Computerized Tomography (CT scan) is a painless, sophisticated X-ray procedure in which the patient lies on a movable table that slides into the CT machine. Inside the CT scanner, an X-ray beam rotates around the body obtaining images of parts of the body that cannot typically be seen on a standard X-ray, such as soft tissue, bone, and blood vessels. CT scans provide excellent information about anatomical features and tissue density, allowing for the detection of tumors and the ability to distinguish between malignant and benign tumors. CT scans can also detect calcium deposits, cysts, and abscesses. Slices can be studied by placing them together to create a three-dimensional model of the organ/tissue, or they can be studied individually.
Some CT scans require a dye to be used. The dye, also known as contrast, is used to highlight the area(s) of concern. This method of highlighting produces more distinct images which makes it easier to pinpoint specific areas. On some occasions, there may be a reaction to this dye such as slight nausea or an allergic reaction. In many cases, no dye is required for this procedure.