Dr. Rahul Mehan and Dr. Harpreet Wadhwa perform CT scans as needed to obtain precise diagnosis of a condition. This allows them to tailor therapy in a targeted manner, so no more or less is done than is needed to ensure optimal outcomes. They are sensitive to the need to reduce radiation doses over a patient’s lifetime, so they only performs the test when it is critical to a right diagnosis and treatment.
What is a CT scan?
Computed axial tomography, also known as CAT or CT scan, is an imaging technique that is a widely regarded tool for evaluating the genitourinary tract. CT scanning combines X-rays and computer calculations to produce precisely detailed cross-sectional slices of images of the body’s tissues and organs. More specifically, very small, controlled beams of X-rays, rotating in a continuous 360-degree motion around the patient, pass through the tissue as an array of detectors measure thousands of X-ray images or profiles. Computer calculations based on those multiple measures produce the detailed pictures reflected on a screen. These images can be stored, viewed on a monitor, or printed on film. In addition, stacking the “slices” of images can also create 3D images of the body’s internal structures.
What is a CT scan used to test for?
Since CT scans can distinguish between solid and liquid, it is extremely valuable in examining the type and extent of kidney tumors or other masses, such as stones or cysts, distorting the urinary tract. CT technology, however, is also enhanced by other factors. Intravenous injections of contrast agent (dye) intensify the images. CT scans have improved speed and accuracy by gathering volumes of continuous kidney and urinary data in seconds with no gaps between images.
Specialized applications of CT can be performed in specific clinical circumstances. For example, 3D reconstructions of the kidney and blood supply may show vascular abnormalities and provide “road maps” for planning surgeries.
How is a CT scan performed?
The test is performed in a radiology department by a technician under the supervision of a radiologist. The patient will be asked to lie in a certain position on a narrow table that slides into the center of the scanner. Dye may also be administered into a vein in the hand or arm. The technician will issue instructions to the patient regarding body position and breathing during this test. Upon test completion, the patient can resume their normal daily activities.
Are there any risks associated with a CT scan?
CT scanning is a safe, efficient and effective technology that produces minimal risks. The major risk involves a reaction to any iodine-based dye that may be used. Minor reactions to the dye may include hot flashes, nausea, and vomiting, which are usually treated successfully with antihistamines. If you have a known history of allergy to shellfish, or previous issues with IV dye exposure, please notify our team so alternate imaging tests can be discussed.
There is relatively low radiation exposure during this test. However, a patient who is or may be pregnant should notify their physician prior to this examination as a fetus is susceptible to the risks associated with radiation.