Mountain Medicine from Estes Park Health: Estes Park Health invests in New CT Scanner

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When it comes to high-tech equipment, the CT scanner is one of the centerpieces of diagnostic imaging, giving radiologists an extraordinarily detailed look inside the body.

“There’s no doubt that the CT scanner is the workhorse modality of every radiology department,” explained Estes Park Health radiologist Dr. John Knudtson. “It gets more use than any machine. CT stands for computed tomography. All that x-ray information is then sent to very powerful computers. Hence the name computed tomography. That x-ray data is reconstructed by the computers into an image of the body.”

A CT scan is a painless imaging test. Estes Park resident Stephen Gilbert had the test on the order of his doctor.

“I had a baseline CT a number of years ago,” Gilbert said. “I’ve had a couple of strokes in my life.”

In the spring of 2023, Estes Park Health installed a new CT, a Siemens 128-slice scanner. The images are uploaded to a computer that creates incredible images the radiologist can look through, almost like slicing up a loaf of bread to see what’s inside. The computer reconstructs all the individual snapshots into multiple cross-sectional images of the internal organs and tissues.

The new machine is a good upgrade to Estes Park Health clinical equipment.

“It’s just an overall big improvement over what we had before,” Dr. Knudtson emphasized. “The image quality, the resolution, the speed, accuracy — all those things are improved with the new scanner. We can get people in, diagnosed, treated, stabilized. If they need a higher level of care, we can get them to the higher level of care very quickly, very effectively.”

The new scanner is used for emergency cases, and for inpatient and outpatient care, giving Estes Park Health experts a way to peer inside the body to see what’s happening. The radiologist and physicians can pinpoint pathology and evaluate the size and location to guide treatment.

Patients like Stephen Gilbert are happy for the expert diagnosis and care they receive at Estes Park Health.

“We have the best nurses ever,” he commented. “The doctors are fantastic. I’ve always had great care here.”

For all your diagnostic imaging needs including CT scans, x-ray, MRI, fluoroscopy, DEXA scans, ultrasound, and 3D mammography, think Estes Park Health.