A Closer Look into A CT Scan

When Do You Need a CT Scan? - Direct Imaging

A computed tomography (CT) scan helps doctors diagnose issues with soft tissues, blood vessels, and other body parts. It is a painless process that uses computers and rotating X-ray machines to create pictures of your body. The scan involves you lying in a tunnel-like machine that rotates on the inside and takes a series of X-rays of your body from different angles. The images are then sent to a computer, combining them to create cross-sections of your body. Your doctor can recommend a Sugar Land CT scan to view body parts not seen with an X-ray or ultrasound.  Doctors can use CT scans to visualize various body parts, including your head, shoulders, spine, heart, abdomen, and chest.

What are the uses of a CT scan?

Doctors use CT scans to diagnose and evaluate injuries. The scan can help diagnose infections, muscle disorders, and bone fractures, identify the location of masses, tumors, and cancer and study the blood vessels and other internal structures. A CT scan also assesses the extent of internal injuries and internal bleeding and guides medical procedures like surgeries and biopsies. Sometimes doctors use CT scans to monitor the effectiveness of certain treatments for conditions like cancer or heart disease.

What should you expect during a CT scan?

During your CT scan, your doctor will recommend you lie on a long narrow examination table. You may be secured with Velcro straps or other safety tools. Your doctor may include a contrast dye to better view the target area. Depending on the body part your provider is visualizing, the table will slide in and out of a circular scanner, and a machine will rotate around you, making a loud noise. Your provider will be out of the room as the machine operates and may give you instructions over an intercom. The provider may ask you to maintain certain positions or to hold your breath. Ensure you follow your technician’s instructions because movements of the scanner can lead to capturing of blurry images.

What happens after a CT scan?

You can go home immediately after the CT scan. After the scan, your technician sends the images to a radiologist for examination. A radiologist specializes in diagnosing and treating medical issues using imaging procedures like CT scans and X-rays. After the results are out, your doctor will explain them to you.

What are the risks of a CT scan?

CT scans have very few risks. These risks include radiation exposure, allergic reactions to contrast dyes, or increased cancer risk if you have multiple scans. If you had contrast dye before your CT scan, you naturally eliminate it from the body through urine and stool. Contrast dye may cause some strain on your kidneys.

A CT scan helps doctors diagnose soft tissue, blood vessels, and other body parts problems. Doctors can use CT scans to diagnose infections and bone fractures, monitor the effectiveness of certain treatments, or guide specialists during surgeries or biopsies. Schedule an appointment at St. Michael’s Elite Hospital for a CT scan to diagnose the problem with your blood vessels.

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