If after reviewing the chest x-rays the doctor would like to gather more information, they order a Computed Tomography Scan or more commonly referred to as a CT scan for further evaluation. CT scans are typically more conclusive than x-rays and they can also determine the location of any tumors and if fluid has built up around the lungs.
Computed tomography (CT) scans are considered painless, noninvasive, and accurate. They also offer more details than X-rays. To prepare for a CT scan, the patient may be asked to avoid eating and drinking anything for several hours before the procedure and to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.
During CT scanning, the patient may be asked to lie on a table, which is part of a tunnel-like apparatus with a hole in the center. Several X-ray beams and a set of electronic X-ray detectors will rotate around the body, measuring the radiation being absorbed throughout the body. At the same time, the examination table moves through the apparatus (scanner) while a computer processes images of the body as it displays them on a computer monitor.
After the CT scan is complete, the patient may resume their normal daily activities. This typically includes driving.
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