Have you ever had a car accident? This experience can become traumatic for the sufferer and for the people close to the victim.
In these cases, material possessions and economic losses are not the most important. In fact, the loss may be total, but if those inside remain alive, it is considered a profit motive.
However, no matter how minor the accident, it is likely to have consequences. Many of them can be visible, such as bumps, bruises, cuts, invoices, etc.
These injuries can be treated promptly, as they are detected easily and in time. But, as the days go by, there may be other signs that something is wrong. For example, abdominal pain, nosebleeds or urine, among others. This could force doctors to carry out urgent interventions, since the patient’s life is compromised.
However, these complications can be avoided if more in-depth examinations are carried out. One of them is the tomography, which is performed through a computerized device called a tomography, which is responsible for providing a more accurate image of the condition in which certain organs of the body are found.
If you have never had an accident of this type and you are in excellent health, it is unlikely that you have ever had to face a CT scanner. However, it would be good for you to know what it is, what it is used for, what its component parts are and what should be done when undergoing a diagnostic exam with a tomography.
Through this short post I will share with you everything you need to know about this device, so you will have enough knowledge before being examined by it.
A CT scanner is an automated device used to take CAT scans. In turn, tomography makes it possible to process images by sections and, the result, is known as a tomogram.
Depending on the type of tomography and the area in which it is to be used, it is possible to find different types of tomography. Although it is true that the most frequent use that we know of is in the area of medicine, they also exist in archaeology, biology, geophysics, materials science, etc.
As for its operation, it is responsible for combining X-rays that are taken from various angles of the body and uses computer processing to produce cross-sectional images of the bones, blood vessels and different soft tissues in the body. In this way it is possible to have much more detailed and exact information.
A CT scanner has many uses. However, one of the most common is to quickly examine people who have been in car accidents and may have internal injuries or some other type of trauma.
It is used to be able to see different parts of the body and make diagnoses of diseases or injuries. Also, it is used to plan medical treatments, surgical interventions and radiation.
A health professional will recommend a tomography in the following cases:
- To diagnose muscle and bone disorders.
- Determine the location of a tumor, infection, or blood clot.
- To guide medical procedures, such as surgeries, biopsies, and radiation therapy.
- Detect and keep under control diseases and other conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, lung nodules, and liver tumors.
- To monitor the effectiveness of administered treatments, such as that used to fight cancer.
- To detect internal injuries and internal bleeding.
Now that you are more familiar with what a scanner is, how it works and what it is used for, what else do you need to know about it?
What do you need
Before undergoing an exam with a CT scanner, you need to be aware of the possible risks that you will run. For example:
- While inside it, you will be exposed to ionizing radiation for a short time.
- However, the amount of radiation is greater than that received during an X-ray, since the topographer is responsible for gathering more detailed information. However, so far it has not been shown that this amount of radiation can cause long-term damage.
- However, a higher dose can increase the risk of developing some type of cancer.
- If you are pregnant, it is best to notify your doctor first. This may see the need to do another type of examination, such as an ultrasound or an MRI to avoid exposing the fetus to radiation.
- Reactions to the contrast material may also occur. This is a special dye that must be taken before having a CT scan. It can also be given through the veins or inserted into the rectum.
- In some cases, it could cause medical problems or allergic reactions. These are usually mild reactions, such as itching or a rash. In rare cases this allergic reaction can be life-threatening.
- In this case, as a preventive measure, it is useful to inform your doctor if you have previously had any type of reaction to this contrast material.
- It is normal that faced with the possibility of entering a CT scanner for the first time, you have certain fears and doubts about what the experience will be like. In this case, it will be good for you to know these recommendations.
Depending on what part of the body the scanner is going to scan, you may be asked to do certain things. For example:
- That you remove all or part of your clothing and put on a hospital gown.
- That you remove all metallic objects that you may have, such as a belt, jewelry, false teeth, glasses, etc. Since these objects can interfere with the results of the image.
- That you do not eat or drink anything a few hours before the exposure to the CT scanner.
- You may require contrast material to be administered. As I have already mentioned before, it is necessary to highlight some areas of the body that will be examined.
This material is responsible for blocking x-rays and turns white in images. This helps highlight blood vessels, intestines, and other structures.
In addition to the above, it should be noted that this is not a painful study. And if a new scanner is used, it will only last a few minutes.
The CT scanners are shaped like a giant donut that is propped up on one side. You will have to lie down on a table that slides through an opening into a kind of tunnel. You may be secured with pillows and straps to help you maintain position.
As you slide in, the detectors and x-ray tube will rotate around you. Every time they do, they’ll get fine-cut images of your body. As this happens, you will hear different sounds such as buzzing and clicking sounds.
All this happens under the supervision of a technician with whom you can communicate through an intercom. At times, you may be asked to hold your breath to avoid blurring the images.
After your CT scan, you may be asked to stay a little longer to make sure you feel okay. If you have been given contrast material, you will need to drink plenty of water to help your kidneys remove the contrast material from your body.
The tomography is a device that, although it has different purposes, is used very frequently to save people’s lives, since it makes it possible to detect certain diseases and pathologies in time. Therefore, do not hesitate to enter one, when it is necessary to do so.