Have you ever bought a pre-sliced loaf of bread? You know that when you look between the slices you can tell if there is anything wrong with it. That is how Computed Tomography (tomo-slice; graph-picture) works. The target body part is put through a virtual “bread slicer” that creates slice images with tiny intervals. During study patient rests comfortably on the table while cross-sectional images are taken and digitally assembled to form an extremely detailed view of the bones and soft tissues. The scan is painless procedure and patient experience no claustrophobia due to wide open bore of scanners.
CT scans are generally safe; they do expose you to slightly more radiation than normal x-ray. The amount of radiation you’re exposed to can vary depending on the type of scan you have. In most cases, the benefits outweigh any potential hazards.
For some CT scans, such as those investigating the brain or abdomen, you may be given contrast medium beforehand. This is a liquid that contains a dye that shows up clearly on the images of certain tissues or blood vessels. It helps distinguish blood vessels from other structures in your body. Contrast medium can be given in different ways, depending on the part of your body being scanned. It can be swallowed in the form of a drink, given as an enema in your back passage, or can be injected into your bloodstream (intravenously). If your kidney function is poor, contrast medium isn’t usually given intravenously as it can depress kidney function further.