Computed TomogRaphy (CT)
A Computed Tomography, or CT scan, is an imaging test that combines computers and 360-degree X-rays to produce high-resolution body images. It is painless, fast, non-invasive, and an extremely accurate procedure. A CT scan can depict bones, blood vessels, and soft tissues inside the body. Common areas of scanning include the chest, abdomen, and pelvic area. The CT scan is a vital tool in diagnosing a disease. This is significant in identification and proper diagnosis of infection, blood clot, internal bleeding, or disease. This helps decide, plan and execute a treatment - be it surgical, medical, or radiation based.
The Purpose of a CT Scan
The purpose of a CT scan is to scrutinize your tissues, bones, and vessels in a more detailed manner as it allows scanning the body from various different angles. Moreover, it provides a quick examination of the patient and so it is specifically used in situations that require immediate attention, like trauma or car accidents. There are many other reasons why a doctor would recommend you to have a CT scan, such as:
It can be used to diagnose the issue related to bone and muscle. For example, if you have a fracture or you are suffering from a bone tumor, then a doctor might recommend you to have a CT scan.
At times, it is hard to determine the exact location of an infection or tumor. By scrutinizing the body from various angles, a CT scan can resolve this issue.
When it comes to many medical and surgical treatments, a CT scan serves as the first step of the plan.
People who are suffering from cancer or lung modules, etc. are often recommended to have a CT scan as it helps in diagnosing and monitoring the disease.
Not only by diagnosing the disease, a CT scan serves as the first step of the treatment, but it also helps in monitoring the treatment to evaluate its effectiveness.
It also helps in diagnosing internal bleeding and injuries.
There are three types of CT scan: spiral CT, Electron beam tomography, and CT perfusion imaging.
- Spiral CT: In this procedure, the X-ray machine examines the patient in the spiral path. In a short period of time, a Spiral CT allows you to take a lot of pictures. This is mainly used to diagnose lung cancer, as it allows you to detect the issue quickly.
- Electron beam tomography: The X-ray source-point is swept electronically at an extremely high speed, freezing images of body parts. It is especially used for moving structures like the heart.
- CT perfusion imaging: This is especially used to diagnose brain problems. CT perfusion imaging is most helpful when the doctor wants to study whether the brain is being supplied with an adequate amount of blood or not.
How much time does this procedure take?
While the CT scan itself is a quick procedure, its preparation takes time. This is why you can expect it to be an hour-long process. Having said that, the CT scan itself would only occupy 10- 30 minutes. After the CT scan, you can resume your daily activities immediately.
How does the patient receive results?
Not only can a CT scan allow you to have a clear image of your body, another benefit is that you can get the results of your scan in 24 hours. Your scan will be reviewed by a radiologist who will interpret the images and prepare a report to explain the results. In case of an emergency, doctors even receive the results within an hour.