If you’re struggling day to day with pain or illness then you will be keen to find out what is causing the problem. Doctors use lots of different ways to diagnose and assess patients to pinpoint the root cause of any issues. One of the most widely used methods are scans. All scans are not the same and different scans target different illnesses but, all of them will give medical professionals an insight into what’s going on inside.
This article aims to give an insight into three of the main types of scans. These scans use different techniques such as, magnetic fields, X-Ray and high frequency sound waves to view inside parts of a patient’s body to aid diagnosis.
Computed Tomography, more commonly known as a CT Scan or a CAT Scan, is used to collect detailed images of soft tissues, blood vessels, and the brain in 3D. CT Scans are used to diagnose and monitor conditions from strokes and injuries to bones to serious diseases like cancer. CT Scans gather images of your body by using coloured dyes which the patient drinks. The coloured dyes will make the images gathered clearer. This kind of scan uses X-Ray concentrated on certain parts of the body. You won’t be scanned in a tunnel that surrounds your whole body, like an MRI scan would, therefore you shouldn’t feel anxious or claustrophobic for this procedure.
MRI is abbreviated from Magnetic Resonance Imaging, this scans full name. Unlike a traditional X-Ray or CT scan, an MRI does not use radiation to see into the body. Instead, it uses a magnetic field to produce images in different directions. These scans are not suitable for patients who have metal implants or pacemakers due to the nature of magnetic fields. MRI scans can give a clear picture of muscles, ligaments and soft tissue which means they can be used for a range of different medical conditions from slipped discs in the spine to tumours. If you go for a HCA MRI Scan, it will be an outpatient treatment and you will be able to go home after the procedure.
If you’ve ever been pregnant then the chances are that you’ve already had an ultrasound scan. These scans, sometimes referred to as a sonogram, work by using high frequency sound waves to get a picture of what’s going on inside someone’s body. Although they are most known as a procedure during pregnancy, they are also used to diagnose other conditions or to guide a surgeon during surgery. Depending on the kind of ultrasound scan you are having, you may be asked to refrain from eating or to have plenty to drink before. Ultrasound scans do not use radiation like a CT scan or X-Ray and there are no known risks.