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CT Scan (Computed Tomography): What It is, Price, Cost, and Procedure, Purpose

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What is a CT Scan?

Computed Tomography or a CT scan is a diagnostic imaging technique where X-rays are used to visualise the inside of your body. The images captured by the X-rays are sent to a computer with appropriate software technology that helps convert the images captured into a readable two-dimensional format.

A CT scan is used to view bones, muscles, joints(knee, shoulder, etc.), internal organs like the heart, abdomen, and intestines, fat tissue, and blood vessels. It provides a more detailed view of the human body parts than a standard X-ray and Ultrasound imaging.

CT Scan Procedure

The CT scan machine is a big semicircular tunnel-like machine kept in an enclosed room with restricted access. Once you are advised to undergo a CT scan, the following steps are followed:

  • You will be made to wear hospital gowns, a cap, and a mask.
  • A moving couch attached to the machine is where you are supposed to lie down until the scan is in progress.
  • The tunnel-shaped machine will move back and forth and also rotate over the intended body part to obtain X-ray images from all directions.
  • Certain body part scanning will require you to hold still or hold your breath for a few seconds.
  • In cases where a contrast CT scan is ordered, you will be injected with a contrast dye through an intravenous line. This contrast dye helps to compare tissues within the body to confirm a diagnosis.
  • You will need to fast for nearly 4 hours to undergo a contrast CT scan, and any medicines taken must be stopped as per instructions from your doctor.
  • A CT scan imaging usually takes anywhere between 20 minutes to an hour depending on the body part being scanned.
  • Once done, you will be asked to change into your clothes and wait for the reports.
  • The computed images obtained will be examined by a radiologist, who will prepare a detailed report of all normal and abnormal findings in your scan.

Indications for a CT Scan

  • A CT scan is done to diagnose conditions related to bones, joints, muscles, nerves, internal organs, and blood vessels, for example, fractures, injuries, and tissue disorders.
  • To monitor the effectiveness of a treatment
  • To monitor the progression of a disease like cancer
  • It may also be used during surgeries and biopsies as a guide for the surgeon.
  • A contrast CT is used to study blood flow and blood vessels.
  • A contrast CT scan is also used to study the lungs and airflow
  • A CT scan is also used to find out the extent of an injury that is hard to analyse on routine examination and X-ray findings.
  • To find the exact location of a cancerous growth or the source of a problem

Cost of a CT Scan

The Ct scan cost varies according to the body part being scanned, with a contrast CT scan costing higher than a standard CT scan. The approximate cost in India is anywhere between Rs. 2,500/- to Rs. 5,000/-. Costs are also subject to change in different cities in India and individual labs.

A CT Scan is Convenient, Safer, and Affordable!

In conclusion, Computed Tomography or a CT scan is a diagnostic imaging technique that uses X-rays to visualise the internal body structures which are then converted into readable formats using computer software technology. A contrast CT consists of injecting a contrast dye into the body which helps discriminate between different tissues in the body. The images are analysed and reported for normal and abnormal findings by a radiologist. A CT scan is used in the diagnosis of injuries, internal organ pathology and cancers and to monitor the progression of a disease and the effectiveness of treatment. A CT scan is safe with minimal to no side effects and is cheaper as compared to an MRI scan.

FAQs

  1. Can I Have a CT Scan if I am Pregnant?

A CT scan is safe for pregnant women due to the low level of radiation that is potentially ineffective at causing any form of harm to the growing fetus.

  1. What Diseases Can CT Scans Detect?

A CT scan can detect bone fractures, blood vessel disorders, cancers, internal organ damage, injuries, and brain injuries.

  1. Do You Get CT Scan Results Immediately?

No, it usually takes some time for the processing of images and analysis by a radiologist before a final report is generated.

  1. What is The Side Effect of a CT Scan?

Although side effects from a CT scan are rare, there are chances for a mild reaction in the form of itching and rash that may go away with appropriate treatment.

  1. Is a CT Scan Painful?

CT scans are painless as only radiation passes through your body to capture images from various angles of your body parts.

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