CT scan stands for computerized tomography (CT) scan which is a series of rotating X-ray images captured at different angles. They help create cross-sectional images of the body. These images provide more detailed information than the plain X-ray images. Tissues, blood vessels, and bones can be clearly examined through CT scan images. CT scan is usually performed to the head, shoulders, spine, heart, abdomen, knee, and chest. CT scan for Radiotherapy is slightly different as the radiotherapy involves 3 dimensional images, where normal CT scan involves 2 dimensional images.
Purpose of CT scan:
CT scan performed in various diagnoses of diseases. They aid in evaluating the depth of the injuries. It helps diagnose bone fractures, muscle disorders, infections. Cancers can be detected at the particular point of growth of the tumor. Examination of internal organs and muscles, Blood vessels can be examined through the CT scan images. Study the extent of internal injuries and bleeding. Aids in guiding biopsy and surgery procedures. CT scan is a noninvasive and painless procedure where it is mostly performed at hospitals or at CT Scan Centre Coimbatore. CT scan can also be helpful to determine whether a procedure or surgery is performed at the right position of the injury.
How is CT scan performed?
You will be asked to lie down on a table usually wearing a hospital gown. Any kind of metal objects you are wearing have to be removed before the procedure. ARadiologist Doctor performs a CT scan. You will be sent through a donut-shaped CT machine. As the table moves forward a series of rotating X-rays takes a couple of images in Two-dimensional (2D). This process takes a couple of images like slices, and all the slices are put together into a single picture. Movement of the body can blur the images. You will be required to stay still. In some cases, you may also be asked to hold your breath for a couple of seconds. The time of scanning depends on the parts of the body. It may take a couple of seconds to a couple of minutes. If a child is undergoing a CT scan a sedative is used to keep the baby away from moving. Nowadays there are CT Scan Hospitals solely dedicated to performing CT scan.
CT with contrast:
CT scan can easily show bones and muscles, but soft tissues are difficult to visualise. In such cases a contrast colour dye is used. This contrast material contains iodine or barium sulfate. This way the soft tissues appear in different colors. These dyes highlight the blood vessels and other soft tissues. The contrast materials are taken in three forms:
Injection: They can be taken in the form of injections directly into the veins. This helps your urinary tract, blood vessels, gallbladder, and liver to stand out in the image.
Orally: Consuming liquids mixed with contrast which helps enhance the images of the digestive tract and the food pathway of the body.
Enema: In case the scan is conducted in your rectal area then a contrast material is inserted into the rectum. You will be required to drink a lot of water to pass through the rectum.
Risks of CT scan:
CT scan involves a couple risks. CT scan is a series of X-rays which emit ionizing radiation. Studies show that the ionizing radiation can cause cancers as they affect the DNA of the human body. Though the risk is very minute. The chances of developing cancer through CT scan is 1 in 2000. But frequent exposure to CT scan rays can add up to your radiation over the years. This means every CT scan can risk your life slowly. It is always advised to discuss with your doctors on the potential risks and what can be done to avoid it. Children can be affected easily due to the radiation. As they are still growing. So always talk to your doctor if you can avoid the CT scan, and if not then you can ask the Radiology Doctor to adjust the rays frequency at the time of CT scan so the exposure to rays is minimal. Pregnant women are usually not subjected to CT scan; they will be recommended for an ultrasound which does not involve radiation.
Side Effects of CT scan:
Majority of the people are allergic to the contrast material. The reaction caused by the contrast material is usually mild. They can lead to itchiness and rashes. In rare cases, the allergic reaction may be life threatening so you may be required to stay at the hospital for few hours under observation.
Everything comes with a risk. CT scan is helpful in determining the toughest problems and detects, at the same time they have few risks. To avoid any misconceptions, always speak to your doctor and know why it is necessary for you to take a CT scan. This way helps you calm throughout the procedure.
Lesli is a Content Writer and loves to blog about health-related articles. She enjoys learning and specializes in guest blogging, blog publishing, and social media. She is an avid reader and loves writing impeccable content pertaining to health care.