CT Scan: Overview

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:35 by admin
A CT scan, otherwise known as a "CAT scan," is a diagnostic test that combines the use of X-rays with computer technology. During the scan, a series of X-ray beams create cross-sectional images of a patient's body. The images are then assembled into a three-dimensional picture that displays organs, bones and tissues in great detail.

A CT scan is a painless procedure that generally lasts from 15 minutes to 1 hour. The CT scanner is comprised of a large donut-shaped machine and an X-ray table. The patient slowly moves through the machine while the scanner creates the images. Sometimes, a patient is injected with IV dye called "contrast" to improve the visibility of the structures within the body.

There are risks involved with CT scans. With every CT scan the patient's body is exposed to low levels of radiation. Recently, the Food & Drug Administration revealed that it is concerned with overuse of CT scans and the cumulative radiation exposure associated with such use. The agency is looking into the matter because excessive radiation may cause cancer.

See a doctor if you believe that you have been exposed to excessive amounts of radiation. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.

See Also

  1. Medical Devices & Implants
  2. Cancer
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