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Going 3D: the Latest in CT Scanners: July 5, 2012

It’s the most advanced imaging scanner in Lee County.  When doctors need quick access to better see what’s going on it the body, they can now rely on a new 3D scanner.

3D images are going from the movies into the exam room.

“What we’re seeing here is a 3D representation of the arteries in a patient’s neck.  And what you can see is that the image is actually rotating.”

Diagnosing everything from heart disease to stroke, doctors are making use of high tech CT scanners. 

“A CT scanner uses x-rays to make an image of a patient non-invasively. So we take x-ray images of the patient over 360 degrees and then mathematically reconstruct that into an image or a slice of a patient,” says Dr. Cory Duffek, a radiologist with Lee Memorial Health System’s medical staff.

“This is the latest version of CAT scan imaging.  This is a 128-slice CAT scan machine, and this is extremely important to Gulf Coast Medical center because we’re becoming the stroke center for Lee County,” says radiologist Dr. William Hearn.

The benefit of this particular scanner is speed and accuracy. In under 20 minutes, the detailed image is complete and in the hands of a doctor.

“One area that it really plays a big role in is a work up of acute stroke. We are able to not only identify whether its ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke, we can then take it one step farther and identify which blood vessel is occluded causing the stroke. We can also image the patient’s physiology using this and watch the blood flow into the brain,” says Dr. Duffek.

The patient is only in the machine for a matter of minutes, which means less exposure to radiation.  But the brief time has opened up new windows of opportunity. 

“Radiologists are all about imaging. We’re about quality and speed. And this allows us to treat our patients in a different way than we’ve had the opportunity before,” says Dr. Hearn.

And 3D scanners are giving doctors the nest seat in the house.