CT SCAN : An Advanced body Scanning Technology
CT scan or CAT scan that stands for computerized tomography scan takes the use of X-rays to a whole different level. Here, computers and rotating X-ray machines create cross-sectional images of the body to make a 3D view of the diagnostic part of the body for the doctors. As a result, these images provide a better view than conventional X-ray. A CT scan can diagnose the tissue, bones and blood vessels of different parts of the body, such as:
The technique is to take a series of X-rays from different angles while you lie in a tunnel-like machine. Then, the pictures from a 3D image through the help of a computer.
WHY DO WE NEED CT SCAN:
Diagnosing diseases and evaluating injuries are the primary use of the CT scan. But, it can also help the doctor to:
- Diagnose infections, muscle disorders, and bone fractures.
- Examine blood vessels and other internal structure.
- Pinpoint the location of masses, tumors and even cancer.
- Guide procedures such as biopsies and surgeries.
- Monitor the effectiveness of medications for specific medical conditions, including cancer and heart disease.
HOW IS A CT SCAN PERFORMED:
A special kind of dye (contrast material) may be injected into your arm or administered through your rectum via an enema, or you may even be told to drink the dye that will block the X-rays during the scan making the blood vessels, intestines or other structures which are being diagnosed highlighted. The doctor will suggest you fast for four to six hours before the diagnosis, in case you have to drink the dye. You will change into a hospital gown and remove metal objects (jewelry, dentures, spectacles) from the body as metal interferes with the scan results. Then, you will be asked to lie down on a table which will gently move and enter the scanner, while the doctors will leave the exam room and go to the control room where you will be able to communicate with them through the intercom. The X-ray machine will rotate around you as the table slowly moves into position. The table will run a few millimeters at a time, and each rotation will produce ample numbers of pictures of thin slices of your body. The entire process takes from 20 minutes to one hour to complete. You will be asked to stay still the full time and hold your breath for a short a short time for a clear image of the chest area.
RISKS OF CT SCAN:
Risks of single scan do low. But, several scans expose you to enough radiation to cause or enhance cancer. The allergic reaction may occur in some people due to dye. So, make sure to notify the doctor if you are allergic to iodine or if you are pregnant. CT scan hardly harms the fetus, but the doctor may suggest another test to minimize risk.