How Long Does a CT Scan Take?

How Long Does a CT Scan Take?

A computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan is a medical procedure that allows doctors to see inside your body. They are commonly used to diagnose a variety of disorders within the brain, spine, extremities and vascular system. CT scanning is also used to perform needle guided biopsy and other interventional procedures.

CT scanning is fast, painless, noninvasive and accurate

In an emergency room, people can be scanned quickly so doctors can rapidly assess, diagnose and treat their condition. Examinations typically take between 15 and 30 minutes of total time on the scanning table depending on the type of preparation needed and whether it includes the use of a contrast material (a substance that is either injected into the vascular system or taken orally to enhance visibility of internal structures).

The scan itself may take less than a minute to complete.

What can a CT scan detect?

Your doctor may order a CT scan for a number of reasons, including:

  • Complex bone fractures and tumors
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Emphysema
  • Liver masses
  • Internal bleeding
  • Tumors
  • Blood clots
  • Excess fluid
  • Infection

Benefits of a CT scan

CT scans rank as one of the top five medical developments in the last 40 years. Here are the top five benefits of a CT scan

  • Determine when surgeries are necessary
  • Reduce the need for exploratory surgery
  • Improve cancer diagnosis and treatment
  • Reduce the length of hospital stays
  • Guide treatment of injuries, cardiac disease and stroke
  • Help show surgeons exactly where to operate during surgery

What’s the difference between a CT and MRI scan?

CT and MRI scans are different procedures and they have different applications depending on what your physician is trying to identify or diagnose. CT scans utilize radiation whereas an MRI uses a strong magnetic field. MRI is sensitive to patient movement and requires that you lay very still for 30 to 60 minutes depending on the procedure. CT scans are much less sensitive to patient movement and the actual scan generally takes only a few minutes compared to MRI. Patients that have implanted medical devices such as pacemakers, stents, coils, etc., can have either a CT or MRI but there are precautions and you will need to consult your physician.

Pomona Valley Health Centers offer conveniently located CT scans in Pomona, Chino Hills, Claremont and La Verne. Call 909-469-9395 to schedule an appointment today.

What Does a CT Scan Show?

What Does a CT Scan Show?

A CT scan is a diagnostic procedure that allows doctors to see inside your body without making an incision. It uses a combination of x-rays and a computer to create highly detailed 2-dimensional images of the organs, bones and other tissues. The data collected from the 2d images is then used to construct 3D images. These images can help your doctor diagnose and treat a number of conditions more effectively and without the need for surgery.

A CT scan is much more advanced than an x-ray because it allows the radiologist to capture x-ray images in multiple sections of the body and at many different angles. Instead of taking flat x-ray images of your chest or abdomen, a CT scan creates a “slice” or cross-section of your body. This allows your physician to view organs and tissues from any angle. This technology is also useful for monitoring a patient’s progress during or after treatment.

CT scans are especially useful for those who are unable to have an MRI. An MRI uses powerful magnets so it may not be safe for those who have metal in their body (e.g., hip or knee replacements or metal fillings). Be sure to check with your doctor to find whether an MRI or CT scan is right for you.

Why are CT scans used?

Your doctor may recommend a CT scan to:

  • Detect bone and joint problems, like complex bone fractures and tumors
  • Identify or detect changes in cancer, heart disease, emphysema, or liver masses
  • Show a tumor’s shape, size and location
  • Examine and diagnose internal injuries and bleeding (e.g., from a car accident)
  • Locate a tumor, blood clot, excess fluid or infection
  • Guide procedures like biopsies, surgeries and radiation therapy

The physicians and radiologists at Pomona Valley Health Centers have more than 30 years experience to CT technology in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Call 909-536-1493 if you need a high-quality CT scan in Chino Hills, Pomona, La Verne or Claremont.

How a CT Scan Can Help You

CT scan

CT scans help doctors treat and diagnose injuries and illnesses. This technology provides a clear picture of the inside of your body so they can better determine what may be causing your symptoms. There are many reasons why you might need a CT scan and it can be especially useful for those who are unable to undergo an MRI. Often, people with injuries or an implanted medical device cannot comfortably lie down for 30-60 minutes. Using a CT scan is an effective alternative.

What is a CT scan?

CT, or computerized tomography, is a special x-ray test that produces cross-sectional images of the body. There are different types of CT scans, depending on the type of injury or illness:

  • CT scanning of the abdomen
    A CT scan of the abdomen helps doctors visualize several types of organs and tissues with great clarity, including the liver, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract, colon and rectum. This type of scan is the preferred method for diagnosing many types of cancers and vascular disorders.
  • CT angiography
    CT angiography uses x-rays to visualize blood flow in arterial vessels throughout the entire body. It helps doctors diagnose issues associated with arteries serving the brain, lungs, kidneys, arms and legs.
  • CT scanning of the chest
    A CT scan of the chest can be used to help diagnose pneumonia, tuberculosis, emphysema, bronchiectasis and lung disease. It’s also useful for accident victims or internal chest injuries. It helps assess damage to the organs, bones, spinal column and large blood vessels.
  • CT scanning of the head
    A CT scan of the head helps diagnose things like head injuries, skull fractures, brain tumors, blood clots, aneurysms and many types of cancers and other conditions.
  • CT scanning of the spine
    A CT scan of the spine is very useful in ruling out spinal cord damage for accident victims as well as diagnosing different types of cancers.

Is a CT scan safe?

Medical imaging exams, like CT scans, are directly linked to greater life expectancies and declining death rates from cancer. Moreover, they are safer and less expensive than more invasive procedures, like surgery.

For more information about sports medicine in Pomona Valley, please call 909-536-1493. Our PVHC doctors provide comprehensive care, including proactive preventive care for chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and more. Our board-certified primary care doctors deliver all the care you need today, to ensure you and your family enjoy a healthier tomorrow.