Cranium Chest And Spine Computerized Axial Tomography
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Cranium Chest And Spine Computerized Axial Tomography (Inpatient Care) Care Guide
- Cranium Chest And Spine Computerized Axial Tomography
- Cranium Chest And Spine Computerized Axial Tomography Aftercare Instructions
- Cranium Chest And Spine Computerized Axial Tomography Discharge Care
- Cranium Chest And Spine Computerized Axial Tomography Inpatient Care
- Cranium Chest And Spine Computerized Axial Tomography Precare
- En Espanol
- A computed axial tomography scan is also called a CT scan or CAT scan. This procedure takes pictures of parts of your body such as your cranium (skull), chest, and spine. The scan shows bones, tissues, and blood vessels in these body areas. Each picture, also called a slice, shows a few layers of your body tissue at a time. Dye or contrast may be used during the scan to help your tissues and blood vessels show up clearly. A CT scan of the cranium may show brain tumors (growths), or areas in your brain that are not getting enough blood.
- A chest CT scan can find problems such as a narrow or weak trachea (windpipe), a nodule, or a tumor. A spine CT scan is used to check for fractures of the vertebrae (bones in your spine), or pressure on nerves. If you have been injured, a spine CT can show if the bones of your spine are out of place. Having a CT scan may help caregivers find and learn about a medical problem. A CT scan can help you and your caregiver plan the best treatment for the problem. If you are being treated for a disease or condition, a CT scan can show caregivers if the treatments are working.
You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
- The contrast used in a CT scan may cause skin itching, a rash, or trouble breathing. If you have diabetes, your risk of having kidney damage may increase if contrast is used during your scan. If you are female and pregnant, a CT scan may cause problems with your unborn baby. Your eyes may be damaged. The radiation from a CT scan may increase your risk of getting cancer. A CT scan may not show certain medical problems, or how bad medical problems are. It may also show problems that were not expected.
- If you do not have a CT scan, your caregiver may not find or learn about your condition. If a medical problem is not found and treated, it may get worse. If you are being treated for a medical problem, a CT scan may show if treatments are working. Without the scan, caregivers may not know if treatments are working. Talk to caregivers if you have questions or concerns about CT scans of the skull, chest or spine.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE:
Before your procedure:
- Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
- IV: An IV is a tube that may be placed in your vein. The tube may be used to give medicine or liquids.
- Vital signs: Caregivers will check your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature. They will also ask about your pain. These vital signs give caregivers information about your current health.
During your procedure:
- You may be given a medicine through your IV to help you relax. You will lie on the scanner table on your back or your stomach. Your head may be held still using forehead and chin straps. Caregivers may check how fast you are breathing, and how fast your heart is beating. The CT scan table will be moved into the hole in the middle of the machine. You will hear clicking sounds as the machine moves and takes pictures.
- You must lie still while the CT scan is being done. During a CT scan of your spine or chest, you may need to hold your breath for a few seconds. You may also need to avoid swallowing for a few seconds during a spine CT scan. If your CT scan is being done using contrast, pictures will be taken before and after the contrast is given. When the scan is done, the table will move out of the machine.
After your procedure:
Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is OK. When your caregiver sees that you are OK, you may be able to go home. If your caregiver wants you to stay in the hospital, you will be taken back to your hospital room. Caregivers will explain the results of your CT scan to you.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.