The working principle of the brain is one of the essential aspects of the body, mainly because it controls the most critical functions of a human being. When people suffer from brain-related diseases, the first step towards identifying the underlying problem is by performing a computed tomography scan.
A CT scan, as it is mainly referred to, is a medical procedure that uses X-rays to take pictures of the brain as a way of identifying any underlying health issues present in the brain. It is, therefore, important to note that since CT scans have been designed to capture images of different body parts, they differ from each other.
Reasons for Performing CT Scans
Doctors usually request CT scans when they feel that such tests would help them pinpoint an underlying medical condition and manage or treat it accordingly. The process of performing the test, on the other hand, requires prompt preparation on the part of the patient and the doctors performing the test.
For example, many types of CT scans require an injection of an iodinated substance that functions by enhancing the visibility of organs and blood vessels. In such an instance, patients are taken to a radiologist who explains the importance and side effects of injecting the iodine substance.
If the patient is okay with the procedure, the iodine injection is administered, and the CT scan performed as requested. The iodine material is injected into the body of the patient with the help of a cannula fixed into a vein in the arm.
Getting Prepared for the Test
Tests performed on the abdomen require patients to drink the iodinated substance during the test. Just like the injected iodinated substance, the ingested substance also functions by outlining the intestines for a better overview.
The major difference, however, is the fact that patients need to fast before drinking the iodinated substance. Apart from this, the drink may also be given to patients during different times of the day, depending on the time that the test will be conducted. In most instances, patients are required to drink a portion of the drink an hour or before the scan procedure is undertaken.
Depending on the type of scan requested by the doctor, patients may be required to enter into the scanning room dressed in a gown. This is attributed to the fact that the presence of clothes tends to minimize the effectiveness of the scan, an instance that can lead to misdiagnosis or unclear scans.
With the advancement in technology, new CT scan machines have been programmed to give cat scan information and instructions in different languages. This ensures that the patient is informed about the importance of the procedure, what is required of him/her, and the duration of the entire procedure. Apart from this, the good thing is the fact that if you don’t tend to understand the information given out by the scan machine, the doctors will be ready and willing to offer their advice.
CT Scans Side Effects
Most patients who undergo CT scans rarely have any side effects. On the contrary, in most cases, these patients should be able to lead a comfortable life, eat, and drink as preferred. If you had an injection before the scan, you are bound to feel a bit of pain on your arm which lasts for some few seconds. In rarely uncommon circumstances, some patients may have allergic reactions to the iodinated substance given.
CT Scan Duration
The time taken to complete a scan depends on the type of scan being performed. For instance, CT scans that don’t require any form of substance ingestion or injection only need about 5 minutes to be completed. On the other hand, those that require ingestion or injection may take hours to be completed.