April 15, 2018

There are several different radiology tests your doctor can order, and each has a specific function. If you are going to get a CT scan, there is a reason why your doctor chose this type of test.

What Is a CT Scan?

A CT scan provides more detailed images than a regular x-ray. It uses computer technology to take a series of x-rays from different angles around your body. The computer technology creates cross-sectional images – also called slices – of the bones, blood vessels, and soft tissues inside your body.

This specialized test is used to diagnose injuries or diseases, and plan other treatments such as surgeries, radiation, or specialized medical care.

You may need to have a CT scan if you are experiencing one of the following eight circumstances.

A Problem With Your Muscles or Bones

It’s hard for x-rays to see the small boney structures in your feet, hands, or spine. A CT scan allows your doctor to look at these details to make sure you get the right treatment. It can also be used to measure the density of your bones if you have osteoporosis or other bone conditions.

A Planned Procedure or Surgery

CT scans can be used to see the exact location of a tumor before a biopsy or other surgery.

A Problem With Your Blood Vessels

Your doctor can see your blood vessels on a CT scan. They may be able to see a blockage in your blood vessels without surgery.

A Reason You Can’t Have an MRI

There are many reasons your doctor may choose a CT scan over an MRI. Some of the most common include the amount of time an MRI takes and if you have any implantable devices in your body.

A Possible Injury to Soft Tissue

An x-ray only shows bones. If your doctor is worried that you have damage to the soft tissues around bones, a CT scan can give a clearer picture.

A Need for Cancer Treatment

If you need radiation treatments, your doctor may order a CT scan. The exact location of the tumor can be seen as well as the tissue around it. You may have other CT scans done while you are receiving radiation to see if the tumor is getting smaller.

A Possible Problem With Your Brain

CT exams can provide detailed information about brain tissue and brain structures that are difficult to see on a standard x-ray. If your doctor is concerned about tumors, stroke, bleeding, infection, or how your brain is working, you may need a CT exam.

A Traumatic Injury

In emergency situations, a CT scan can provide doctors with a lot of information about your body quickly. CT scans are relatively quick and can be used to see internal injuries and bleeding.

CT scans give your doctor invaluable information about how your body is working on the inside. If you have questions about an upcoming CT scan, call your doctor’s office today.

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