www.ardms.org.
Vascular Health Screening
The key to excellent vascular care is proper diagnosis and treatment options. The Surgical Clinic’s ICAVL accredited vascular laboratory offers vascular screening services to assure that you receive proper diagnosis and treatment of your vascular condition. The state-of-the-art vascular ultrasound screening services are painless, fast and accurate. A vascular screening will help identify unnoticed vascular conditions. However, these screening do not take the place of a physical exam.
More about Ultrasound
Physiologic (Non-Imaging) Testing
Arterial Doppler with Segmental Pressures Upper and Lower Extremities
Arterial Doppler with Treadmill
An ultrasound is created when high frequency sound waves are exposed to a body part. These waves are assembled to create a picture of the inside of the body. Sometimes this type of imaging is called ultrasound scanning or sonography.
The risk of exposure by using ultrasounds is very low since unlike an x-ray, there is no ionizing radiation. The technique allows images of the inside of your body to be captured in real time while they are working. This reveals the structure and movement of the internal organs as well as lets doctors watch blood flowing through your vessels.
There are different types of ultrasound images that can be captured. A conventional machine displays images in thin, flat sections. Other technologies allow for a three-dimensional (3-D) image or an image that shows the entire structure to be studied from all angles. A four-dimensional technology (4-D) image can allow the radiologist to put a 3-D image in motion.
You may also be scheduled for a Doppler ultrasound. This is a special technique that examines blood flowing through a vessel. Areas of your body where a Doppler might be used are major arteries (the vessels that carry blood away from the heart) and veins in the abdomen, arms, legs and neck.
By watching the tissues at work, doctors can observe abnormalities, diagnose problems and develop treatment plans. Since the procedure is just tracking sound waves, there is no recovery time for you from this procedure.