Things to Know Before Going for a CT Scan

CT Scan

CT Scan stands for computed Tomography; it is basically a computerized axial with multiple rays working together with much more higher radiation. CT scan technology is a boon to the medical industry and was invented in 1967 by Godfery Hounsfield. He was a biomedical engineer and won the Nobel Prize for his significant contribution to the medical industry. CT scan helps view the internal organs clearly, which ultimately helps diagnose any and every diseases, growths, functions and injury. The doctors prefer CT scan over X rays as it provides a three-dimension image and helps doctors with insightful analysis. Plain CT scan is a painless procedure. However, there are various types of CT scan, depending on your disease doctor shall suggest. Many of the processes include the use of contrast which can cause a minimal disturbance in your body.

CT scan is a procedure that can be commonly used for any body part even whole human body can be scanned. Doctors prefer X-rays as the first step of diagnosis despite CT scan giving an accurate analysis. As CT scan uses higher radiations than X-ray, these radiations do create a certain level of damage to our cells. However, if the X-ray does not help them with the diagnosis, they would suggest for a CT scan.

The Specified Use of CT scan:

  • CT scan can be done for each and every part of a human body.
  • CT scan of Abdomen: to monitor liver, kidney, pancreas and urinary tracts.
  • CT scan of Chest: to monitor the pulmonary disease, clots, tumours and functions of lungs.
  • CT scan of Heart: to monitor cardiovascular system, coronary artery and heart valve.
  • CT scan of head: to monitor brain calcification, blood flow, tumours, hemorrhage and the skull.
  • CT scan of skeletal: to monitor spinal cords, bones, bone tumours, arthritis issues and complex fracture.

How to Prepare for CT Scan?

CT scan is a very simple procedure; hence there is nothing to be worried about this process. This procedure will not hurt you; however, if there is a contrast involved in your scan and the staff is not much experienced, then the contrast could flow out, causing slight swelling for an hour or two. The preparation from your side should involve wearing comfortable clothes with no buttons, hooks, zips etc. Usually, they provide you with a specific cotton cloth to change into. Wear no jewellery or glasses as metals are not allowed on the scan machine. When it comes to food and drinks, it better to contact your diagnosis centre. There are no such restrictions for plain CT scan, but the process where a contrast agent is involved fasting is needed. Some contrast agents also need a faecal free clean bowel which requires fasting along with laxatives.

Benefits of Scan:

Compared to any other machines in the global medical device market CT scan is the only one that can produce high contrast multi-dimension image in minutes. It helps the doctor in a faster decision-making process. Hence in any emergencies, CT scan is preferred over X-rays, MRI and PET. The only device that can match the speed of a CT scan is sonography as it works on ultrasound and produces the result during the process itself. However, sonography is limited to certain parts. So there is no competition for CT scan in the global medical device market.

Do CT Scan Increases the Risk of Cancer?

Despite being one of the most useful medical devices, it has certain limitations and dangers. CT scan machines use a higher amount of radiation which causes cell damage. Risk of cancer and contrast reaction is also high.

Cancer:

CT scan is associated with a high level of radiation, but can it be considered a reason for cancer? Compared to an X-ray, a CT scan uses 1oo-1000 times more radiation. There are ample studies in the market related to this concern. However, each research shows that a single scan or a necessary scan will have no such wrong impact on our body. It doesn’t suggest that a scan is risk-free. But if compared, the benefit will overweigh the risk factor associated with CT scan. If you are under treatment and has to go for CT scan repeatedly then share your concern with your doctor as repeated scans can lead to certain damage.


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