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What are CT scans?

CT stands for computed tomography. It’s also called a CAT (computed axial tomography) scan. A CT scan creates hundreds of cross-sectional pictures of your body using X-rays and advanced computer processing. Each picture is a thin slice that illustrates the scanned area in exceptional detail.

The CT machine’s electronic X-ray detectors measure the quantity of radiation your body absorbs from the X-ray beams. Advanced Magnetic Imaging’s state-of-the-art CT scanners use multiple detectors, which create thinner slices and provide more detail than standard CT machines. The scan is also faster, so it’s more convenient for patients.

Some CT scans involve injecting contrast material during the procedure, which highlights specific areas of interest.

Why might I need a CT scan?

You might need a CT scan if your doctor requires more information to make a diagnosis or needs to assess the extent of tissue damage before treating your condition. Some common uses of CT scans include:

Evaluating trauma

A CT scan offers a fast way of assessing bone and soft tissue injuries caused by traumas like auto accidents.

Acute medical diagnosis

If you’ve got symptoms of an urgent medical condition, such as difficulty breathing and chest or abdominal pain, a CT scan is one of the best ways to find out what’s causing the problem.

Cancer diagnosis

CT scans are highly effective for detecting certain cancers, including lymphoma and tumors in the kidneys, lungs, liver, ovaries, and pancreas. CT imaging locates the tumor, measures its size, and shows if the disease is spreading to nearby tissue.

Vascular disease diagnosis

CT scans can help diagnose diseases affecting your vascular system (circulation), including pulmonary embolisms (blood clots in the lungs) and aortic aneurysms.

How are CT scans performed?

If you need contrast material for your CT scan, your provider at Advanced Magnetic Imaging puts a temporary IV (intravenous) line in your arm. The contrast dye passes into your bloodstream through the line. If you’re having an abdominal CT scan, you need to drink a dilute barium solution two hours before your procedure.

A CT scanner is like a large ring. You lie on a comfortable table that slides into the opening of the CT machine, moving through the hole in the ring as the machine scans your body. Most CT scans take around 15 minutes.

To find out more about CT scans and the part they play in your medical care, call Advanced Magnetic Imaging today or book an appointment online.