A CT scan is a medical imaging procedure that combines a series of X-rays taken from different angles to create a highly detailed image of the soft tissues, blood vessels, and bones inside your body.
A CT scan machine is well suited for diagnosing diseases and injuries because it provides detailed images. However, it is particularly useful to ER doctors who need to examine traumatic accident victims quickly.
Why Would Your Doctor Order a CT Scan?
With the proliferation of medical imaging machines like MRI, ultrasound, and bone scan, you might wonder why your doctor still recommends a CT scan.
To better help you understand the benefits of a CT scan, we list some of the most common reasons why your doctor might recommend this medical imaging procedure.
It is a better option than magnetic resonance imaging or MRI in some situations.
While MRIs and CT scans are almost similar, there are reasons why MRI is not an ideal procedure. For instance, patients with cochlear implants, implanted pacemakers, and intracranial aneurysm clips can’t have this procedure that involves the use of strong magnets.
Also, CT scans are shorter and less noisy than MRIs, which emit a banging sound because of the metal coils vibrating during the procedure.
You have soft tissue damage.
Compared to traditional X-rays, CT scans provide a crispier, more detailed image of the soft tissue around the bones. And with better images, your doctor can provide a more accurate diagnosis and ultimately a more effective treatment and recovery plan.
You have a certain type of vascular disease.
While ultrasound can be used to examine your blood vessels, sometimes their results are inconclusive when it comes to aneurysms, which makes CT scans a better option.
CT scans can also replace surgical biopsy and exploratory surgery, allowing doctors to examine your blood vessels without resorting to surgical procedures.
You have bone injuries affecting small components.
If you have bone injuries in your spinal area, hands, feet, and other “small components,” CT scan is a better option than X-rays which may not provide the same level of accuracy.
You need a bone scan.
CT scan machines can evaluate your bone density and ultimately determine if you have osteoporosis, which stems from a lifelong lack of calcium.
CT scans can also diagnose osteoporosis-related fractures that commonly occur in the wrist, spine, and hip.
You are receiving chemotherapy.
Cancer patients routinely undergo CT scans to determine if their tumors respond to radiation treatments used to kill cancerous tumors. These machines can also show doctors the tumor’s size and shape.
You need tumor surgery.
Before surgery, your specialists may recommend a CT scan alongside biopsy to help them confirm the presence of a tumor and learn about its exact location, shape, and size. The images from the CT scan can also help them examine the tissue surrounding the tumor.
You just had a traumatic accident.
While MRIs and CT scans have almost the same functions, CT scans are a better imaging tool in emergencies such as a car collision and slip and fall accident in which doctors need to detect internal injuries quickly to save their patients.
You need your brain examined.
Brain CT scans are used to evaluate the presence of mass, tumor, ischemic process (like stroke), fluid collection, hemorrhage, and trauma. Compared to standard X-rays of the head, these machines provide more detailed information about the brain structure and its soft tissue.
CT scans for the brain usually take between 15 and 30 minutes.
Related article: Managing Claustrophobia and Anxiety During Your CT Scan
To learn more about CT scans, contact Catalina Imaging at (844) 949-1664 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. They provide a mobile CT scan fleet for medical facilities in California, North Carolina, Minnesota, and Illinois.