What is a CT scan?

What is a CT scan?

A CT (Computed Tomography) scan combines a series of X-ray images taken from different angles to create cross-sectional images (slices) of the body. The CT scan is referred by GP’s in order to assist in diagnosis and treatment of many diseases found in the body.

Why get a CT scan?

CT scans are used to detect many types of pathology including (but not limited to):

  • Fractures, osteoarthritis, lesions, and deformity of the bone
  • Vessel narrowing, lesions, and plaque found within the heart
  • Fatty tissue, ductal dilatation, cysts, and cirrhosis of the liver
  • Diverticulitis, obstruction, and inflammation of the bowel
  • Narrowing, defects, plaque and filling disorders of blood vessels
  • Bleeds, infarcts, calcifications and ageing changes of the brain

Diagnosis of these diseases can assist a doctors treatment plan, and may help guide spinal injections, surgeries, biopsies, radiation therapy treatments (cancer) and so forth.

What are the risks associated with a CT scan?

Because a CT scan uses ionising radiation, the long-term risk of cancer may be increased. This is because it interacts with our tissues which are particularly sensitive during cell division (mitosis) and can cause cells to incorrectly divide from repeated radiation exposure.
This is why it is particularly important during pregnancy, infancy or early life that a CT should be strongly reconsidered. Keeping these risks in mind, the CT technician will always weigh up the pros vs. cons of having a CT scan and not proceed if it isn’t justified.
Furthermore, our technology has advanced to a point where the radiation dosages of a CT are relatively low. They amount to about 3-5 times the normal amount of background you would receive in Sydney per year per scan depending on the region.
With the risks in mind, it isn’t a certainty your long term cancer risk will increase, but we will be more than happy to discuss this with you before your scan.

Can I do the CT scan at Life Imaging?

Yes, CT scans are provided by Life Medical Imaging and require a referral and booking.
Click below to reserve your spot at our Imaging Centres in Bateau Bay, Killarney Valley or Umina Beach, we hope to see you soon!