Morbid obesity has been a growing problem for a number of years, especially in the United States. Obesity increases the occurrence of many types of diseases, including diabetes and heart disease, among others. When it comes to testing obese patients using diagnostic imaging equipment, such as refurbished CT scanners, it is sometimes difficult for an accurate diagnosis to be found or even for the proper test to be done at all. Effort needs to be put towards helping to find a solution for testing and properly diagnosing morbidly obese patients.
An unfortunate reality is that not everyone can fit in the standard refurbished CT scanners in order to undergo the testing. The enclosed nature of the equipment makes it difficult for large people to fit through and the equipment may not be able to hold the patient's full body weight. Radiologists also have to administer higher amounts of radiation to morbidly obese patients and high levels of radiation can potentially be dangerous and harmful.
The quality of the images from the results of refurbished CT scanners is reduced for morbidly obese patients. Images have shown to be cropped with a limited image area and more visible noise. A poor image makes it hard for radiologists and physicians to give an accurate diagnosis to the patient.
Morbidly obese patients will have to be specially accommodated in order to undergo the testing from a refurbished CT scanner. Some equipment has already been designed for heavier people. For example, CT scanners that have a larger diameter can help a greater amount of patients. Everyone should be able to undergo the same testing procedures.
Since reading the images produced from refurbished CT scanners for morbidly obese patients is difficult for radiologists and physicians, there needs to be modifications made to the equipment. Currently, manufacturers of diagnostic imaging equipment are actively working to modify the designs of the equipment in order to accommodate morbidly obese patients. The equipment will also be made sturdier in order to be able to hold more weight. Not only will the design need to be updated, but the technology itself will need to be altered in order to produce clearer images for an accurate diagnosis from radiologists and physicians.
One of the problems right now is that even though there may be refurbished CT scanners that can accommodate morbidly obese patients, they are very limited across the country. It should be standard that there should be at least one in every hospital, especially since obesity is a nationwide problem. Patients should have to travel across the country or even to another state just to get the test they need.