A CT scan makes use of computer-processed combinations of many X-ray images taken from different angles to produce cross-sectional (tomographic) images (virtual "slices") of specific areas of a scanned object, allowing the user to see inside the object without cutting.
The CT scanner was originally designed to take pictures of the brain. Now it is much more advanced and is used for taking pictures of virtually any part of the body.
They can be used to produce virtual images that show what a surgeon would see during an operation. They are used for a variety of different reasons, mainly because CT imaging is one of the best and fastest tools for examining the chest, abdomen and pelvis, and because it can provide cross-sectional views and highly detailed images.
Some of the most common uses of CT imaging include detecting different types of cancer (for example in the lung, bowel, liver and kidney), examining patients with severe injuries and finding the cause for sudden rapid onset symptoms (such as breathlessness, abdominal pain).
CT is also used for the detection, diagnosis and treatment of a number of vascular disease, which may ultimately lead to stroke, kidney failure or blood clots in the lungs.
This also includes abdominal aortic anueryms (AAAs), which is where the large main artery running downwards in the abdomen becomes enlarged and therefore may be prone to spontaneously rupture.
CT is also used to diagnosing and analysing many spinal problems and injuries which may occur to the hands, feet and other skeletal structures.
This is because CT is good, not just for looking at soft tissue structures, but also in providing detailed images of even very small bones.
CT scans also allows doctors to inspect the inside of the body without having to operate or perform unpleasant examinations.
It allows surgeons to plan surgery prior to starting a procedure, and allows assessment of the results after a procedure has been performed.
CT scanning has also proven invaluable in pinpointing exactly where a tumour is and planning treatment with radiotherapy.
The scanner is particularly good at testing for bleeding in the brain, for aneurysms (when the wall of an artery swells up), brain tumours and brain damage. It can also find tumours and abscesses throughout the body and is used to assess types of lung disease.
In addition, the CT scanner is used to look at internal injuries such as a torn kidney, spleen or liver; or bony injury, particularly in the spine. CT scanning can also be used to guide biopsies and therapeutic pain relieving procedures.
You will receive instructions from our staff prior to your appointment. If you are an inpatient in the hospital, the nurses caring for you will ensure that the appropriate preparations are carried out. These instructions are very important as they may affect the accuracy of the test.
Some tests require no preparation. These include: brain, sinus, spine and scans of the bones.
Many types of CT scans require an injection of an iodinated contrast material to show blood vessels and some organs. For these scans you will need to fast for 2-4 hours and to drink water over a one hour period prior to your appointment time. It is important that the need to fast does not affect you if you have special dietary requirements (e.g. diabetes). Please check with your doctor or our website for more information.
While the iodinated contrast used for injections is considered very safe, there are precautions that must be taken when using it, particularly if you have poor kidney function, diabetes or if you have known allergy to iodinated contrast. If you have any concerns you should contact us.
Appointments can be made wityhin 24 hours.
Once you have decided what you require, please use our registration form to instruct us for taking your samples.