February is Heart Month, and Valentine's Day is not the only reason to think about yours.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United State. Hendrick Medical Center has had their new 64-slice heart CT scanner for about a year. It has saved numerous patients from potential heart failure, and doctors say it is much safer than a cardiac catheterization.
The 64-slice scanner takes far more pictures than old cat scans, creating a much more vivid image of the heart. Doctor Michael Dumas of Hendrick says one risk that concerns some patients is radiation, but this scanner actually produces less radiation than most. He says the benefits outweigh the risks, as doctors have been able to detect heart problems earlier, and the procedure is less invasive than other heart scan options. This makes it available to more patients.
Studies show using the 64-slice c-t scanner is also more cost effective for hospitals than old scans.