A computerized tomography (CT) scan is a combination of X-ray images that are taken from different angles all around the body, and uses a computer processor to create cross-sectional images (slices) of the soft tissue, bones, and blood vessels inside the body. CT scans offer more detailed images than plain X-rays will.
A CT scan reveals torn or damaged organs, inner ear problems, broken bones, vertebral bone damage, etc. that cannot be diagnosed using regular x-rays.
Before a scan, patients may be asked to change into a gown and remove items that contain metal. During the scan, that patient lies on a long cushioned panel that moves slowly through a large, circular opening while the X-ray tubes (inside the circle) rotates rapidly around the patient while shooting beams of narrow X-rays through the patient instead of taking film. There are special digital X-ray detectors on the CT scanner which are directly opposite of the X-ray source. During this process, a computer accumulates numerous images that are generated by the scan.
The length of time for CT scans varies depending on the type of scan prescribed by your physician. Most CT scans last around 30 minutes. However, if a contrast agent is required this can delay the scan.
At times radiologists order contrast agents to be injected intravenously during a scan. Contrast agents are iodine-based fluids that are absorbed by abnormal tissue. Since the contrast agents are only absorbed by abnormal tissue and not healthy tissue, the contrast makes it easier for doctors to see tumors or other irregularities.
No, a CT scan is painless. If a contrast agent is required the intravenous injection may be slightly uncomfortable.
The CT images are read and diagnosed by one of Blue Rock Imaging’s experienced radiologists, who provides a written report of their findings. The report and images are then available to a patient’s primary doctor to help in his decision for possible treatment.
Types of CT Scans
- Soft Tissue Neck
- Cardiac Scoring