The Doctor is In


Medical imaging can help your doctor make important decisions about your health care. For the past 10 years, West Valley Hospital has placed a priority on providing quality imaging services right here in the Dallas community. All imaging done here in the past eight years has been digital, which allows our specialists to view and report results on your imaging studies quicker. One such imaging tool is our new high-tech Computed Tomography scanner.

Kevin Wright is the technologist lead for West Valley Hospital’s imaging department. He grew up in Corvallis, learned his craft in the US Army and lives in Dallas with his wife.

A new 128-slice CT scanner (sometimes referred to as a CAT scanner) was recently installed at West Valley Hospital and we are thrilled. This new machine replaced an aging 16-slice system that West Valley Hospital had modernized with high quality dose reduction software just a few years ago with the help of the West Valley Foundation. The new 128-slice scanner also reduces the radiation dose needed for testing purposes and has the added benefit of quicker scan times.

Until now, CTs have always been limited by metal in the imaging process. The new scanner has the ability to see around metal, when needed. This metal is sometimes external, such as ear rings or zippers, but other times it is internal, such as a joint replacement or screws and plates used to fix a fractured bone. Metal Artifact Reduction is a new technology now widely available for CTs. This software is able to neutralize most of the adverse effects of metal from the image of the CTs. When using MAR software, more accurate follow-up can be done when the metal interfering with the scan is not able to be removed.

Quality CTs are essential for many aspects of care. CTs can look at most parts of the body with very detailed accuracy. One major use of CT at West Valley Hospital is to help diagnose emergency department patients quickly, which often leads to faster treatment. Timely quality medical images have helped the West Valley Hospital emergency department have some of the shortest durations of stay in the valley, while still providing an accurate diagnosis and quick treatment.

Your insurance may dictate where you should go for routine imaging studies but many times you have a choice where you want to have your studies done. Family practice providers and specialists may also send patients to the hospital for CT scans. A quick call to your insurance company or our scheduling department at 503-814-5293 (option 4), can answer many of your questions.

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