Frequently Asked Questions
What is a CT Scan?
- CT Scan (Computerized Tomography Scan) is also known as CAT Scans (Computerized Axial Tomography).
- CT Scan is a non-invasive method of diagnosing all parts of the body.
- CT Scan is a combination of multiple X-ray images taken in series from different angles. These images are processed by a computer to create cross-sectional views of soft tissues, bones and blood vessels. Three Dimensional (3D) views of internal organs and body structure can be formed with a help of a CT scan.
- CTA (Computerized Tomography Angiography) is an eam to visualize blood flow in arterial vessels.
- The CT Scan images provides much more information in detail than plain X-rays.
When is a CT Scan used?
- To quickly examine cases of internal injuries, accidents or trauma.
- Study bone disorders and fractures.
- Diagnose muscle disorders, tumors, infections and blood clots.
- For guided medical treatments like surgeries, biopsy and radiation therapy.
- Detection and monitoring of liver masses, lung nodules, heart diseases and cancer.
How is CT Scan different from MRI Scan?
- CT Scans can sometimes provide more details about the head, eyes, inner ear and sinuses, hearts, lungs, skeletal system, pelvis, hips, reproductive systems, bladder and gastrointestinal tract. While an MRI can show clearer differences between normal and abnormal tissue.
- CT Scan involves a little radiation, while MRI are radiation free.
- CT Scans are quick, comfortable and suitable for claustrophobic patients, while MRI Scans are noisy, enclosed and take longer time to Scan.
- CT Scans allow you to move a little during the Scan, while in case of an MRI the patient has to remain still.
What are the different types of CT Scanners available?
- CT Scan machines vary from 32 slice to 640 slice CT. More slices means lesser radiation and better quality images.
- CT Scanners are not enclosed and patients do not feel claustrophobic during the Scan.
What types of CT Scans can be performed?
Abdomen, Adrenal Glands, Appendix, Arm, Back, Bile Ducts, Bladder, Blood Vessels, Bone, Bowel, Brain, Breast, Calcium Score, Cervical Spine, Cervix, Chest, Clavicle Joints, Coronary Angiogram, Coccyx, Cranial, CTA, Elbow, Facial Bones, Fallopian Tube, Fetus, Full Body, Gallbladder, Hand, Head, Heart, Hip, Internal Auditory Canal, Joint, Kidney, Knee, Leg, Liver, Lumbar Spine, Lymph Nodes, Mandibles, Neck Soft Tissue, Orbits, Ovaries, Pancreas, Pelvis, Penis, Prostate, Scrotum, Shoulder, Sinus, Skull, Spine, Spleen, Stone Search, Temporal Bones, Testicles, Thoracic Cavity, Thoracic Spine, Tumor, Urinary Tract, Uterus, Wrist
What is IV Contrast and Oral Contrast?
- Sometimes a contrast injection (iodine based material) is used to enhance the images of the blood vessels and the soft tissue. This is normally seen in cases of CT for Head, Neck Soft Tissue, Extremities, Spine, Chest, Urogram, Stone Search and CTA Scans.
- In some cases your doctor may also prescribe for an oral contrast (Barium) which is used to enhance the images of the digestive tract. They are common in cases for CT of Abdomen, Pelvis and other Abdominal Organs.
How long does it take to do a CT Scan?
Generally the Scans take a few minutes to perform. The total time of the examination can vary from 15 to 45 minutes including the preparation. Sometimes an additional test or Scan is required before the actual CT Scan.
How soon are the reports available?
The CT Scan images are available soon after the Scan. These images are studied by a medical practitioner (Radiologist) and the final report is produced and shared within 24 to 48 hours.
What are the risks and restrictions in a CT Scan?
- Though CT Scans involves radiation, they are kept at a very low dose with the help of advanced machines.
- The Scans are not painful, but the contrast material can make you feel warm.
- Patients are not given contrast if they have poor kidney function or renal impairment.
- Patients who may be pregnant, need to check with their doctors before undergoing a CT Scan.
- CT Scan machines can normally bear weights of up to 400 lbs
- Usually the CT Scans does not make you feel claustrophobic, however the patients may inform the staff if they are claustrophobic and the staff can provide sedatives to help them feel calm.