Computerized Tomography (CT scan)

Computerized Tomography (CT Scan) in Jaipur, India - Apex Hospitals

CT Scan

What is a CT scan?

    A computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan allows physicians to see inside the body. It utilizes X-rays and a computer to produce images of your organs, bones, and other tissues. It reveals greater detail than a standard X-ray.

    You can get a CT scan of any part of your body. The procedure takes little time and is painless.

How do CT scans work?

    They use a narrow X-ray beam that circumnavigates one body part. This provides images from a variety of perspectives. A computer uses this data to generate a cross-sectional image. This two-dimensional (2D) scan displays a "slice" of your body's interior, analogous to a portion of bread in a loaf.

    This procedure is repeated to create multiple segments. The computer superimposes these photographs to create a detailed image of your organs, bones, or blood vessels. A surgeon may use this form of scan to examine all sides of a tumour in preparation for surgery.

How is a CT scan performed?

    A scan would likely be performed in a hospital or radiology clinic. Your doctor may instruct you to fast for a few hours before the procedure. Additionally, you may be required to don a hospital gown and remove all metal objects, including jewellery.

    A radiology technician will administer the CT scan. During the examination, you will recline on a table inside a large, doughnut-shaped CT machine. X-rays rotate around the patient's body as the gurney moves slowly through the scanner. It is commonplace to hear a buzzing or whirring sound. Movement can cause the image to distort, so you will be required to remain very still. Occasionally, you may need to retain your breath.

What Is It Used For?

    CT scans are ordered by physicians for a multitude of reasons.

  • Bone and joint disorders, such as complex bone fractures and tumours, can be detected by CT scans.
  • If you have a condition such as cancer, heart disease, emphysema, or liver masses, CT scans can detect the condition or assist physicians in detecting any changes.
  • They depict internal injuries and haemorrhaging, such as those resulting from an automobile accident.
  • They can assist in localising a tumour, blood blockage, excess fluid, or infection.
  • They guide treatment plans and procedures such as biopsies, operations, and radiation therapy.

    Doctors can compare CT scans to determine if particular therapies are effective. Scans of a tumour over time, for instance, can reveal whether it responds to chemotherapy or radiation.

What Is a CT Scan with Contrast?

    In a CT scan, dense substances such as bones are visible. But delicate tissues don't show up as well. They may appear dim in the image. To make them more visible, you may need a contrast material, a special pigment. They obstruct X-rays and appear white on the scan, highlighting blood vessels, organs, and other structures.

    Typically, contrast materials are composed of iodine or barium sulphate. These medications may be administered in one of three ways:

  • Injection: The medications are injected directly into a vein. This is done to enhance the visibility of your blood vessels, urinary tract, liver, and gallbladder in the image.
  • Orally: Consuming a liquid containing the contrast agent can improve imaging of the digestive tract, the pathway food takes through the body.
  • Enema: If your intestines are being examined, contrast material can be inserted into your rectum.
  • After the CT scan, you will need to consume many fluids to help your kidneys flush the contrast material from your system.

Are There Any Risks?

    X-rays, which produce ionizing radiation, are utilized in CT examinations. According to research, this type of radiation may cause DNA damage and malignancy. The likelihood of developing a fatal malignancy resulting from a CT scan is approximately 1 in 2,000. However, the effects of radiation accumulate over a person's lifetime. Therefore, your risk increases with each CT scan you receive. Discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure with your doctor, and inquire why a CT scan is necessary.

    Ionizing radiation may be more hazardous to infants. They are still in the process of expanding. They are more susceptible to radiation exposure. Ask the doctor or technician if the CT machine's settings have been adjusted for a child before the procedure.

    Inform your doctor if you are pregnant. If you require abdomen imaging, your doctor may recommend a non-ionizing test, such as an ultrasound.

    The duration of the scan will depend on which portions of your body are scanned. It can take anywhere between a few minutes and thirty minutes. Typically, you will return home the same day.

What Are the Side Effects?

    Specific individuals have an allergy to contrast materials. In most cases, the reaction is moderate. It may cause itching or a rash. In infrequent instances, the dye may cause a life-threatening reaction. In light of this, your healthcare provider may wish to observe you briefly after your CT scan. Inform your physician if you are allergic to medications, seafood, or iodine.

    Your physician should also know if you have diabetes and are taking metformin. They will inform you if you need to discontinue your medication before or after your procedure.

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