A CT scan is a non-invasive medical test used in various types of diagnostic imaging.
It creates multiple images or pictures of the inside of the body using x rays and computer processing. This helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions such as cancers, cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases, etc.
The machine that does this job is called a computed tomography scanner (CT scanner). The scanner consists of an x-ray tube and special cameras/detectors to read the transmitted beams and receive signals from them.
CT scan near me in Wayne, NJ is one of the most commonly used medical imaging tests. It can be done on nearly all parts of the body, including the head, neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis, etc. CT scans are also used to guide certain procedures such as biopsies and interventions by surgeons.
CT scanners use ionizing radiation in the form of x rays that passes through the patient to produce images. This means that patients must restrict their intake (eating/drinking or medicine) before undergoing a test because some substances may interfere with fluoroscopic visuals (i.e., barium meal). The only limitations for pregnant women will be if there’s concern about possible harm to the fetus due to dose of radiation exposure during the procedure (i.e., iodine contrast injection or use of iodinated contrast dye).
Breathing tests may also be required before CT scans on some patients (i.e., patients with chronic lung diseases). Other specific precautionary measures will be applied to certain populations like very young kids, frail or elderly people, etc.
More than one set of images is produced during the test, depending on the body parts/areas scanned. A common sequence is for 120-200 slices per test. The machine must keep moving to produce these images, but it can stop at any time if needed (i.e., when doing a CT angiogram where the tube moves continuously during injection of contrast agent).
The CT scanner emits x rays, so staff members must ensure that all doors and windows are shut properly according to safety standards. Staff also wears radiation protection aprons and thyroid shields to minimize exposure.
CT scans are an extremely valuable tool in modern medicine. They are non-invasive, relatively comfortable, and provide a wealth of information for diagnosis and treatment. However, as with all medical procedures, they do carry a small amount of risk, which must be weighed against the benefits in each individual case. Patients should always discuss the risks and benefits of any test with their healthcare provider before proceeding.