Using low dose radiological imaging to improve patient care, convenience
At Southwest Scoliosis Institute, we believe in providing our patients with the best care and services, which is why we’re proud to offer in-house radiological imaging services using the EOS system at our Dallas office.
The new imaging system is a state-of-the-art 2D/3D X-ray imaging system that allows our doctors to take high-quality images of patients in a variety of positions. The EOS system uses two X-ray beams to simultaneously scan patients from top to bottom, creating two high-quality images of the body.
These two full-body images can then be used to create a 3D model, which can give our doctors a better understanding of a patient’s medical condition and its complexity. This also allows our doctors to provide a more accurate diagnosis, as well as to tailor treatment plans for each patient.
Advantages of low dose 3D imaging
The most important practical advantage of this new system is its ability to produce high-quality, full-body digital X-ray images that are immediately available for you and your physician to review. And all that’s typically required is a single scan that takes, on average, 10-25 seconds.
To achieve similar results with conventional X-ray imaging, multiple exposures and image processing (such as stitching together of images) are required, resulting in a significantly longer examination times and higher doses of radiation per patient.
In-house imaging means you get immediate diagnostic care
Southwest Scoliosis Institute’s advanced in-house imaging capabilities allow us to rapidly scan, diagnose and begin treating your condition. It also means that you don’t have to make extra appointments or travel to an offsite imaging facility.
After checking in at our office, a technician will escort you to the exam room where you will be asked to sit or stand in the scanning booth for up to 25 seconds while the X-ray is taken. The images from the exam are available immediately, during the appointment, for the physician to review with you. The physician will then discuss your results with you and determine the next steps.
Low dose radiation benefits adults and (especially) children
When it comes to conventional 2D imaging, the system delivers 50 percent to 85 percent less radiation than traditional digital X-ray systems. For a full-body 3D reconstruction, EOS has been shown to use 800–1000 times less radiation than during a typical computed tomography (CT) scan required for similar 3D reconstructions.
Reducing the dose of radiation is particularly beneficial for pediatric patients (especially those with a spine condition like scoliosis, which requires frequent imaging to monitor) because growing children are more sensitive to the cumulative effects of radiation. And because scoliosis and other spine disorders are three-dimensional conditions, it’s important that doctors are able to examine images in 3D as well.
For this reason, the system can reduce radiation exposure to even lower levels thanks to a setting called Micro Dose. When the system operates on the Micro Dose setting, it emits even less radiation than a standard exam (equivalent to about 6 hours of natural background radiation on Earth) and is still capable of producing high-quality 3D images.
High-quality images in multiple positions
With traditional X-ray imaging techniques, patients often need to lie down or hold an uncomfortable pose to get the best image. Patients are able to be scanned while standing or in a seated position.
When necessary, 3D images of the patient can be captured in an upright, weight-bearing position. This allows the doctor to better examine the natural posture, as well as the ways that the spine, hips, and lower limbs are positioned in relation to one another.
Clear, accurate imaging for better diagnoses and surgical outcomes
In addition to reduced radiation dose and rapid scanning capabilities, the unique perspective provided by the system allows doctors to get a more complete picture of a patient’s condition to provide a precise diagnosis and to gather detailed information should surgical interventions become necessary.
The 3D models will assist the surgeons at Southwest Scoliosis Institute by helping them to plan – and in some cases, even simulate – surgical procedures to better understand how they will be performed. Ultimately, our goal is to use this technology to improve outcomes and recovery times.