Computed tomography (CT) is a special painless x-ray that helps diagnose a variety of diseases and conditions. It uses multiple small beams of radiation that pass through the body and are recorded on a plate that sits behind you. These images show up in black, white and shades of gray in many slices, like a loaf of bread, which allow us to view different parts of the body. At River ENT, we use a cone-beam CT scanner which involves a lot less radiation and takes only seconds to perform, fast enough to obtain pictures of a squirming 3 year old without requiring sedation!

Radiation dosages
Did you know that you are being exposed to radiation no matter where you are? Radiation comes from 

  • the earth (terrestrial) via mostly radon, but also uranium, radium and thorium, 
  • the sky (cosmic) via the sun and stars
  • and even from your own body (internal) from potassium and carbon.
  • Each year we are exposed to an average of 3 mSv (millisievert) from these sources. 

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Radiation should be avoided, but if a CT scan is recommended, know that a typical in office CT scan from Xoran Mini CT is 0.16 mSv for an adult and about 0.05 mSv for a child, much less than what you get from the earth!


CT Type Radiation dose
CT Sinus (cone beam, miniCAT) 0.04-0.07 mSv Pediatric
0.17 mSv Adult
CT Sinus (Whole body multi slice) 2 mSv
Chest Xray 0.02-0.1 mSv
Mammogram 0.4 mSv
CT Abdomen/Pelvis 20 mSV