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CAT scan

Computed Axial Tomography (CAT scan) is a process of using computers to generate three dimensional images from a flat two dimensional X rays pictures through the 'slice' technique. Aided by computer, cross-sectional views are generated and if needed three dimensional images of the internal organs and structures of the body. In CAT scan the body is seen in 'slices' from the skin to the central part of the body. When all the levels (slices) are added together, a three dimensional picture of an organ is obtained. Together the cross sections give a very accurate picture of where the tumor is and how big or small it is. They also show how close the major body organs are to the area that needs to be treated or operated upon. A CAT scan can be used to define both the normal and abnormal structures the body. It also helps as an accurate guide in placement of instruments and treatments for undergoing procedures.

  • The head is examined for trauma injuries, such as blood clots or skull fractures.
  • Spine is studied for any infections and to check the anatomy of intervertebral discs and spinal cord.
  • Density of the bone in evaluating osteoporosis is also accurately measured by CAT scan.
  • CAT scans are used in the chest to identify tumors, cysts or infections.
  • CAT scans of the abdomen are helpful in defining body organ anatomy, including visualizing liver, gall bladder, pancreas, spleen, aorta, kidneys, uterus and ovaries. Also CAT scans help to verify the presence or absence of tumors, infection, abnormal anatomy or changes in the body from trauma.
  • CAT scans help to guide the radiologist in performing certain procedures such as biopsyand suspected cancers, removal of internal fluids for various tests.

Many of the procedures in CAT scan are minimally invasive. CAT scan is very low risk procedure. The amount of radiation in CAT scan is very minimal. Unlike MRI, CT scans can be done even if the patient has a pace maker or an internal cardioverter defibrillator devices implanted into the chest to help regulate the heart beat. CAT scan may pose a potential risk to the fetus during the first trimester of pregnancy. Sometimes in contrast studies using iodine-based, there may be itching, a rash, hives or a feeling of warmth throughout the body. But these reactions tend to go away quickly. Very rarely does a more serious reaction occur during intravenous contrast studies. This anaphylactic reaction results in severe hives and/or difficulty in breathing.

Benefits of CAT Scan

  • Diagnose muscle and bone disorders such as bone tumors and fractures
  • Pinpoint the location of tumor, infection and blood clot
  • Guide certain procedures in surgery
  • Detect and monitor diseases such as cancer or heart disease
  • Detect internal injuries and internal bleeding.

Abdominal CAT scan

CAT scans are particularly used to study with clarity several organs in the abdominal regions of the body namely liver, spleen, pancreas and kidneys. Many causes of abdominal pain are diagnosed using specialized CT equipment for interpreting CT scans of the lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the colon and the rectum. Abscess in the abdomen, inflammation of the colon or colon cancer, diverticulitis and appendicitis are diagnosed. When severe pain is caused by an infection or inflammation, the speed, ease and accuracy of a CT examination can reduce the risk of serious complications caused by a burst appendix or an erupted diverticulum and the subsequent spread of the infection. Especially in cases of bowel obstruction, CT is the best imaging test recommended.


Gynecologists are doctors who specialize in women's health. They primarily deal with diseases relating to the female reproductive organs. Obstetricians are doctors who also specialize in women's health and focus more on management of pregnancy and childbirth. It is pretty common to see that gynecologists are obstetricians and vice-versa. Gynecologists have to complete medical school and then further specialize in the field of gynecology and obstetrics. Modern days have seen both these services clubbed together and practiced together. Gynecologists/obstetricians carry out the following tasks:

  • Examine pregnant women and ensure their pregnancy is proceeding well. They advice women on the various conditions they face during the pregnancy phase.
  • They give specialized treatments for the patients as recommended by their general physicians and perform surgeries in the required patients.
  • They advice the patients on the various contraception methods available and suggest the on best suitable for them.
  • Give specialized treatment for infertility either through medications or surgical processes.
  • Deliver babies either through normal deliveries or caesarean sections.
  • Check on the health of the mother and the infant during and after the delivery.
  • They treat conditions like amenorrhoea (absence of menstrual periods) and dysmenorrhea (agonizing menstrual periods).
  • Treat cancer in the reproductive organs such as uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, vagina etc.

Latest techniques employed in gynecology

The use of latest technology in the field of gynecology/obstetrics has made it easier for the diagnosis and treatment of gynecological disorders

  • Vaginal scans have paved way to study the cervix ovaries, uterus and its contents in a detailed manner.
  • Pap smear helps check for any abnormal changes in the cervix cells called dysplasia.
  • Laparoscopy is another advancement that helps in processes like hysterectomy.
  • MRI and CAT scans are used to study uterine malformation etc.
  • Vaginal swabs are used to study bacterial growth.

Tags: #CAT scan #Abdominal CAT scan #Gynecologist
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: February 23, 2024