If you have an approaching CT scan coming up around the corner, you may be worrying about what to expect. It is normal to feel some form of anxiety or nerves in these sort of circumstances, but more often than not, these feelings of stress and worry are only present because the patient has not been well informed about the procedure.
What is a CT Scan?
A Computerised Tomography scan, often called a CT or CAT scan, uses a computer alongside X-rays to form intricate images depicting the inside of the body. Not just any doctor can perform a CAT scan. Instead, fully trained radiographers are required to carry out CT scans, ensuring that the patient can have the scan done in just one visit.
It differs from a traditional X-ray in the sense that it uses several beams of X-ray, rather than just one single ray as used in a normal X-ray scan. These multiple rays are sent from various angles to enable more images are taken from different viewpoints. The shape of a CAT scan is like a circular doughnut.
When is a CT Scan Required?
There are a few common reasons why a CT scan may be necessary. For example, a doctor may wish to have a CAT scan carried out to help diagnose medical conditions such as organ injury, blood flow problems, cancer or damaged bones.
Another use for a computerised tomography scan involves receiving further information about an existing health concern. This is often used to measure the size of a cancer tumour for example, or to enable a health professional to take a needle biopsy. CT scans allow doctors to monitor medical conditions more closely.
How to Prepare for a CT Scan?
According to Net Doctor, patients preparing for a CT scan may be asked to not eat anything at all for up to several hours prior to their appointment. This is to help ensure that clear images can be taken on the day of the examination. People suffering from prior health conditions or who take medication must alert their doctor before the scan. The same goes for pregnant women since unborn children may be at risk to the potentially harmful X-rays. It is also advised to come to the scan in clothes that are free from metal fastenings and to remove any jewellery or piercings beforehand.
Are CT Scans Safe?
CT scans have been approved by the FDA as safe for human use.