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CT Scan Utility and Costs

 Computed tomography is one of the most widely used medical imaging procedures to map soft tissues and bones. It utilizes X-rays that record the body from several angles, and a computer that combines the X-rays to get a cross-section view of the body.

As CT scans can provide 2 and 3 dimensional images of any part of the body, they show more detail than a standard X-ray.

In many countries CT scan costs are fully or partially covered by insurance, but in the U.S. patients are charged for the imaging services. It is used for diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic purposes alone or combined with standard X-rays, MRI and ultrasonography. 

Why Are CT Scans Useful?

  • Identify the location of tumors and blood clots.
  • Diagnose cancer, heart diseases, bone fractures.
  • Assist surgeries and biopsies. 
  • In case of accidents to search for internal injuries fast. 
  • Specify the stage of cancer. 
  • Show enlarged glands and lymph nodes

A great advantage of CT is that there is no interference from images that are not the area of focus, tissues are easily distinguished.

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How Is Computed Tomography Performed?

It is very short, painless examination usually done in hospitals or outpatient medical centers by a radiologist. 

The machine itself consists of a standing ring-like circle and a bed that is moved through the rotating ring (called gantry). The rotating ring records a lot of sliced images from different angles of your body. You should try to avoid movement as even the slightest ones may blur the image and you might be requested to pay CT scan costs again. The image is analyzed on computer and might send the files to your specialists with his diagnosis. 

Is It Harmful For Health?

A one-off computed tomography scan does not transmit harmful amounts of radiation to your body, but repeated, frequent scanning is not recommended. Advances in technology have managed to reduce radiation levels to the minimum. 

Pregnant patients are advised not be exposed to even small dose of radiation. 

In some cases some contrast material is injected or orally given to the patient to highlight a certain area. In very rare cases it can trigger allergy and strains your kidneys. 

Inform your doctor if you have implanted medical devices such as pacemaker or insulin pump or metal objects like joint replacement and surgical clips. 

Full body scanning is only recommended in specific cases of coronary artery diseases or cancers, because of the high radiation exposure also because it increases CT scan cost significantly. 

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CT Scan Cost

The use of CT scans has been increasing since the 1980s: nowadays every hospital, bigger clinic or imaging centre offers CT scans. In the U.S.A in particular, a CT can cost you as much as $9,000, which sum only partially will be covered by the insurer. In emergency cases it is impossible control whether you need the service for this price or not. However, when you have no life threatening condition, you might want to check out several options, because at some specialized imaging centers the same procedure might be performed for merely a few hundred dollars.