In-Office CT Scanner

In-Office CT Scanner for ENT Procedures

Dr. Paul Schalch Lepe strives to stay on top of the latest technological breakthroughs to ensure his patients receive the best ear, nose, and throat care possible. Silenso Clinic in San Diego is outfitted with the most modern technologies available, which allows Dr. Schalch Lepe to reach accurate diagnoses in little time and perform treatments with absolute precision.

The latest incorporation at Silenso Clinic is an in-office CT scanner. This device is of utmost importance for diagnosing and treating any nasal and sinus condition. “CT” stands for “computed tomography,” a technology that provides detailed images of the nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses, septum and the maxillo-facial region of the skull. Unlike traditional X-rays, which get images in only two dimensions, this technology shows the clinician the third dimension, giving him a clear idea of the different anatomical repairs and specific parameters like volume, density, and many more.

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In addition, CT images obtained in the office can be used for real-time image guidance (also known as computer-assisted navigation) in our state-of-the-art Stryker Scopis system. This system is used during in-office nasal and sinus procedures, such as balloon sinuplasty. This system increases accuracy and safety during these minimally-invasive procedures.

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How Does a CT Scan Work?

A computerized tomographer combines multiple X-rays (known as “slices”) of a body structure taken from different angles to create a 3D image. While the machine rotates around the patient, it constantly emits radiation captured by digital sensors directly opposite the source. When it finishes the full rotation, the software collects the different 2D slices, which are between 1 to 10 millimeters thick, and combines them to create an accurate 3D representation of the area of the body exposed to the radiation. 

CT scans provide relevant information about bones, blood vessels, nerves, and soft tissues inside the patient’s body. The clinician can look either at the 3D representation or go through the many different 2D slices and use this information to confirm clinical diagnosis and plan surgical treatments. As the CT scan present a scaled replica of the body structures, it is an invaluable tool for surgeons, as they can have a 3D map of the surgical area and take measures to plan the procedure and obtain accurate surgical guides.

Morita Veraview FX800: a State-Of-The-Art CT Scanner

Silenso Clinic is thrilled to introduce the cutting-edge Veraview FX800 CT Scanner. This scanner is the latest model of the acclaimed Japanese brand Morita. Morita has been a leading brand in the fields of X-ray and CT diagnostics for decades and has always been linked to outstanding quality and constant innovation. This CT scanner delivers maximum resolution and offers many tools that aid Dr. Schalch Lepe’s diagnostic process and treatments. The brand proudly states that the FX800 “has reached the pinnacle of CBCT imaging technology.” 

Silenso Clinic in San Diego in office CT Scanner

Do I need a CT Scan?

CT scans aren’t part of every routine examination, but they are a common diagnostic resource. These images are taken when Dr. Schalch Lepe considers them necessary. During your consultation, he will ask about your overall health and medical history, and after a clinical examination, he will determine whether the scans are required to reach a diagnosis. The images can help identify signs and symptoms that cannot be observed clinically and obtain more detailed information about your health problem. 

If the scan is indicated, the team at Silenso Clinic will complete the study during that same visit. CT scans can also be necessary for other steps of your medical journey, and they are particularly helpful when Dr. Schalch Lepe needs to outline a surgical plan.

Benefits of an In-Office CT Scanner

An in-office CT scanner represents a significant investment, but Dr. Schalch Lepe considers it a critical element that contributes greatly to the quality of care delivered at Silenso Clinic.

Having this equipment within our facilities offers multiple advantages:

– Convenience: We can perform CT scans during your visit without needing an additional appointment, avoiding the inconvenience of revisiting us or traveling to another imaging center. This also allows Dr. Schalch Lepe to evaluate results immediately, and many patients go home with a definitive diagnosis after the initial consultation.

– High-quality equipment: We ensure the scans are taken with state-of-the-art technology. The results are highly accurate and detailed, and the slices are precisely what Dr. Schalch Lepe requires. In addition, we guarantee minimal radiation exposure.

– Images on demand: Scans are taken under Dr. Schalch Lepe’s specific instructions. The machine is set considering the reasons why the images are taken, be it for image-guided surgery or diagnosis, increasing the accuracy and safety of these procedures.

How CT Imaging is Performed

Most patients agree that the process is not unlike getting an OPG in a dental clinic – it just takes a bit longer. Patients are only requested to stand still. When the patient is correctly positioned (the FX800 can also be quickly adapted for patients in wheelchairs), the machine will move around their heads and capture the multiple slices. The whole process takes no more than a few minutes, but it is essential that the patient doesn’t move to obtain nitid images. Once the machine collects enough information to provide high-quality resolution, it stops and automatically sends the collected data to Dr. Schalch Lepe’s computer. He will see the images immediately after.  


Are CT Scans Safe?

During a CT scan, patients are briefly exposed to ionizing radiation. As it collects detailed information about your body, the amount of radiation you are exposed to is greater than in a traditional X-ray. However, modern CT scanners emit the lowest possible doses of radiation, and there are no proven cases of long-term damage due to this exposure. Most of the time, the benefits of an accurate diagnosis and a fully guided surgery outweigh any potential small risk. The radiation emitted from these types of in-office scanners is comparable to a conventional X-ray in the dental office, or even the radiation exposure from taking a 1-2 hour domestic flight.

The only patients that need to be careful are pregnant women. The contraindication during pregnancy is relative, as the radiation absorbed during a head CT scan is unlikely to harm an unborn baby. Still, Dr. Schalch Lepe may recommend another type of study if he considers it possible. 

Dr. Schalch Lepe, MD, FACS at Silenso Clinic in San Diego

Better Breathing Starts Today

Specializing in the treatment of a variety of conditions (deviated septum, nasal obstruction, snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, etc.),  Dr. Schalch Lepe is highly qualified and motivated to provide his patients with the best possible treatment results. Dr. Schalch Lepe takes an in-depth, personalized approach with each patient to ensure they receive the best possible treatment for their situation.

Originally from Mexico City, Mexico, Dr. Schalch Lepe has the unique perspective of having trained in multiple countries. This experience has led him to be sought out by domestic and international patients, many of whom are Mexican ex-pats living throughout San Diego County and Southern California. 

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In-Office CT Scans in San Diego, CA

If you still have some doubts, reach out to Dr. Schalch Lepe at (858) 925-5800 or fill in the online contact form to arrange your consultation in San Diego today. Silence Clinic is conveniently located in Carmel Valley in North San Diego County, but it also serves patients from the greater San Diego area, including La Jolla, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Del Mar, Coronado, Eastlake, Chula Vista, Rancho Santa Fe, and more.