Unlike x-rays, computed tomography (CT) works from many angles. It combines a series of radiographic images taken from different angles and uses computer processing to create cross-sectional images of the soft tissues, blood vessels, and bones within your body. Compared to plain X-rays, computed tomography images provide more detailed information about any organ.
Why Is CT Performed?
You are recommended to undergo CT scan to:
- Identify the location of infection, blood clot, or a tumour
- Diagnose bone and muscle disorders, such as fractures, and muscle and bone tumours
- Detect internal bleeding and internal injuries
- Detect diseases and health conditions such as liver masses, cancer, lung nodules and heart disease.
- Guide procedures such as radiotherapy, surgery, and biopsy.
How to prepare
You may be asked to:
- Take off your clothes (depending on the site of scan being performed), remove metal objects (like jewellery, belt, dentures, and glasses) and wear a hospital gown.
- Avoid eating or drinking for a few hours before the procedure.
What can you expect?
CT scans are non-invasive and painless. The entire procedure usually takes approximately 30 minutes.
You will quickly return to your normal routine after the procedure. You will receive special instructions if you were given a contrast material. Before leaving, you may be asked to wait for a little to make sure you feel well. After the test, you will likely be instructed to drink plenty of fluids to keep your kidneys safe from the contrast material used in the procedure.
Possible side effects
It is generally a safe procedure. Reaction to dye (the contrast material) is common. It is a mild side effect that can cause itching or a rash. Contrast agents can also cause kidney problems, although it’s rare. For this reason, tell your physician or assistant about allergies to medicines, dyes, iodine and if you have any kidney problems before the CT scan.