What are Abdominal or Abdomen CT scans?
A doctor or physician may order a CT scan of the abdomen or pelvis to make detailed pictures and analyze the internal structure. Computerized tomography (CT) scanning is useful to get a very detailed 3D image of certain parts of the body.
The process begins by taking many different X-ray views at various different angles, which are then combined with the use of computer processing to create cross-sectional images of the bones and soft tissue inside of your body, including tissues inside of solid organ. Ordinary X-ray testing does not show clear images of soft tissue, so doctors often request CT scanning to get a good image of soft tissue including organs, muscles, blood vessels, nerves, and the brain. Sometimes a contrast dye is used as it shows up clearer on the screen.
Many organs in your body can be seen during a quality CT scan of the abdomen or pelvis including:
Organs that help break down the food you eat and get rid of waste through bowel movements such as your stomach, gallbladder, intestines, liver, pancreas and spleen.
Organs that make or produce urine and allow you to urinate including your kidneys, urethra (urinary tract), bladder and ureters can also be seen with an abdominal or pelvic CT scan.
Reproductive organs can also be seen in an abdominal or pelvic CT scan. In women, these organs include the uterus (womb), ovaries, cervix, fallopian tubes, and vagina. In men, these organs include the testicles, scrotum, penis and prostate gland.
Reasons for an Abdominal or Pelvic CT scan:
CT scans are used for a multitude of reasons. They may be done to check for certain cancers in various different ways including to detect abnormal tumors, growths or lumps. They also identify the location of tumors, the stage of cancer, and where to perform a biopsy.
An abdominal or pelvic CT scan can be used to guide doctors or surgeons during a procedure, such as a biopsy. They are important in planning for certain types of therapy and surgery, as well as in the aftermath to determine whether the patient’s body is responding to treatment.
CT scans can be used to detect cysts or infections in the body. They can also identify the bone structures within the body and can accurately measure the density of bone.
A CT scan is often used to quickly inspect a patient after an accident in order to identify traumatic internal injuries.
An Abdominal or Pelvic CT scan may help diagnose (find):
An abdominal or pelvic CT scan can diagnose various types of cancer including breast cancer, colon cancer, lymphoma, melanoma, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, testicular cancer, and other types of cancer.
A CT scan can diagnose the cause of abdominal pain or swelling, including Appendicitis. It can show various diseases with the gallbladder, liver, pancreases, as well as kidney problems including kidney stones, kidney swelling, kidney damage, or kidney disease.
An abdominal or pelvic CT scan can be used to discover a hernia, masses, tumors, infections, or injuries.
CT scans of the abdomen or pelvis are also used for pre-surgery planning and injuries following trauma.