What Is a CT Scan?
A computerized tomography scan (CT or CAT scan) makes use of computers and rotating X-ray machines to create cross-sectional imaging of the body. These images give extra medical relevant data than normal X-ray images. They can analyze the soft tissues, blood vessels, and bones in different part of the body. A CT scan may be used to see through (visualize) the following:
During a CT scan, you lie in a tunnel-like machine whilst the machine rotates and takes a number of X-rays from various angles. These pictures are then transferred to a computer, where they’re added to create images of slices, or cross-sections, of the body. They may also be joined to produce a 3-D image of a particular part of the body.
Why Is a CT Scan Carried out?
A CT scan has different uses, but it’s especially well-suited for diagnosing illnesses and evaluating injuries.
The imaging procedure can assist your doctor in:
Diagnose infections, muscle disorders, and bone fractures
Study the blood vessels and different internal structures
Assess the extent of internal injuries and internal bleeding
Guide procedures, such as surgeries and biopsies
Pinpoint the location of masses and tumors (including cancer)
Monitor the effectiveness of treatment for certain medical conditions, which Includes cancer and various heart diseases
How a CT Scan is Performed?
When it comes time to having the CT scan, you’ll be requested to change into a hospital cloth and to put off any metal objects. Metal can temper with the CT scan results. These items include jewelry, glasses, and dentures. Your doctor will then ask you to lie face up on a desk that slides into the CT scanner. They’ll leave the examination room and go into the control room where they can see you and hear you. You’ll be able to talk with them through an intercom.
While the table slowly takes you into the scanner, the X-ray machine will rotate around you. Each rotation produces several images of tiny slices of your body. You can also hear clicking, buzzing, and whirring noises in the course of the scan. The table will move a few millimeters at a time till the examination is completed. The entire process may take anything from 20 minutes to one hour.
It’s very vital to lie motionless while CT images are being taken because motion can result in blurry pictures. Your doctor can also ask you to hold your breath for a short duration in the course of the test to stop your chest from going up and down. If a young baby requires a CT scan, the doctor may advise a sedative to stop the baby from moving.
Once the CT scan is over, the images are dispatched to a radiologist for examination. A radiologist is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions by the use of imaging techniques, such as CT scans and X-rays. Your doctor will follow-up with you to interpret the results.
What Are the Risks Related with a CT Scan?
There are very few risks related with a CT scan. Though CT scans expose you to extra radiation than normal X-rays, the risk of cancer brought about by radiation is very small if you only have one scan. Your risk for cancer can also amplify over time if you have a couple of X-rays or CT scans. The risk of cancer is increased in young children receiving CT scans, particularly on the chest and abdomen.
It’s vital to inform your doctor if you’re pregnant. Though the radiation from a CT scan is not likely to harm your baby, your doctor may recommend another examination, such as an ultrasound or MRI scan, to reduce risk. Also let your doctor know if you are allergic to the materials that will be used in the course of the scan.
What Do CT Scan Results Mean?
CT scan results are regarded normal if the radiologist didn’t see any tumors, blood clots, fractures, or any abnormalities in the images. If any abnormalities are detected at the point of the CT scan, you may require further tests or treatments, depending on the type of abnormality found.
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