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Benefits of a CAT Scan

May 03, 2016 09:45AM ● By Dia
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By Jeffrey Peebles, M.D. – Southlake Medical Director, Complete Care

A computed tomography scan (also known as a CAT or CT scan), is one of the most common types of medical tests performed. Many medical experts rank the development of the CAT scan as one of the most important medical developments in the last 40 years. In fact, the inventors of the device were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1979. These are just some of the benefits of having a CAT scan. If you need one, come into your nearest Complete Care location.

How a CAT Scan Works

While a CAT scan takes pictures of the inside of the body similar to a traditional x-ray, the picture produced by the scan is much clearer. In x-rays, internal structures can often overlap; for example, the lung and heart can be obscured by the ribs. This can make it difficult for a doctor to make an accurate diagnosis. A CAT scan eliminates this overlap.

During a CAT scan, a tube rotates around the patient, allowing the system to collect several different images from several angles. A computer stores the images and then creates a new image that removes any overlying structures. This helps doctors and radiologists clearly identify the size, shape, texture and density of the structures they are examining. The information provided by the scan helps a doctor determine the extent of any medical issue that may be present, as well as its exact location.

Effective Medical Management

There are several different ways that CAT scans help doctors treat their patients more effectively. For example, results from a scan can help determine whether or not a surgery may be needed, or even eliminate the need for an exploratory surgery. Scans can also greatly improve diagnosis and treatment of cancer and shorten the length of a hospital stay. In addition, they help doctors determine what level of care a patient may need, such as whether or not that person needs to go into intensive care.

CAT scans are also critical in an emergency room setting. They can help doctors assess a patient’s condition quickly so that the right course of action can be determined. A scan can show that internal bleeding may be occurring, and can also show exactly where surgery needs to be performed. 

If you or someone in your home ever experiences any kind of emergency medical problem and needs a CAT scan, the experts at Complete Care can help. Contact us online to learn more.

  Dr. Jeffrey Peebles, M.D. has an extensive amount of experience in delivering advanced emergency care. He is board certified with the American Board of Emergency Medicine, and a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians/Texas College of Emergency Physicians. Dr. Peebles is committed to providing timely, affordable and high-quality medical care to the Southlake community.