What you need to know about:

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

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Time it takes:
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Overview of

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

in Thailand

A computed tomography (CT) scan is one of most commonly used diagnostic radiology procedures that involves a series of x-ray images taken from different angles around a patient’s body. These three-dimensional images are then processed by a computer to create cross-sectional images of the bones, blood vessels, and soft tissues, allowing for clear visualization of organs.

Goals of

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

A CT scan is used to examine various organs in the body to detect any abnormalities as well as any masses or cysts, fracture of bones, infection, swelling or obstruction of blood vessels, etc. To monitor the results of treatment, such as in cancer patients after surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation. To determine the location for biopsy to test for cancer or location for drainage of fluid or pus from the body.

Price of

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

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Pros and cons of

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

Pros

-A CT scan provides detailed and accurate results with three-dimensional images that give more information for diagnosis than regular x-ray. CT scan helps detect more abnormalities and can diagnose complex diseases. The procedure does not take very long and is convenient.  

-Almost every partial CT scans take just a couple of seconds. On the other hand, a full-body CT scan could be done within 30 minutes. The speed aids in quickly finding internal bleeding and internal injuries enough to help save the patient’s life.  

-A CT scan has a less strict requirement for patients to stay completely motionless during the procedure. CT scans also have no prohibition on medical devices implanted inside the body.

Cons

 -Radiation levels emitted by CT scan machines greatly depends. This leads to a chance of breast cancer or lung cancer as the consequence. Also, DNA itself is damaged by X-Rays. The referring physician chooses the dosage strength since the federal government has no rules that limits the amount of radiation that a person may get during a CT scan.  

-Typically, CT scans are not suggested for women that are pregnant unless it is medically required. This is because of the possible risk to the baby inside the womb. Women must let the scan technician and doctor know if there is a possibility that they are carrying a baby. In addition to that, a woman faces a higher risk than men since the rays could damage their ovaries, whether pregnant or not.  

-Babies that are still nursed are possibly at risk from the contrast material inserted into their mother before CT scans. That is why before resuming breastfeeding; a mother must wait for at least 24 hours. Also, kids are very sensitive to radiation. That is why CT scans must not be done if it is not needed.

How it works:

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

You can have a CT scan done in a hospital or an outpatient facility. CT scans are painless and, with newer machines, take only a few minutes. The whole process typically takes about 30 minutes. Depending on the model, CT scanners are generally shaped like a large doughnut standing on its side. You lie on a narrow, motorized table that slides through the opening into a tunnel. Straps and pillows may be used to help you stay in position. During a head scan, the table may be fitted with a special cradle that holds your head still. While the table moves you into the scanner, detectors and the X-ray tube rotate around you. Each rotation yields several images of thin slices of your body. You may hear buzzing and whirring noises. A technologist in a separate room can see and hear you. You will be able to communicate with the technologist via intercom. The technologist may ask you to hold your breath at certain points to avoid blurring the images.

Preparation before

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

Pre - treatment

Depending on which part of your body is being scanned, you may be asked to: -Take off some or all of your clothing and wear a hospital gown -Remove metal objects, such as a belt, jewelry, dentures and eyeglasses, which might interfere with image results -Refrain from eating or drinking for a few hours before your scan CT with Contrast In some special scenarios, A special dye called contrast material is needed for some CT scans to help highlight the areas of your body being examined. The contrast material blocks X-rays and appears white on images, which can help emphasize blood vessels, intestines or other structures. Contrast material might be given to you in different ways depending on part of the body that the scan will be focused on: -By mouth - If your esophagus or stomach is being scanned, you may need to swallow a liquid that contains contrast material. This drink may taste unpleasant. -By injection - Contrast agents can be injected through a vein in your arm to help your gallbladder, urinary tract, liver or blood vessels stand out on the images. You may experience a feeling of warmth during the injection or a metallic taste in your mouth. -By an enema - A contrast material may be inserted in your rectum to help visualize your intestines. This procedure can make you feel bloated and uncomfortable.

Recovery after

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

Post - treatment

After the exam you can return to your normal routine. If you were given contrast material, you may receive special instructions. In some cases, you may be asked to wait for a short time before leaving to ensure that you feel well after the exam. After the scan, you'll likely be told to drink lots of fluids to help your kidneys remove the contrast material from your body. CT images are stored as electronic data files and are usually reviewed on a computer screen. A radiologist interprets these images and sends a report to your doctor.

Risks & side effects

Risks of Radiation CT scan uses radiation and may slightly increase the risk of cancer in the long-term. With the current technology, the radiologist and radiologic technologist can adjust the level of radiation to be most appropriate for the patient and only just enough for diagnosis. For children, parents should discuss the risks of the procedure with the doctor to determine the most appropriate course of action as children are more sensitive to radiation than adults.   This procedure is not appropriate for pregnant patients and those who are trying to conceive as radiation is risky for the fetus. Only if the benefits of the procedure outweigh the risks will the doctor recommend the CT scan.   Risks of CT Scan With Contrast media A small number of patients may experience immediate side effects or allergic reactions to the contrast media. These may include nausea, vomiting, and feeling hot throughout the body. These symptoms often go away when the contrast media is stopped. Allergic reactions may be mild or severe, but are usually not serious and include rash, itching, hives, sneezing, and/or coughing. Serious reactions, which are rare, include difficulty breathing, low or high blood pressure, and loss of consciousness. However, the patient will be monitored the entire time by a radiologist and nurse, and any allergic reaction can be countered immediately. There is life-saving equipment in every procedure room and a team of expert emergency doctors are available 24 hours a day. Delayed reactions, which are also rare, occur when the patient is home. If you experience any symptoms after a CT scan with contrast media, please return to the hospital immediately. For patients at high risk of reaction from contrast media, the referring doctor or an allergist will consider administering antihistamines before the patient receives the contrast media to prevent reaction or may choose an alternative procedure. Contrast media extravasation is the leakage of contrast media outside the vein, causing the contrast media to be absorbed into the tissue under the skin. This can cause swelling in the area as well as pain, burning, and/or blistering. Your doctor will treat this immediately.  Contrast induced nephropathy (CIN) may occur after intravenous administration of contrast media, especially in patients with diabetes or kidney disease or patients whose kidney function is compromised. These patients are at risk of renal failure after receiving contrast media. Patients at risk of contrast induced nephropathy may be recommended to undergo a different procedure or may require special preparation before the scan and the amount of contrast media used will be limited and carefully monitored by the referring doctor or an endocrinologist/nephrologist.  Risks of Sedation If the patient cannot undergo the scan normally, such as children, those with claustrophobia, or those with pain that does not allow them to stay still, the doctor may recommend minimal to deep sedation or general anesthesia, to facilitate the scan. The doctor will work with an anesthesiologist to assess the patient and provide recommendations before the procedure.

FAQs:

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

Why is the CT scan a useful diagnostic test?

The success rate of CT scan is very high, but it depends on many factors, such as the type of procedure, the disease, and patient-specific factors. If you have any questions, please talk to your doctor.

What's being done to reduce the amount of radiation from CT scans?

Manufacturers of CT scanners have made great strides in reducing dose. Newer CT scanners have built in dose saving features designed to provide the lowest dose while preserving the image quality.  Pediatric protocols are routinely available and used to significantly reduce the dose when compared to adult doses. When children need a CT scan, parents should ask about the right dose for their child's age and size.

Why do I need an IV contrast?

The IV contrast (iodine or contrast “dye”) enhances all of the vascular structures on the images, this helps your Doctor see the organs, blood vessels and bones inside your body . The multiple images provided give your doctor many different views of your body. It will also help them see any potential pathology or abnormality.

What does it feel like / is it painful at all?

No, a CT scan does not cause any pain. You will be instructed to keep ` still as possible during the screening which can be slightly uncomfortable at times but the scan itself causes absolutely no bodily sensations. If you are receiving an iodine contrast injection, then you may experience a moment of slight and temporary discomfort at the injection site.

How long does each scan take?

How long a CT scan takes always depends on what type of scan you are receiving. The scan can usually can take anywhere from ten minutes to forty-five minutes. Although, there are some specialized scans that take longer than forty-five minutes.

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