Essential Information You Need to Know Before Getting a CT Scan
CT scans have been around for some time. They make use of narrow X-ray beams circling around a part of your body. It provides series of images looking at the same area from different angles. With the help of the computer, a cross-sectional picture is revealed. It is like putting a puzzle together. Each image is revealed like a slice of a loaf of bread. Therefore, it has to be repeated many times to produce different slices and create an entire loaf.
The scans are stacked on top of each other to create a 3D image. This allows the doctor to have a better view of the area. When your bones or organs are scanned, the doctor can easily see which specific part was affected and how severe it is. For instance, if you have a tumour, the doctor can make a decision on whether or not an operation is necessary and how to specifically target that area that needs to be operated on.
Getting a CT scan
If you were asked by your doctor to get a CT scan, you have to prepare for it. You should not eat or drink a few hours before the scan. This is true especially if the affected area is related to your digestion as food could interfere with the results. You should also wear appropriate clothing for the scan which means just your underwear and the hospital gown provided to you. Any metallic objects should be taken off including jewellery and accessories.
You will get help from a radiology technologist for the scan. You will lie on a table with a large CT machine that is shaped like a doughnut. This table then moves slowly to the scanner and the X-rays start rotating around the body. It is normal to hear minimal buzzing as it starts moving. Your vision might be blurred during the process or you will feel a bit disoriented. You just have to stay still and even hold your breath to avoid movement. The time it takes for this to be over depends on which area of the body is being scanned. It will only take a few minutes though and not over half an hour.
Wait for the results
Once the CT scan is done, you just have to wait for the results from your physician. The scan can be used to reveal injuries in your bones due to physical activity. It can also show conditions related to your internal organs like heart diseases or liver cirrhosis. Tumours, blood clots and infections may also be revealed in the results.
You will then be given a diagnosis based on the reading of the CT scan. The doctor will then use the image as a guide if there is a need for surgery or radiation therapy.
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