CT Scan: When Is It Recommended, and How Is It Performed?
“Computed Tomography” ( CT scan ) is an imaging process that takes two-dimensional images of a particular bodily location. It is a very accurate portrayal of the inside body structures. CT scan enables medical professionals to examine specific injuries, fractures, and abnormalities in more detail. They can then promptly and effectively diagnose and treat a particular disease or disorder as a result.
Reasons Why Doctor Asks for CT Scan
CT scans are one of the most common lab tests doctors ask for. They are recommended in various situations. The most common reasons behind doctors asking for CT scans are given below.
To Investigate Tumors
A CT scan is frequently the first stage when someone needs surgery to remove a tumor. The surgeon can execute operations like biopsies more quickly and effectively the more knowledge they have about the tumor’s location and size. Doctors and surgeons can determine a tumor’s degree of tissue involvement using CT scans, potentially boosting surgical results.
To Examine Blood Vessels
Sometimes due to various reasons, blood vessels clog, and the blood supply throughout the body affects. Doctors can inspect blood arteries and look for blockages or other potential issues using the level of information provided by CT scans. Without doing invasive exploratory surgery or surgical biopsies, your doctor may be able to make or confirm a diagnosis of disorders in blood vessels using the CT scan results.
To Examine Head and Brain Injuries
Head injuries, bleeding, strokes, brain tumors, migraines, or severe headaches are the main reasons behind most CT scans. Especially after an accident, if a patient has some head injuries, he might be asked to go for a CT scan. It assists the doctors in checking the severity of the injury.
Moreover, inflammation in the sinus, brain biopsy, surgical reconstruction plan, evaluation of soft bone tissues, and bone damage after facial trauma are other less common causes of CT scans.
To Examine Spinal Issues
Spinal injuries cause severe chronic pain and require a CT scan test for proper diagnosis and treatment. Doctors access the spine position before and after specific spine surgery with this imaging procedure. They evaluate spinal fractures and also congenital anomalies. It is also advised in herniated disc conditions for better treatment and diagnosis.
To Diagnose Abdominal Issues
Barium is a contrast dye that can be used in CT scans of the abdomen to create incredibly detailed images of organs. These organs include the liver, kidneys, gallbladder, spleen, ovaries, and uterus. Using an intravenous iodine-based dye greatly enhances the images, enabling medical professionals to identify various conditions. Doctors ask for this test in case of abdominal pain, severe weight loss, inflammation of the intestines, kidney stones, and obstructions in small and large intestines.
To Examine Small Bones
Some bones in the hands and feet are so small that any injury in these bones is hard to diagnose. So the CT scan helps to look deeper into the injuries of such small bones. This imaging test provides a better picture of the injured area. Crystal clear images help in surgical repairs and better treatment of small bones.
Besides the reasons mentioned above, there are some other conditions in which a doctor needs a CT scan for better evaluation and treatment. I have only mentioned the most common ones above.
How Is CT Scan Performed?
- You have to wear the hospital gown for a CT scan first.
- The technician will use an IV catheter to check for any metal you are wearing. You have to remove metal accessories before going for the CT scan.
- You have to lie down on a long, narrow table when it’s time for the scan, and you might be restrained there with velcro straps or other safety equipment. The table will slide in and out of the circular scanner as necessary to view the various regions of your body.
- Once you lie down on the table correctly, your technician will leave the room, and he will further instruct you through an intercom.
- The CT scan machine will circle around you while generating a loud noise as the table travels into and out of the scanner. You can be requested to keep a certain stance or hold your breath. Otherwise, you should maintain as much stillness as possible to avoid having blurry photos captured by the scanner.
- It should take between 20 minutes to an hour to complete the process.
Certified and skilled lab technicians at ER of Dallas perform CT scans with full accuracy. The patient will get their CT scan results as quickly as possible so that you can continue with the treatment.