CT scan

CT Scan

A CT scan, otherwise known as a computed tomography scan or a CAT scan, is a special type of radiological test. It uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to create images of the internal structures of the body. A CT scan is a powerful diagnostic tool used to detect bone and tissue abnormalities, tumors, and other medical conditions.

Preparation for a CT Scan

Before having a CT scan done, it is important to discuss any prior radiological tests that you have had, or any medications you are currently taking with your physician or the imaging technician. It is also important to tell the technician if you have any allergies, breathing problems, or have had a contrast dye injection before. Your doctor may advise to fast prior to the exam, or depending on the area that needs to be scanned, you may be asked to wear a hospital gown.

Procedure for CT Scan

Once you arrive for your CT scan, you will be asked to lie down on the scanner table, which slides into the machine. You will be asked to remain still during this procedure and may be given a pillow to make you more comfortable. The CT scan also uses a device called a gantry, which looks like a metal ring and moves around you while you remain still. You may hear some noises during the scan, which is normal. The scan can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes.

Types of CT Scans

CT scans can be done on almost any part of the body. The most common CT scans include the brain, chest, spine, abdomen, pelvis, and soft tissues. Depending on the type of scan, different parameters need to be used to produce an image. For example, a scan of the abdomen may use different parameters than a scan of the brain.

Risks of CT Scan

CT scans may cause discomfort and occasionally cause nausea. Additionally, due to the use of radiation in a CT scan, there is a small but potential risk of radiation exposure. However, you should discuss these risks with your doctor to see if a CT scan is the best option for you.

Why Should I Have a CT Scan?

CT scans are used to help diagnose a variety of medical conditions, such as infections, tumors, and other abnormalities. It can also help doctors guide surgeries and other treatments. CT scans are also used to help evaluate the effectiveness of certain treatments.

When is a CT Scan Necessary?

CT scans are usually recommended by a doctor when other methods, such as ultrasound or MRI, have not provided enough information. Your doctor may also recommend a CT scan if they suspect that you have an infection, a tumor, or an abnormality that needs to be studied in greater detail.