If your doctor refers you for a CT scan in San Antonio , you may be wondering what to expect. This medical imaging test can be useful in diagnosing a number of bone and soft tissue issues and may also be used to track the effectiveness of a treatment you are already receiving.
Watch this video to learn more about CT scan technology. CTs use the same technology as X-rays, but rather than taking an image from one direction, they create cross-sectional images. During a CT, the staff at the imaging center will position you on a table so that the X-ray beam can effectively reach the part of the body being evaluated, and the table will slide into a tube that lets the beam move in a circle, taking images from a variety of angles. Generally, the entire process takes about 30 minutes.
Prepare for PET/CT Scans
Ahead of your appointment at the imaging center, it’s a good idea to find out if there are any special steps you need to take to prepare. Some exams, such as X-rays, typically require no special preparation. On the other hand, combined PET/CT scans do have several requirements. Always defer to the instructions of the radiologist in San Antonio if they differ from the following do’s and don’ts.
Do follow the dietary restrictions.
The day before you go to the imaging center, you’ll need to follow a limited carbohydrate diet if you aren’t diabetic. This means you should limit grain-based foods like bread, pasta, and tortillas. You should also limit potatoes and other starchy vegetables. Avoid sweets entirely, including soda. If you have a morning appointment, you’ll be asked to avoid eating anything after midnight. If you have an appointment scheduled at or afternoon, you can ask the radiologist for additional guidance on dietary restrictions.
Don’t forget to share your medical information.
It’s crucial that your radiologist has your full medical history. He or she especially needs to know if you are diabetic, pregnant, possibly pregnant, or breastfeeding. If you are diabetic, you may be asked to have your blood glucose levels as close to 100 mg/dL as possible prior to the test. If your blood sugar is too high, you might have to reschedule the exam.
Do request a sedative if you think you’ll need it.
The PET/CT scan requires you to lie on your back and to remain as still as possible for the duration of the scan. If you anticipate having problems meeting this requirement, you should feel free to request an oral sedative. If you do use a sedative, you’ll need a responsible adult to accompany you. You’ll also have to refrain from driving that day.
Don’t neglect to take prescribed medications.
If you take prescription medications, you may take them with water only. You should not take over-the-counter medicines like antacids, cough syrups, or cough drops. Avoid mints, candy, and multivitamins.
Do give plenty of notice for a rescheduling.
The radioactive tracer required for a PET/CT scan must be specially made shortly before your appointment, since it has a short half-life. If you must reschedule your exam, call the imaging center as soon as possible.
If you’re expecting to have a CT scan in San Antonio, it can be helpful to understand what to expect at the imaging center. Computed tomography (CT) scans, also called CAT scans, use information gleaned from emitting X-rays through a patient to produce cross-sectional images of the internal structures of the body. A CT scan is commonly used to diagnose lymphoma, pancreatitis, appendicitis, colon cancer, and many other medical conditions.
You can learn more about CT scans by watching this video or speaking with your doctor. This brief animation explains how you’ll lie on a special sliding table that is inserted into the machine. When the table stops moving, the scanner moves around your body and emits X-rays. A computer analyzes the information to produce an image.
Alzheimer’s disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) changes the structure of the brain, such as by leading to the formation of tau tangles. Until recently, imaging centers in San Antonio could not detect these brain changes while the patient was still alive. The only way to diagnose these conditions was during an autopsy. Now, new advances in positron emission tomography (PET) scans have made it possible. A PET scan is a noninvasive way to facilitate the early detection of CTE and Alzheimer’s.
You can hear more about advances in PET scan technology when you watch this video. It features an ex-NFL player, Dave Herman, who began exhibiting signs of memory loss and thinking problems. He visited a radiologist for a PET scan and received a diagnosis of CTE, which is caused by the brain damage that results from repeated concussions.
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