WHAT is a CT Scan?
Also known as a CAT scan, a computerised tomography (CT) scan uses computer processing through a series of X-ray images taken from different angles to create cross-sectional images of slices of the bones, blood vessels, and soft tissues inside your body. Since it provides much more detailed information than plain X-rays, CT scans are highly useful for quick examination of internal injuries from accidents or trauma-related cases wherein it is used to visualise almost all the parts of your body to diagnose the cause of the injuries and other diseases according to which the needful treatment is developed by the examiners. With commendable expertise and experience in the field, our specialists at the Department of Radiology here at Yashoda Hospital always put their patients first and are ever ready to usher you through the medical procedure your condition demands.
WHY a CT Scan?
The uses of a CT scan may be far more than one knows in that, doctors even use it as a compass to orient various surgical procedures, biopsies, and radiation therapy. Here are some of its most important uses-
– to diagnose infections, muscle and bone disorders, fractures, and tumours.
– to detect and assess the extent of internal injuries and internal bleeding.
– to pinpoint the site of tumour, infection, or blood clot.
– to detect certain diseases such as cancer, liver masses, and heart diseases and monitor the effectiveness of their treatments.
– to study the conditions of blood vessels and other internal structures.
HOW is a CT Scan done?
A few hours before your scan, you may be advised to refrain from drinking or eating. The test is minimally invasive and can be conducted quickly. Depending upon the part of your body to be scanned, you will be asked to remove part or all of your clothing and wear a hospital gown, remove all metal objects which can interfere with the results, and may also give a special dye called a contrast material. This contrast material blocks X-rays and appears white on images revealing clearer pictures of the internal structures under examination. The contrast material is given depending on the site, for instance by mouth for the esophagus or stomach; by injection through a vein for blood vessels, liver, or gallbladder; or by enema for intestines. Lying with your face up on a table in the CT scanner, the X-ray machine will rotate around while taking numerous images of thin slices of your body from various angles, the whole procedure taking 20 minutes or more.
To avoid blurry pictures in the scan which lead to inaccurate results, movement is prohibited during the scan and for the same reason if your infant is having a CT scan, the doctor may recommend a sedative to keep your child still.
WHAT are the risk factors?
Some of the most common risks associated with a CT scan include-
Radiation exposure: With every CT scan, you’re briefly exposed to ionizing radiation. High doses or frequency of such exposure increases the potential risk of cancer. Here at Yashoda, our specialists use the lowest possible dose to obtain the required medical information by using the latest machines and techniques that emit lesser radiation.
Contrast material reactions: The contrast material may cause allergy or other medically problematic reactions. Most of these reactions are mild causing rashes or itchiness but in rare conditions, may be life-threatening in which case you should immediately inform your doctor.
Unborn babies: Although the CT scan may not harm your unborn baby directly, doctors may recommend another test such as an ultrasound or MRI to avoid radiation exposure or minimise risk. You must inform your doctor about your pregnancy before any CT scan.
Diabetic patients: If you are on any diabetes medicine such as Metformin Glucophage, you must inform your doctor since the use of contrast material for a CT scan in such a condition calls for special measures to be taken.
A little bit about Cranial CT Scan
Recorded to be one of the most common CT scans, a Cranial CT scan is done to obtain highly detailed pictures of various parts inside your head including the skull, brain, ventricles, eye sockets, and paranasal sinuses and is also known by the part of the head that is scanned such as skull scan, brain scan, and sinus scan. A cranial CT scan helps your doctor diagnose several conditions including birth defects, brain haemorrhage and hydrocephalus, infections, stroke and tumour, and any other kind of abnormalities within the brain.
Some of the most common symptoms to watch out for through which your body may be signalling you to get a Cranial CT scan are seizures, headache, sudden behavioural change, speech impairment, vision or hearing loss, and losing consciousness. Much like other CT scans, the risk factors of a Cranial CT scan include overexposure to radiation and abnormal reactions or allergy to the contrast materials used.
WHAT does a CT scan result entail?
Once the CT scan is done, the captured images are stored as electronic data files and sent to a radiologist. The radiologist reviews the images on a computer screen and interprets them and sends a detailed report to your doctor. The CT scan is taken to be normal if the doctors do not detect any fractures, blood clots, tumour, or any other abnormalities in the images. Otherwise, our doctors will guide you towards further tests and develop the needful treatments depending on the observation and results of the CT scan.
WHOM to consult?
After a thorough physical examination and observing your symptoms and signs, our experts at the Department of Radiology, Yashoda Hospital will recommend the type of CT scan required by your condition and develop the best treatment according to the diagnosis of your ailment. Our radiology specialists work in close collaboration with experts and surgeons from all other fields to give you the most effective diagnosis and treatment using the latest technology and tools to deliver maximum care.
For any query on CT scan, please reach out to us on our official website www.yashodahealthcare.com or book an appointment with our highly specialised radiologists Dr. Alok Tripathi and Dr. Pankaj Agarwal by calling us at 09810922042.