CT (Computer Tomography) Scan is one of the most important medical breakthroughs of the past 50 years, CT scans have become so vital that they have been used for diagnosing a variety of medical conditions.
For prevention, diagnosis, & treatment there are multiple medical technologies like ultrasound and computed tomography which allow the healthcare provider to know the health status of the patients. In fact, in 1979, CT scan inventors were awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine.
If you have been referred to any imaging or diagnostic center in Hyderabad, you may be nervous or even confused. What is CT scan & why is it important? When CT scans are indicated? What are its benefits, risks, and how it is performed? Why CT scans are often necessary for patient care. In this blog post you will get to know the essential information about the CT scan. Keep on reading to know more:
What is Computed Tomography or CT Scanning?
Computed tomography (also called computed tomography or computed tomography) uses narrow beams of X-rays and powerful computers to create images of the body’s bones and soft tissues.
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Computerized tomography (CT) of the body uses sophisticated X-ray technology to help detect various diseases and conditions. CT scans are fast, painless, non-invasive and accurate. In an emergency, he can quickly identify internal injuries and bleeding, which can save lives.
If you are likely to become pregnant, please tell your doctor and discuss any recent medical conditions, health conditions, medications you are taking, and allergies. You will be asked not to eat or drink anything for a few hours. If you are allergic to contrast media, your doctor may prescribe some medications to reduce the risk of allergic reactions. Leave your jewelry at home and wear loose and comfortable clothes. You may be required to wear a suit.
Computed tomography, commonly called CT or CT, is an imaging test. Like traditional X-rays, it produces multiple images or images of the inside of the body.
CT scans generate images that can be reformatted in multiple planes. It can even create 3D images. A doctor can view these images on a computer monitor, print them on film or using a 3D printer, or transfer them to a CD or DVD. CT scans of internal organs, bones, soft tissue, and blood vessels provide more detail than traditional X-rays.
This is especially true for soft tissues and blood vessels. By using specialized equipment and skills to create and interpret computer tomography scans of the body, radiologists can more easily diagnose cancer, cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases, appendicitis, trauma, and musculoskeletal diseases.
What are the common uses of the scan?
This method is considered the best because the image allows doctors to confirm the presence of the tumor, measure its size, pinpoint its exact location, and determine its involvement in other nearby tissues. CT is often used to evaluate pulmonary embolism (blood clots in pulmonary blood vessels) and aortic aneurysms.
In pediatric patients, CT scan is often used to evaluate:
- Kidney tumours
- Cystic fibrosis
- Congenital malformations of the blood vessels, heart and kidneys
- Complications of pneumonia
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Severe injuries
- Complications of appendicitis
How can you Prepare?
Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for the exam. You may need to change into a bathrobe for the procedure.
Metallic objects including jewelry, glasses, dentures, and hairpins can affect CT images. Leave them at home or take them off before the exam. Some CT scans require removal of hearing aids and removable dental work. Women will need to remove bras with metal underwire.
If possible, you will need to remove the piercing. Your doctor may advise you not to eat or drink anything for a few hours before the test if he is using a contrast agent. Tell your doctor about any medications you are taking and if you have any allergies. If you have a known contrast agent allergy, your doctor may prescribe medications (usually steroids) to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction.
To avoid unnecessary delays, please consult your doctor before the examination date. Also, tell your doctor about any recent illnesses or other medical conditions and if you have a history of heart disease, asthma, diabetes, kidney disease, or thyroid problems.
Any of these conditions can increase the risk of negative consequences. Women should always tell their doctor and CT scan if there is a chance they are pregnant.
How Does it Work?
In many ways, computed tomography works in the same way as other x-rays. Different parts of the body absorb X-rays in different amounts. This distinction allows the doctor to distinguish body parts from each other on an x-ray or computer image. In a conventional X-ray examination, a small amount of radiation is directed through the part of the body being examined. A special electronic registration plate captures the image.
Bones appear white on x-rays. Soft tissues like the heart or liver have shades of gray. In a CT scan, several x-rays and electronic x-ray detectors are revolving around you. They measure the amount of radiation absorbed by the body. Sometimes the table will move during scanning.
A special computer program processes this large amount of data to create 2D cross-sectional images of your body. The system displays images on a computer monitor. CT is sometimes compared to examining a loaf of bread by cutting the loaf into thin slices. When computer software reassembles portions of an image, the result is a highly detailed, multidimensional view of the interior of the body.
Almost all CT scanners allow you to scan several sections in one revolution. These multilayer (multi-detector) CT scanners allow you to obtain thinner sections in less time. This leads to more details. Modern computed tomography makes it possible to obtain images of large areas of the body of young children in seconds or even faster.
This speed is beneficial to all patients. Speed is especially useful for children, the elderly, and critically ill patients—anyone who finds it difficult to stay still, even when the time required to acquire an image is short.
How is the CT Scan Performed?
The technician begins by placing you on the CT scan table, usually lying on your back. They may use straps and pillows to help you maintain the correct posture and stay still during the exam.
Many scanners are fast enough to scan babies without sedation. In special cases, children who cannot sit still may need sedation. Motion can blur images and degrade image quality in the same way that it affects photographs. The exam may use contrasting material, depending on the exam type. If so, it will be taken by mouth, given intravenously (IV), or, in rare cases, given through an enema.
Then, the table would move quickly through the scanner to know the exact starting position of the scanners. Then the machine examines where it may male several passes based on the CT scan type.
Who Interprets the Results & how can you get them?
A radiologist, a physician specially trained to observe and interpret radiological examinations, will analyze the images. The radiologist will send an official report to the doctor who ordered the examination. Re-examination may be required. If so, your doctor will explain why.
Sometimes, on re-examination, a potential problem is additionally assessed using multiple images or special imaging techniques. He can also see if the problem has changed over time. Follow-up checks are often the best way to know if a treatment is working or if a problem requires attention.
What are the advantages over the risks?
- CT scans are painless, non-invasive, & accurate.
- One of the main advantages of CT is its ability to simultaneously visualize bones, soft tissue, and blood vessels.
- Unlike conventional X-rays, computed tomography provides highly detailed images of many types of tissues, as well as the lungs, bones and blood vessels.
- CT examinations are quick and easy. In an emergency, they can detect internal injuries and bleeding quickly enough to save lives.
- CT has proven to be an affordable imaging tool that can be used to solve a variety of clinical problems. The sensitivity of CT to patient movement is lower than that of MRI.
- Unlike an MRI, any type of implanted medical device will not prevent you from having a CT scan.
- CT scans provide real-time images, making them an excellent tool for needle biopsy and needle aspiration. This is especially true for procedures involving the lungs, abdomen, pelvis and bones.
- CT diagnostics can eliminate the need for exploratory surgery and surgical biopsy.
- After a CT scan, no radiation remains in the patient’s body. X-rays used for computed tomography should not cause immediate side effects.
When your doctor recommends a CT scan, the expected benefits of this test outweigh the potential radiation risks. You are encouraged to discuss the risks and benefits of your CT scan with your doctor or radiologist and explore if alternative imaging techniques may be available to diagnose your condition.
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