Ionizing Radiation in Craniofacial Surgery: A Primer on Dose and Risks

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An understanding of radiation dose and the anticipated risk to the patient is an important aspect of ordering radiological imaging studies responsibly. It is especially true for the pediatric practitioner because children are more vulnerable to the biological effects of radiation, such as radiosensitivity, longer lifetime years, and higher cellular mitotic activity. The use of fluoroscopy and computed tomography is commonplace in the practice of craniofacial surgery, but often dose reports from varied investigations are not directly comparable, and the risk of patient harm from the investigation is unclear. This article presents the fundamentals of radiation, dose, and risk as it applies to radiological imaging and also introduces our low dose craniofacial computed tomography protocol.

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