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Understanding the Importance of CT Scans

Jan 21, 2019

One of the most important medical advances of the past 50 years, computed tomography, or CT scans, are so vital they have been used to diagnose a variety of medical conditions. In fact, in 1979, the inventors of computed tomography were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

If you have been referred to a diagnostic and imaging center in Suffolk County, NY, you may be nervous or even confused. What is this and why is it necessary? Wouldn't an ultrasound or X-ray do the same thing?

CT scans go above and beyond to provide comprehensive looks at internal body structures, which is for the good of your own health, especially if a physician has referred you for a CT scan.

Learn how CT scans work, what they do, and why they're often necessary for patient care.

How It Works

Nearly every diagnostic imaging center has a CT machine in addition to conventional X-ray machines. Both machines are designed to take detailed images of internal body structures, including bones and organs. However, the difference between the two is marked. A conventional X-ray machine will show overlapping structures. For instance, an image of the heart would show the ribs overlapping it. In some cases, an X-ray is enough to diagnose conditions like bone fractures.

However, a CT scan goes beyond what an X-ray machine can do. CT scans take detailed, uncluttered images of internal body structures. This means that the overlapping structures are eliminated, and the resulting images will show only the intended organs or systems. CT scans show clear, focused, and easy-to-inspect images of human anatomy. This makes diagnosing conditions like tumors or fibroids much simpler. Diagnostic imaging centers will provide your physician with clear images that are integral to providing you with accurate medical care. After all, how you're diagnosed affects how, and how quickly, you're treated.


The Process

If you've been referred to diagnostic imaging for a CT scan, you may be nervous. This is completely normal. However, the process is simple, and a technician will be with you to explain the process and guide you through it.

During a CT scan, a large X-ray tube will rotate around your body, with you in the center, collecting multiple images of your body's internal structures at various angles. You must lie very still for the duration of the scan.

Once the images are taken, they're delivered to a computer, where the images are analyzed, compounded, and isolated to create new and detailed images of your body. Then, the tissue that doesn't need to be analyzed will be removed so that a physician can get a clear image of just the noted structures in your body.

The Benefits

A combination of radiologists and your referring physician will inspect the size, shape, structure, texture, and overall health of your body's internal structures. They can use these images to get relevant data surrounding your health, including the location, extent, and severity of any maladies you may have, like blockage in your heart.

CT scans can help improve the accuracy and success of health care, reduce the need for exploratory surgeries, reduce the risk of complications in surgery, and so much more. The diagnostic imaging services at Peconic Bay Medical Center include state-of-the-art CT machines, as well as a team of Board Certified sub-specialized radiologists and other health care professionals who can analyze data and provide you with first-rate health care. Visit Peconic Bay Medical Center's website,, to learn more about the best diagnostic and imaging center in Suffolk County, NY.