A computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan, also now called computed tomography (CT) scan, captures a number of X-rays of an area in your body to produce detailed, three-dimensional images for your doctor’s evaluation. It is a very popular diagnostic method used in a variety of medical specialties to diagnose health conditions and to track progress of treatments.
Because a CAT scan uses X-ray technology, which emits radiation onto the body, many people are hesitant about having a CAT scan. Your doctors will be careful about how often you have this scan so that you are not overexposed to the radiation.
If your doctor orders a CAT scan for you, then the physician has already determined that the benefit of having extremely accurate pictures of your organs and tissues is worth having this particular scan. After all, while an X-ray sends just one radiation beam, a CAT scan machine sends a series of beams at hundreds of density levels, thereby leading to much more accurate image production.
An MRI is not a 3D scan, and an ultrasound tends to produce somewhat fuzzy images – which is why a CAT scan may be favored in your case. Let’s talk about why you can be confident in having a CT scan, and where you can go in The Bronx to have an accurate, crystal-clear scan.
What Happens During a CAT Scan?
The scan involves you lying flat on a motorized table while it moves into a doughnut-shaped machine. In some cases, patients may need to have a contrast dye (either via injection or a drinkable solution) to enhance the image quality. The scan takes about 30–60 minutes to complete from start to finish.
CAT scans can be used to capture images of soft tissues, such as ligaments, tendons, and muscles, as well as blood vessels, bones, and organs like the brain and lungs. It is used to diagnose a host of diseases, such as cancer of the pancreas, liver, or lung, as well as conditions like internal bleeding, swelling of arteries, and more.
How Can I Be Sure a CAT Scan Is Safe for Me?
A CAT scan does involve the use of some radiation, which is why some people are apprehensive about it, fearing that it may not be safe. The truth is, that the level of radiation used for a CAT scan is very small.
Moreover, the radiation is targeted to the specific part of the body that needs to be imaged, thereby reducing the risk of damage to other parts of the body. The whole body is not exposed to the radiation.
The chances of you developing cancer from the radiation involved in a CAT scan are minuscule to none. Even when a patient has had several scans, it has not been harmful.
What Steps Are Taken for Safety?
In order to use CAT scan technology in the safest way possible, doctors and medical staff take steps to ensure safety. For example, the machine is operated by experienced and board-certified radiologists only. Radiologists are medical doctors. The amount of radiation used and for how long is determined carefully and carried out very precisely.
Additionally, CAT scans are only recommended by doctors when it is absolutely necessary and when other, non-radiation diagnostic methods simply are not feasible, such as MRI or ultrasound. Overall, a CAT scan is recommended when the benefits significantly outweigh the minor risks involved.
Exceptional Diagnostic Imaging Center in The Bronx, New York
Diagnostic imaging centers are cost-effective, convenient, and expert facilities to get all sorts of testing done. If you’re in the Bronx area, your best choice for diagnostic services, like CAT scans, is Starling Diagnostics. We have state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and board-certified radiologists ready to give you the best quality care.
To schedule an appointment for your CAT scan or to inquire about our safety measures, don’t hesitate to call us at (718) 319-1610. You can also request an appointment via our online form. We look forward to serving you!