CT scan stands for computed tomography which is an x-ray procedure which is extremely sophisticated and painless. It is also known as CAT or computed axial tomography. The CAT scan or CT scan takes multiple images of blood vessels, bone and soft tissues and compiles them to form a complete one. This method can obtain images which are not visible in the standard x-ray. The diagnosis is more accurate with these scans and so is the treatment. This is a safe method of diagnosis and examination and the risks of radiation from the x-ray are out weighed by the benefits of the treatment which is given.
Sometimes certain scans require sedation of the patient or contrast agents or dyes which are used to highlight the area which has to be scanned. These methods lead to a more accurate treatment and early diagnosis of the problem.
A CT scan of the head is referred to as a cranial scan and is recommended for several reasons to either look for causes of certain problems or to monitor certain conditions. If the person has symptoms like muscle weakness, loss of hearing, problems with vision, tingling and numbness of certain parts, difficulty in speaking or in swallowing, headaches and fainting and changes in the normal behavior a cranial scan may be suggested. Other reasons for a scan of the cranial being recommended are if there has been an injury to the head, stroke, collection of fluid in the skull, a brain tumor or infection or for any congenital defects of the brain or the head.
3D images of a full CT scan of body which are extremely clear can be produced quickly. A CT scan of the full body is made up of images which start with the chin and go all the way to the hip. The patient has to hold his or her breath while the scan is being done to ensure that the images are clear. A full body scan is needed for accurate information in the case of cancer and diseases of the circulation. If the scan is conducted in the early stages cancers and heart diseases have a better chance of being cured with treatment. Doctors do not advise a full body CT scan unless really required because of exposure to radiation of high levels.
A cranial CT scan or computed tomography is done to find out more information about the sinuses of a person suffering with this problem. The cranial scan takes images of the eye sockets, brain and skull as well. A sinus CT scan is done to diagnose the cause of the problem and to see whether there is any obstruction in the path of the sinus drainage or narrowing.
A CT scan for abdomen can identify signs of inflammation or infection in the adrenal glands, pancreas, bowels, stomach, bladder, kidneys, spleen and liver. It also shows the lymph nodes and blood vessels in the abdominal region to check for any abnormalities or diseases.
A CT scan with contrast improves the images of the parts which need to be checked by using an agent or dye to create the contrasts. The dye is administered to the patient intravenously or even orally prior to the scan. The dye gets absorbed into the tissues of the various organs and provides a clearer picture.
A noninvasive method of seeing the chest cavity is done with a chest CT scan. This is done if there has been any injury to the chest cavity or in cases of diseases like tuberculosis, fluid accumulation or clots in the area.
The CT scan cost is found to be quite different in the same city from one place to another. A CT scan which is done for a person with no symptoms of illness is done just to find out if anything could go wrong in the future and this scan is much cheaper.
Diagnostic CT scans are more expensive as the treatment for the person will be based on this. Certain scanning units offer special rates and discounts.