What is a CT Scan?
Currently, CT Scan is considered as one of the most advanced medical technologies and scanning procedures that has made things easier. Merely, a series of X-ray images are taken through the computed tomography process using a specific type of computer. The activities of the internal organs can be visualized through a CT Scan and this is the reason why CT Scan is widely used for detecting any hidden injuries or internal wounds. Cross sectional images of bones, soft tissues and blood vessels can be captured through a CT Scan. The best thing about CT Scan is, it can help to get detailed images so that the medical experts can understand the exact issues that are being the reason for physical complexion for the patient.
There are so many kinds of injuries that may take place in our body but we can not see it. In other words, we can never assume how serious an internal wound is about to be without running a computed tomography scan process. The further treatment procedures are performed soon after getting the detailed images of the injured internal part of the patient's body. Even the silliest internal issue in your blood vessel, soft tissues or bones can be detected through a CT Scan.
CT Scan has never been proven to be harmful as the process is all about a targeted and small amount of radiation. This can be considered as the major reason it has already become one of the most widely used processes to detect the presence of internal injuries or wounds. Certainly, it is not a challenge anymore to examine people who are having internal injuries because a CT Scan process can be used to visualize almost all the parts of the human body.
Why is it done?
- To diagnose bone and muscle disorders like fractures or bone tumors
- To Guide important processes like biopsy, surgery and radiation therapy
- To Accurately locate a blood clot, tumor or infection
- To properly monitor the effectiveness of any treatment in details
- To detect internal bleeding and injuries
- To monitor diseases and conditions like heart disease, lung nodules and liver masses
Undoubtedly, a CT Scan has so many uses in the medical sector. This is the major reason before the high demand of CT Scan. No matter you are having internal issues in your tissues, muscles or bones, a CT Scan can certainly help to locate and detect the seed of the problem. In case you feel any kind of internal inflammation or pain, your doctor may suggest you go for a CT Scan immediately so that he can decide the ways of further treatment procedures after having a look at the test report.
How do CT Scans work?
There are so many kinds of injuries that can not be seen with naked eyes or can not be explored just through an operation. A CT Scan process captures the images of those injured places using X-ray, which helps the medical experts carry forward the treatment processes. Firstly the patient appears to be getting involved in the scanning process. Soon after laying down on the process table, the scanning process is performed using X-ray and a special type of computer. After the process is completed, the medical experts get the detailed images of the injured bone, muscle or tissue and then they decide further steps to be taken. During an ongoing treatment, CT Scan helps to monitor the effectiveness of the treatment on that particular patient. Knowingly, body parts like, spine, shoulder, knee, chest, heart, head and abdomen can be covered through a CT Scan process.
How are CT Scans done?
A CT Scan machine is used to run the process. Certain types of X-ray machines keep rotating for the purpose of capturing detailed 2D and 3D images. The cross-sectional images of the internal part of the body are quickly captured through the CT machine that are properly examined by medical experts later. The patient is generally asked to lay down on a specific part of the machine and after that the patient is inserted partially in that machine before starting the entire procedure.
Inner parts are visualized in this process using X-rays. The table can adjust itself while rotating for the purpose of capturing images with detail. After the patient lays down on the processing table, the ray keeps taking the pictures of the inner parts of the body by constantly rotating around the body of the patient. The patient is taken out of the machine once all these processes are completed successfully. A radiologist properly monitors the entire process to make sure that everything is alright during the scanning process. Undoubtedly, this is one of the easiest processes so far to capture detailed 2D and 3D images of a person's internal injuries of bones, tissues or muscles.
What is a CT Scan with contrast
A specific kind of dye material is used to highlight any specific part of the internal injury when it is required. The contrast material can be inserted in the body of the patient in several ways. Either it is injected, or the patient is asked to consume it. Soon after it enters the patient's body, it highlights the exact part where the injury has taken place and it becomes visible more clearly in the captured images that are examined by medical experts. The use of CT Scan with contrast can be seen in so many cases because sometimes it becomes difficult to pinpoint the exact location of the injury.
What can you expect during and after the procedure
- During the procedure: You will be lying on a motorized narrow table, which slides through a tunnel. Maybe the table will be connected to a holder that will hold your head steadily during the process. Sometimes there are straps and pillows so that you stay in position during the entire process. After the table slides into the scanner, you will be seeing x-ray tubes, detectors and scanners rotating around you. After each rotation, you will probably get the sounds of buzzing and silly noises. No need to get nervus because a radiologist from another room can see and hear you and monitor the entire process.
- After the procedure: You have nothing more to perform after the entire process is done, so you can go back to your daily life. However, you may receive certain instructions from the medical experts in case some contrast materials have been used during the procedure. Generally people who have gone through a CT Scan are advised to stay hydrated as much as possible.
Are there any risks?
There are certain risks of CT Scan that should be mentioned. Radiation exposure is still one of the most mentionable risks of a CT Scan process. It is a known fact that the process of CT Scan involves the use of X-rays. As per information fetched, low radiation of these X-rays are not really harmful for anybody, however, high radiation can be responsible for increasing the risk of cancer a bit. Apart from that, you must have a brief consultation with your doctor if you are pregnant before appearing for a CT Scan process. As a matter of fact, the radiation of the X-rays can be harmful for the fetus. Although a mild amount of X-rays are used in this process, it is better to avoid exposing your baby to radiation. These are the reasons why pregnant women must act as per the recommendations of the certified doctors before appearing for a CT Scan process. Last but not the least, the special dye named contrast material that is used to highlight the specific part of the body that is injured may cause a bit of complexion like allergic reactions in the body. This is the major reason why it is always good to have a chat with a doctor before appearing for a CT Scan or any other similar kind of scanning procedure.
What are the side effects?
There are so many people who are allergic to contrast materials. In other words, the use of contrast materials may cause a bit of physical discomfort or silly complexions for them. For example, rashes or itchiness may appear in a patient after a certain point of time if contrast material had been used during the scanning process.In some specific cases, the dye is also known for causing some life-threatening complication for a few patients. This can be considered as the prime reason why most of the patients are kept under strong observation of the medical experts. To be mentioned, you must inform your doctor if you are having any kind of allergies before appearing for a CT Scan, otherwise there remains a chance of the appearance of certain physical issues. Besides, if you have diabetes and you are consuming metformin, then inform the medical experts and they will tell you when to stop.
What do CT Scan results mean?
The observation of the radiologist is considered as the bigger part of the test result. If the radiologist does not see any tumors, fractures, blood clots or any other kinds of abnormalities in the captured images, then the result will be considered as a normal one.
CT vs. MRI
Although both the processes are used to capture the images of the inner parts of the body, there is a silly difference between these two processes. The process named MRI is known for using radio waves and X-rays are used in a CT Scan process. However, both of them are low risk processes and have their own specific advantages and applicability.
Types of CT Scanners
Sir Godfrey Hounsfield invented the first commercial CT Scanner using X-rays. As per information fetched, there are currently two specific kinds of CT Scan named conventional CT and Helical or spiral CT Scan. The scanning process stops after each capture and moves down from the top in case of conventional CT Scan process. On the other hand, the capturing process remains constant in case of spiral CT Scan process, which is considered as the most globally used scanning process right now.
Generally while running the process, the scanning machine divides the body into slices while capturing images. Knowingly, scanners with more slices are faster and accurate. Knowingly, the most high end scanners that are currently available in the market are 128 or 256 slices. A brief on some of the CT Scanners are given below for you.
- 2,4 or 8 slice CT Scanners: These are considered as whole body CT Scanners and they are able to scan through 360 degree rotation. They can acquire multiple slices in a single rotation. These scanners are fast and these can help to get excellent quality images.
- 16 slice CT Scanners: These scanners provide complete coverage of full organs with high resolution. Knowingly, 16 slice CT Scanners are more popular.
- 32-40 slice CT Scanners: These specific types of scanners are known for being faster than many other types of scanners. Besides, these scanners are known for reducing the risk of distraction when the patient moves.
- 64 slice CT Scanners: These scanners are widely recommended for cardiac studies. It helps to observe even the tiniest vessels and get detailed information about the walls and arteries.
Types of CT Scans
The broad use of CT Scan can be seen in diagnosis of heart, lungs, liver, abdomen etc. It helps in detecting issues in all of these organs. Besides, it helps to locate appendicitis, duct blockages, gallstones, sinus, kidney stones and tumors as well as the spread of cancers. Apart from that, skull fractures, hidden injuries, cysts, certain kinds of infections and injuries including defects and disorders in the internal organs can also be detected through CT Scan. As mentioned before, it is also used to know about the treatment response of the patient. Some of the most widely known types of CT Scans are mentioned below for you.
- CT Scan of head: Detection of stroke, tumors, calcifications and haemorrhages are possible through a CT Scan of head. Apart from that, its wide use can be seen in detecting hearing issues of an individual including paranasal sinuses.
- CT Scan of chest: In case the signs and symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain, chest pain or severe fever gets visible in a person, the person is generally recommended to go for a CT Scan of chest. From the issues of lung functioning to issues in blood vessels, everything can be clearly detected through this process. Besides, the bones, tissues and muscles of the chest area can be properly examined through this process.
- CT Scan of Abdomen: Several kinds of abdominal diseases can be properly diagnosed through this process. Its wide use can be seen in diagnosing the stages of cancer or the monitoring of the effectiveness of cancer treatment. Apart from that, it also effectively helps in diagnosing appendicitis, abnormalities of liver, pancreas and kidneys.
- CT Scan of Spine: If a person is having spinal column damage during any serious injury, then the person is taken for a CT Scan of the spine. It is generally performed to detect the presence of herniated disc problems, fractures and for measuring the bone density in patients with diseases like arthritis.
CT Scan cost in India
Most of the hospitals have already enabled the feature of CT Scan. Although the price may vary, However, no mountain-sized expenses are required to go for a CT Scan. Generally the price range starts from 1500 rupees. You may get in touch with a pathology lab to gain information about CT Scan price with more detail.