A CT Scan is a test that combines a series of X-ray images that are taken from different angles. Unlike conventional X-rays, this test is not only limited to provide an inner image of your body, rather it creates cross-sectional images of your blood vessels, organs, bones, and other body parts that help the physicians in better understanding your medical condition. This test is mostly prescribed by doctors to diagnose tumors or any other disease present in the body. A CT Scan also shows the size, shape, and position of a tumor and also helps in finding enlarged lymph nodes that may contain cancer. Doctors can also detect the presence of tumors in other body parts with this test.
There is no special preparation required for this test. You might just need to put off your clothes and wear a light hospital gown. Just refrain from eating or drinking few hours before the scan test. Also, metal objects might be asked to remove that might cause hindrance in the test. Belt, jewelry, glasses, and other similar accessories might be asked to remove from your body. Apart from this, disclose your medical condition to your doctor before the test, he will let you know if any preparation is required from your end or not.
The CT images that are stored in the form of electronic data files are reviewed by the radiologist and might be directly sent to your doctor. Even if the radiologist does not send the reports to your doctor, you should collect it and visit your doctor for getting a precise interpretation.
The patient may be asked to drink a contrast dye that helps in highlighting the area that is required to be scanned. After the dye has been made available to the patient, the following steps need to be followed. The patient will lie down on a motorized examination table that will slowly slide into the CT scanner machine. Depending on the purpose and area to be scanned, the patient might be asked to lie on their back facing upwards, lying with their face down or lie sideways.
Once the machine takes an x-ray picture, the couch will slightly move and then take further images. The patient will be asked to remain still for getting precise results. After the images have been taken by the machine, you will be slowly directed out of the machine with the help of the examination table. The images will be sealed with your name and send to the laboratory. You can expect to get your reports within 2-5 days of the test.