In some cases, a regular X-ray can't tell the doctor what he or she needs to know in order to make a correct diagnosis. A CT (Computed Tomography) scan is a procedure that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to create pictures of a patient's bones, organs, and tissues, offering more detail than a regular X-ray. Here are 3 things to know about CT scans:
1. The doctor will order a CT scan if he or she suspects the patient has a bone fracture, a tumor, a blood clot, or an infection. CT scans can pinpoint the location of these issues, and can also guide procedures like surgeries, biopsies, and radiation therapy. Cancer, heart disease, emphysema, lung nodules, and liver masses can be detected and monitored with CT scans, and the effectiveness of cancer treatments can be monitored. Internal injuries and internal bleeding can also be detected with this specialized procedure.
2. CT scans create a series of cross-sectional pictures of the part of the body that the doctor needs to see; the series of images comes from many different angles to create this overall picture. A motorized table slides the patient through a tunnel-like opening into the scanner, and a narrow X-ray beam circles around the specific part of the body to create the images; the detectors and X-ray tube are rotating around the patient. Each rotation provides several thinly sliced images of the body that are later combined on the computer to create the whole picture.
3. CT scans are short (approximately 30 minutes) and painless. You can communicate with the technologist, who is operating the scanner from a separate room, via intercom at all times.
The completed CT scan images are interpreted by a radiologist, and a report is then forwarded to the patient's doctor. For more information about CT scans, please contact:
Morrison Community Hospital
303 North Jackson Street
Morrison, IL 61270