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What is Brain CT scan?
CT scan is a computerised tomography imaging, which is a non-invasive diagnostic technique. Brain or Neck CT scan utilizes x-rays and a 3D computer technology to obtain images of brain, neck and surrounding areas as the scanner rotates with the x-ray beam around the body. This allows images to be obtain from different views of the same organ inside of your body.
CT scan is usually not used for disease screening purposes because of the x-ray radiation; it is commonly use to confirm tumors of the brain. The scan may be performed without or with a water-soluble radiographic contrast dye, simply known as contrast.
Nowadays, some scan centres also provide facility of online booking.
Indications for CT Brain:
A CT brain (cerebral hemispheres, cerebellum and brain stem) is done to look at the structures of the brain and evaluate for the presence of pathology, such as mass/tumor, fluid collection such as an abscess or ischemic processes such as a stroke.
It is particularly good for hemorrhage, trauma or fracture to the skull and for hydrocephalus. In general IV contrast is used in brain CT when performing a CT angiogram or venogram or for evaluating an abscess or malignancy.
Symptoms such as headache, vomiting, loss of consciousness (LOC) or amnesia, post-traumatic seizure, signs such as physical evidence of trauma above the clavicles, Vertigo/Dizziness, skull fracture or contusion and raccoon sign.
Past history such as alcohol intoxication or coagulopathy and age more than 60 years have been discussed as the risk indicators for abnormalities in brain CT
- Bone abnormalities
- Brain mass/tumor
- Fluid collection, such as an abscess
- Ischemic process, such as a stroke
- Trauma or fracture of the skull
- intracranial lesions
Procedure for Brain CT scan:
When you enter the scanning room, the Radiology Technologist will administer the contrast if you are having a contrast CT. You are asked to lie flat on your back on the scanner bed. Sometimes pillows and straps might be used for correct positioning and to help you to remain still. The body is slid into the scanner and numerous x-ray beams attached to set of electronic x-ray detectors rotate around you, as different parts of the body absorb the radiation. Sometimes the bed is detached from the scanner for a spiral rotation of the x-ray beam.
The CT scanner is large and box-like or tunnel-like, attached to a flatbed, similar to what is shown below:
The brain or neck structures are scanned and displayed as slices of images on special computer software. The numerous images are then reassembled in different dimensions to view as 3D images of the brain.
This allows images to be obtained from different views of the brain. The images that are generated are more detailed, as compared to the conventional x-ray method; they are presented as black and white pictures, each showing a slightly different slice or cross-section of your internal organs. This enables the Radiologist Specialist to have a clear picture as to whether a structure or an organ has a disease.
CT scan is commonly used to confirm tumors of the brain.
You may be ask to hold your breath during the scanning. Any motion whether breathing or body movements, can lead to artifacts on the images. This loss of image quality can resemble the blurring seen on a photograph taken of a moving object. When the examination is complete, you will be ask to wait until the technologist verifies that the images are of high quality for accurate interpretation.
A radiologist with expertise in interpreting radiology examinations will analyze the CT scan images and prepare a report within 24 hours. Previous X-rays, CT scan reports are required as they can provide useful additional information for the Radiologist for comparison purposes when they are interpreting the scan. That can help in better diagnosis and treatment plan.
A follow-up may be required if a potential abnormality that needs further evaluation with additional views or a special imaging technique. Also if any change in a known abnormality is monitored over time.
Benefits vs. risks
The benefits of CT scan are:
- It is painless, noninvasive and accurate.
- Soft tissues and blood vessels all are scanned at the same time.
- Because CT scans are fast and simple; in emergency cases, they can be very useful to reveal internal injuries and bleeding quickly hence save lives.
- CT scan is less sensitive to patient movement as compared to MRI.
- CT can be performed even if you have an implanted medical device in your body.
- No traces of radiation are found in a patient’s body after a CT scan.
- X-rays used in CT scans probably have no immediate side effects.
The risks of CT scan are:
- CT scanning is not recommended for pregnant women unless medically necessary because of potential risk to the baby. However, the risk is minimal with Brain CT scan.
- Mothers should not breastfeed their babies for 24-48 hours after contrast medium is given.
- In rare cases, there can be serious allergic reaction to contrast materials that contain iodine, and radiology departments are well-equipped to deal with them.
Limitations of CT scan:
- An obese or overweight individual, who is about 450 pounds or over might not fit into the CT Machine.
- Children may need to be sedate to keep them calm for the scan. This happens rarely because CT scanning is very fast so it gets done before they become agitate.
- The CT scanning technique needs to be adjust for children. The x-ray radiation dosage has to reduce and scanner will be adjust to their size for safety and accurate imaging.
- If the patient is pregnant, it will be necessary to perform an alternative test, as even small amount of x-ray may harm the fetus.
- CT scan is not as highly sensitive for certain organ disorder, so other tests will be need for confirmation.
How to find cost of Brain Neck CT scan centres near me:
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