CT Scan or CAT Scan – Computed Tomography

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Computed tomography, also referred to as a CT, or CAT scan is an advanced radiological imaging modality in which an x-ray beam rotates around the patient. A CT scan can image the internal portion of the organs and separate overlapping structures precisely, producing cross-sectional images of all parts of the body. A CT or CAT scan is a very helpful diagnostic tool that helps diagnose several different conditions or disorders. It can be used to find abnormalities within your body or assist during surgery. To learn more about CT scans and why you might require one, speak to your GI Alliance physician.

Some of the main reasons a CT or CAT scan is used are:

  • To detect internal bleeding or internal injuries
  • To assist with surgeries, radiation therapy, and biopsies
  • To locate bone and muscle disorders like bone fractures and tumors
  • To locate an infection, a tumor, or a blood clot
  • To monitor disease and conditions including heart disease, cancer, lung nodules, and liver masses

To learn more about CT scans to help treat or diagnose your GI tract condition, contact a local GI Alliance gastroenterologist.

A radiologist, certified by the American Board of Radiology, oversees the CT scan. The radiologist will be assisted by a radiology technician and possibly a radiology nurse. You may be asked to not eat or drink for several hours before your CT or CAT scan. A contrast material, sometimes called “dye,” may be administered to outline blood vessels or enhance organ images. If a contrast material is used, it will be injected into a vein, usually in your arm. Some or all of the solution may be injected by a syringe, or all of it may run slowly into your vein from an intravenous (IV) bottle. A history of contrast (e.g. iodine) allergy should be reported to our staff prior to the CT or CAT scan. You will be asked to lie on a table that slides into a hollow ring in the center of the CT scanning machine. X-rays pass through the area of interest in your body and are detected by an array of electronic sensors. You will be given breathing instructions, and then the table will move slowly through the CT or CAT scanner. The entire scan will be completed within minutes. You will feel absolutely no pain. Information from these sensors is then computer-processed and displayed as an image on a video screen. Film copies of these images may be made for later study.

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A CT scan is a highly effective tool for helping to diagnose and treat various conditions of the GI tract. CT scans are minimally invasive and virtually painless. When you require a CT scan or any other imaging test to help manage or identify your gastrointestinal condition, you can trust the experts at GI Alliance to provide state-of-the-art care. If you have questions about your CT scan or any other issue, please contact your local gastroenterologist through GI Alliance.

Had all my colonoscopies and upper GIs with Dr Volak, and recently had abdominal unexplained discomfort and ct scan from my PCP. Referred to gastroenterology, and of course, I went to Dr. Volak. He was able to assess and explain what had probably happened. Excellent communicator and very reassuring.

P.W. Healthgrades


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