The future of X-ray technology has arrived. The system, called EOS, is only available in eight Texas hospitals —including two in North Texas.
We got an up-close look at the machine inside Medical City Plano.
In roughly 20 seconds, Dr. Theodore Belanger can read real-time exactly what is going on in a patient’s body.
He agreed to scan WFAA Health & Wellness reporter Sonia Azad to show how the technology works.
“This is Sonia,” said Dr. Belanger, orthopedic surgeon at Medical City Plano, looking at the computer screen. “She does have mild scoliosis. I hope that’s not bad news for her.”
Three-dimensional images become available in less than five minutes. Dr. Belanger reads the full body scan — which shows both front and side views of the entire body, allowing him to see down to the millimeter.
“If you look at the hip joints, and you draw a straight line from one across to the other, [the right] one is a little bit higher,” explained Dr. Belanger, examining the scan. “So [Sonia’s] right leg must be about a centimeter longer than [the] left leg which is actually not unusual.”
In addition to the more precise pictures, radiation exposure in these new machines is a lot lower: 85 percent less than traditional X-rays.
When you consider potential long-term risks of radiation exposure, that’s huge.
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that as many as 2 percent of cancer cases in America may be connected to the increasing use of CT scans.
“Many patients with spinal deformity for example need to have multiple X-rays throughout the course of their life,” said Dr. Belanger who often operates on patients living with severe spinal deformities. “So being able to get better pictures with less radiation is a big advantage.”
A big advantage, too, in simply understanding what is happening in your body.
“It's probably been that way since [Sonia was] a teenager and it'll stay like that,” said Dr. Belanger, assessing Sonia’s scan overall. “I wouldn't expect it to progress or cause any more serious trouble."
Most major insurance providers should cover the EOS scan just like they would traditional X-rays.