Computed tomography (CT) investigation
A computed tomography (CT) device is an X-ray machine connected to a computer, which allows for getting layered and 3D images of the human body. A referral letter is necessary (also for a paid service). For insured persons the service is free of charge. In the absence of health insurance the investigation is subject to a fee (the price depends on the investigation).
A CT scan uses X-ray absorption measurements in tissue and this information is processed with a computer. The amount of radiation is higher than with a regular X-ray investigation and, therefore, this investigation is performed only if medically indicated.
We perform CT scans of various body regions except for the heart. A CT scan lasts for 5 to 30 minutes. For an abdominal CT scan it is necessary to come 45 minutes earlier, because it is necessary to drink a contrasting agent solution prior to the scan. For other regions, it is necessary to be present 15 minutes earlier. Before the investigation you will be asked to remove all metallic objects, jewellery. A venous line will be inserted if necessary, through which a contrasting agent containing iodine is injected for better visualisation of the structure of organs and possible pathological changes. During the injection of the contrasting agent, you may have a warm feeling or a metallic taste in the mouth, which passes within a few seconds. After the contrast-enhanced investigation it is necessary to drink plenty of fluids (preferably 1.5–2 litres of water), to improve the elimination of the contrasting agent from the body. Breastfeeding mothers must breast feed for 24 h after contrasting agent injection. The contrasting agent does not affect reaction time or attention. Late reactions to contrasting agents (drop in blood pressure, increased heart rate, shortness of breath, anxiety and confusion, bluish colour of lips) occur in individual cases (< 1:1000). In these cases it is necessary to immediately consult a doctor and tell about the injected contrasting agent.
During the scan it is important to lie motionless on the study table, otherwise it will fail. The study table moves back and forth. Sometimes you are asked to hold your breath for a few seconds. During the whole time of the scan you will be monitored by the CT staff through a window and you will always be able to communicate with the staff through a sound system.
The investigation is performed in Lasnamäe Medicum, address Tallinn, Punane 61.
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