5 Facts to Help You Prepare for Your Exam CT Scan

A CT scan gives doctors a detailed view into your body, allowing them to diagnose a wide range of medical conditions as well as plan and monitor treatment. 

  1. A CT Scan Takes Images in Slices

A CT scan is state-of-the-art medical imaging that give doctors a detailed view into your body. CT scans, like x-rays, use ionizing radiation to create a set of images from many different angles. These images are like “slices” that, when put together, make a single, highly detailed image.

2. The Scanner Looks Like a Large Ring or Donut

CT (Computed tomography) scanner in hospital laboratory. Health care, medical technology, hi-tech equipment and diagnosis concept with copy space.

If you’re having a scan done, you’ll start by lying on the table attached to a CT machine. The CT machine looks like a large ring or donut big enough for you and the table to fit into. During the exam, the table slides into the hole, also called the bore, of the machine.

3. During the Scan, You’ll Have to Stay Still

Any movement during a CT could cause a blurry image, so you’ll need to stay still as possible. Even something as minor as breathing can affect the image. Depending on where the scan is focusing on, the technologist may ask you to briefly hold your breath.

4. Some CTs Require the Use of Contrast Dye

In certain cases, the CT scan may need to be performed after you’ve taken medical contrast dye. If contrast is needed, you’ll be asked take it orally or intravenously, depending on the procedure. This will increase how long the procedure takes because the contrast will need time to make its way through your body.

5. CT Scans Use Radiation, Like Traditional X-Rays

CT scans use radiation, which, in large enough doses, can raise a patient’s risk of cancer. But know that the risk of developing cancer from a CT is very low.

Remember that by ordering the exam, your doctor has determined that the risk from radiation is outweighed by the benefit of the exam. The information your doctor gains from a CT scan can help them make important diagnoses and plans for your treatment. Ultimately, a CT may provide critical information about your health.

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Nov 08, 2021
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