What Is a CT Scan?
A computerized tomography (CT) scan is an advanced X-Ray. Instead of using a single beam to produce a single image, CT scans (also referred to as CAT scans) use a series of x-rays emitted from multiple angles around your body to produce a large number of images. When the images are combined in a computer, they create detailed cross-sections of your internal organs, including bones, blood vessels, and soft tissues. During some CT scans, patients are injected with a contrast dye in order to make their tissues more visible on the final images and help doctors identify diseased tissue.
When Is a CT Scan Used?
Doctors prescribe CT scans whenever they need diagnostic images more detailed than a regular x-ray.
What Happens During a CT Scan Procedure?
When you arrive, you'll be asked for your medical history. Afterwards, you will be asked to change into a gown and lie down on a motorized bed that will guide you into the scanner. Lie as still as possible while it is active to avoid blurring the images. In order to get better images, you may also be asked to hold your breath. You will hear some noises while the scanner is activated, such as a whirring or high-pitched beeping. Several scans will be taken and the table will move between each scan. The entire exam will last for approximately 10-15 minutes. If you feel uncomfortable or have any questions during the exam, you will be able to communicate with the technologist. They will do everything they can to accommodate you.
What Are the Risks and Benefits of a CT Scan?
CT scans are extremely safe. There is some radiation exposure, but it is small and poses no health risk. However, if you're pregnant, or think you might be pregnant, please tell your referring physician beforehand. There is also a small chance you may have an allergic reaction to the contrast dye. To reduce your risk, please tell your referring physician about any any medications or chemicals you know you are allergic to, such as iodine. If you do have a reaction, our staff will be onhand to provide immediate assistance.
What Types of CT Scans Are There?
Because CT scans provide fast and accurate information about your health, doctors use them to examine diseases and injuries in all parts of the body.
CT Heart Scan
A CT heart scan creates detailed images of your heart and the surrounding blood vessels. They are used to check for congenital heart defects, lipid plaque buildup, heart valve injuries, blood cots, and tumors. Heart scans may also include scans of the pulminary or aorta arteries, in order to provide doctors with a better picture of your cardiovascular system.
CT Lung Screening
CT lung screenings are used to diagnose lung diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, bronchiectasis, and cystic fibrosis. They are also used to screen patients for lung cancer.
CT Virtual Colonoscopy
A CT virtual colonoscopy is used to examine the rectum and the lining of the large intestine for growths and polyps.
CT Body Scan
A CT full body scan takes a snapshot of the entire body. It is the fastest way to check for internal injuries after a serious accident. It is also used to check for abnormalities in all parts of your body and to track the spread of malignant diseases, such as cancer.
How Do You Schedule a CT Scan?
If you're interested in scheduling a CT scan, please vist our appointments page and enter your contact information.