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When you get sick, injured or hurt, you go to the doctor. While it is possible that the doctor can quickly figure out what the problem is, in many cases a better understanding of the cause of the noticed symptoms is needed.
Fortunately, there are many tests that can be performed that help doctors with their diagnostics, like X-rays, MRIs, and bloodwork. Numerous tools utilize diagnostic imaging in order to allow the doctor to look inside the body at the area that is being affected, instead of performing surgery. One of the really effective and common diagnostic imaging tests is the CT scan.
Most people know about the existence of CT scans but not everyone has had a scan. Doctors only recommend them in specific situations. Do not assume that you need one unless a medic tells you so. Some situations when you might need a CT scan include the following.
The doctor has to examine a body part with small bones.
One of the advantages of using a mobile CT scanner is that a doctor can clearly scan injuries even if the hospital doesn’t have a CT scanner of their own! Some injuries that doctor’s use a mobile CT scanner (or a regular CT scanner) for include broken, fractured, or shattered bones.
When a doctor needs to examine a patient for a potential bone injury in a part of the body that has smaller bones, like feet, hands and the spinal region, the CT scan is very valuable. When using other diagnostic imaging methods, you do not get the clearest view. For instance, an X-ray would not be able to offer the image quality of the CT scan when imaging fingers.
An MRI isn’t possible
The CT scan is less sensitive than the MRI when it comes to movement. If you are injured and cannot comfortably sit in the same position for up to one hour, which is how long an MRI takes, the CT scan is preferred. Also, whenever there is a medical implant present that prohibits MRIs, the CT scan is used.
Blood vessels have to be examined.
A CT scan allows the doctor to examine blood vessels. This might be needed to check for various issues, like blockages. Using a CT scan is preferred because surgical biopsies or exploratory surgeries are not needed. Most people that need treatment or diagnosis for vascular diseases go through a CT scan.
The doctor will almost always use a CT scan in order to get the guidance needed for delicate procedures like biopsies. This is because the image created offers important information like location and size. At the same time, the CT scan will help the doctor to see how the tumor is connected with the surrounding tissue. Simply put, this scan lets the doctor know what to expect when a surgery is necessary for a tumor removal.
A severe internal injury has occurred
CT scans are always preferred when doctors have to determine the extent of internal injuries following a severe accident. This is why you often hear about them being used in the emergency room. Doctors use CT scans because they are effective and quick. They help find various internal injuries where speed is very important, like internal bleeding.
There are practically endless situations in which a CT scan might be needed. Those mentioned above are just some that are more common. What is very important is to understand that only the doctor can tell you if you need a CT scan or not. Don’t assume that you need this testing done unless a specialist referred you.