How a Chest CT Scan Helps Your Doctor Diagnose Lung Symptoms

May 18, 2017 – 3 min read

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If you have been experiencing shortness of breath, pain or discomfort that your doctor thinks may be related to your lungs, he or she may order a chest CT scan.

What is a Chest CT Scan?chest ct scan

You are probably familiar with what X-rays are. CT scans of your chest are simply a more detailed type of X-ray image that can help your doctor better diagnose potential lung issues.

The equipment used in CT scans takes multiple images of your upper abdomen and your chest – these images are often referred to as “slices.” When the slices are combined, they create 3D models of the inside of your chest that can help your doctor get a better picture of what’s going on. Sometimes, physicians will order X-ray imaging first, and use CT scans to follow up on images that aren’t as clear as they’d like.

What to Expect From the Process

You should not experience pain from the CT scan procedure, however some patients find lying on the hard table for the duration of the test can be uncomfortable. However, CT scans are quick tests – usually requiring just a few minutes.

In some cases, a contrast dye will be used to help provide an image that is easier to read.

Before the CT scan itself, you may be asked to put on a hospital gown. The technician will then have you lie on a table. It’s important to remain as still as possible, to avoid blurred images. The CT scanner will then rotate around you taking images for your doctor to review and evaluate.

What Can a CT Scan of Your Chest Show Doctors?

CT scans of your chest can help your doctor diagnose, or rule out, various lung impairments. Some of these include blood clots, lung tumors or masses, excess fluid around the lungs (pleural effusion), emphysema, COPD, pneumonia, scarring of the lungs, tuberculosis or a pulmonary embolism.

In some cases, a CT scan can indicate that there is something else going on with your lungs than the doctor originally thought, so it can help them determine the most appropriate treatment plan to have you feeling better as soon as possible.

Schedule Your Next Chest CT Scan with AHI

You have options when it comes to scheduling the location for your physician-ordered CT scan. Some people automatically schedule their CT scans at the hospital, however you can also choose a non-hospital CT imaging center like American Health Imaging (AHI).

AHI’s professional technicians use the same, high-quality equipment and procedure you would expect from the hospital, in a convenient non-hospital environment. With locations across Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Texas, odds are good that we are in a neighborhood near you.

To learn more about the convenience of having your next chest CT scan performed by the skilled and experienced imaging professionals at AHI, contact us online today or call us at (855) MRI CHOICE.