A CT scan gives a far better representation of a number of organs compared to an ordinary x-ray. You use CT scanning when you suspect a tumour, bleeding or damage to a number of organs. It is a more powerful radiation at a CT scan than at an ordinary x-ray examination but the result is normally much better.
What is a CT scanning?
CT is short for Computed Tomography. You use the same kind of x-rays at a CT scanning as at a normal x-ray. The CT machine moves around the area and takes photos. You can describe the area both as slices (cross-sectional views) and as three-dimensional (3D). In a normal x-ray, the tissue in front and back of the area lay a shadow and make it difficult to see the area clearly. This does not happen at a CT scanning, Photos taken at a CT scanning are more detailed than ordinary x-rays.
How do you use the CT scanning?
Originally, the CT scanner was developed to show injuries, bleedings and tumours in the brain. However, today you use CT scanning for many other organs (the abdominal cavity, colon, heart and veins), where you suspect a tumour, injuries or bleedings.
What will happen?
When scanned, you lie on a bed. The bed drives into a ring-shaped opening. While recording you can hear the machine working and there is a little noise. You are alone in the room while the scanning is on but you can get in touch with the staff the whole time. You shall lie still during the whole examination so that the photos gets sharp.
The duration of the examination depends on which organ you examine and how many photos you take. In some cases, you need to use contrast, which you inject in a vein before the CT scanning.
Some patients finds it uncomfortable to come into the CT scanner and some get claustrophobia. If you feel like this and need some sedative, you shall arrange this with the doctor that gives you your referral to the CT scanning.
You must not wear metal objects such as buttons, zippers, belts or jewellery when being scanned.
What can the CT scan show?
A CT scanning can show more details than a normal x-ray. Bones, muscles and adipose tissue appears very clear at a CT scanning.
When examining the abdominal cavity you can see different organs like the pancreas, spleen or liver.
When scanning the brain you can clearly see the fluid filled chamber.
Tumour, injuries and accumulation of blood in the different organs are very clear at a CT scanning and more detailed than an x-ray.
Is it dangerous?
The radiation exposure at a CT scanning is larger than at a normal x-ray examination. Therefore, a CT scanning is not recommended unless there are very good reasons.
In some cases, there can be a side effect in connection with CT scanning. Allergy against the contents in the contrast can occur.