Computed Axial Tomography, commonly called a CAT scan or CT Scan, provides today’s physicians with a relatively inexpensive imaging tool for the diagnosis of many different diseases, defects and injuries. Using digital capture, a CT scan collects multiple X-ray images and constructs a picture of the body from cross-sectional slices (or tomograms). Since the X-ray beams are recorded from many different angles, there is much more information obtained and the absorption rate of the beams can provide valuable data regarding the thickness of tissue and the condition of bones. Using a similar dosage of radiation as an ordinary X-ray machine, a CAT scan provides visible images with close to a 100 times more clarity that can detect very subtle differences in your body tissue.

At first glance, a CT scanner can be an intimidating chunk of medical equipment. The machine itself is massive with a giant donut hole in the center. However, there is no reason to be nervous. CAT scans are one of the safest medical imaging procedures and the size of the machine is unavoidable. To obtain visual slices of data, the scanner’s table has to move your body to very exact points for digital imaging. Listed below are some of the advantages for using the CAT scan:

  • Generates detailed 3-D images of most parts of the human body
  • Requires little preparation and scans can be taken very quickly
  • Simple outpatient procedure for ambulatory patients
  • Non-invasive, requiring minimal recovery time and no overnight stay
  • Sensitive imaging for the diagnosis of internal injuries or disease
  • Supplements the results of other imaging like ultrasound or MRI
  • Examines structures for malformation, trauma or other abnormalities

The source for the beam and the detectors are interconnected and rotate around your body during the scan. You may be asked to remain still during certain phases of the examination. The good news is that most CAT scans are completed in less than 15 minutes of table time. This largely depends upon the specific area of your body that needs to be imaged. Your preparation for a CAT scan is similar to having a traditional X-ray. You should wear lose clothing and avoid wearing metal objects like belt buckles or jewelry. Be sure to tell your doctor that you’ve chosen the best medical imaging center for your CT scan and to make your appointment with Precision Imaging Centers of Jacksonville.