Things You Should Know Before Going For a CT Scan

You walk into your doctor’s clinic and your doctor requests a CT scan. You start to question your health since you are not familiar with this procedure. So, let me give you some information about a CT scan before you go through it.

What is a CT scan?

A CT scan or computed tomography is a procedure wherein a series of X-ray images from different angles are combined to create a clear cross-sectional picture of an organ in question. It provides more details than a normal X-ray.

It is often recommended for patients who have gone through a car injury or any other incidents that may cause trauma. It is used to diagnose diseases and also to plan ahead for surgical or radiation treatments.

Why is it needed?

Your doctor may request a CT scan to be conducted if they have to diagnose a muscle or bone disorder like tumours and fractures. It also helps physicians to locate infections, tumours or blood clots. It guides surgeons during pre-surgery, radiation therapy and biopsy. It can also be used to determine the effect of a treatment on a patient.

What are the risks?

A CT scan exposes the patients to ionizing radiation. The amount of radiation is larger than that produced during an X-ray examination. Though there is no proof that the amount of radiation you get from a CT scan be harmful in the long run, it may still increase your chance of getting cancer especially if you are predisposed to it.

CT scans can also be harmful to unborn children. It is necessary that you tell your doctor if you are pregnant, or possibly pregnant, before going through this procedure.

This procedure is also not advisable for people who have devices inside of them such as a pacemaker. If you have one, advice your doctor as early as possible.

There are instances when your doctor may require you to ingest a contrast agent. These contrast agents may cause nausea, vomiting and loss of consciousness, so make sure that you let your doctor know if you have ever had a reaction previously.

How to prepare for the procedure

There is no special preparation needed for a CT scan to be performed. You just have to wear a hospital gown and remove any jewellery or metal objects that you may have. If the CT scan is for your digestive system, your doctor may require you to fast.

Bring your current medication and vitamins as you may need them during your hospital stay. Again, inform your doctor if you have a pacemaker, are pregnant, or could possibly be pregnant.

The radiologist will position you on the examination table. You may be asked to lie flat on your back or stomach or on your side depending on the organ to be examined. CT scans are usually painless, quick and easy, so you don’t have to worry about it. If you want to be really prepared, you can even find out the price of a CT scan; simply enter the phrase “CT scan London cost” in your browser, so you won’t be surprised when the bill comes in.