NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES, September 26, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ — Computed tomography scans offer far more benefits than risks and are considered a first-line diagnostic tool for a host of serious disorders, especially those affecting the abdomen and pelvis, according to Dr. Kamila Seilhan, Internist and Medical Director of LabFinder.com.
Abdominal and pelvic CT scanning is performed quickly (oftentimes within 30 minutes or less), painlessly, and noninvasively; provides highly detailed images; and is cost-effective, Dr. Seilhan says.“CT images help the physician more readily detect cancer of internal abdominal organs like the liver, pancreas, bladder, small bowel, and colon and are significant in diagnosing cases of lymphoma, appendicitis, abscesses, diverticulitis, colitis, internal bleeding, abdominal aortic aneurysms and other vascular abnormalities. They are also useful in finding the potential source of a patient’s abdominal or pelvic pain, confirming presence of kidney and bladder stones, and pinpointing injuries due to traumatic events like falls and car crashes,” she explains.
The abdomen and pelvis are the regions containing a person’s urinary, endocrine, and digestive systems, as well as reproductive organs. Unexplained weight loss, nausea and vomiting, chronic diarrhea, bowel changes, and urinary impairment are among symptoms that might trigger a physician’s request for a pelvic or abdominal CT scan.
“Of course, some patients fear exposure to the ionizing radiation of a CT scanner – CT imaging emits significantly greater amounts of radiation than standard X-rays but refusing recommended CT testing because of such concern may unnecessarily delay treatment, permit unchecked spread of disease, and even prove life-threatening,” Dr. Seilhan advises.
Her comments follow publication of a recent study (November 2022, bit.ly/43Ayz3w) reporting an “inordinate increase in cancer risks from CT scans for adults” and stating these risks “positively correlate with radiation dose and CT sites.” The scientists reviewed the cases of some 111.6 million adults globally but also admitted some of the excess cancer cases might not have been directly due to the ionizing radiation of CT imaging. Included in the study were “patients [who already had] precancerous…or early symptoms, [prompting] their physician to perform a CT scan.” In those instances, the disease was already present prior to scanning.
Making access to medical tests, test results, and personal health information quick, simple, and understandable is one of the primary benefits of LabFinder. The LabFinder system serves as an online scheduling platform for all patient laboratory and radiology appointments. It connects patients, doctors and lab and radiology centers for a seamless medical experience; offers timely test scheduling; and serves as one central repository for users’ testing results. Most importantly, test results are released simultaneously to patient and clinician and are often available in as little as 24 hours or less, giving both the physician and the patient earlier opportunity to review and evaluate findings and take any needed follow-up action.
However, results of CT scans as summarized in radiology reports and made available to patients through their electronic health portals can be difficult to read and interpret, Dr. Seilhan states. Experts agree with her. “The radiologist still [prepares] the report using medical terms that [the] health care provider will understand. However, these terms may be confusing for you as a patient,” writes the author of an article on the RadiologyInfo.org web site (bit.ly/3NZnu6f).
For example, the abdominal scan may show a lesion on the liver or kidney that the radiologist calls “indeterminate,” which means it cannot be definitively diagnosed without other follow-up tests. The radiologist may also recommend a biopsy, suggest comparing test results with prior imaging evaluations that the patient may already have undergone, or, in cases of unknown causes of pain, indicate “no findings on the current CT to account for the patient’s clinical complaint,” according to the RadiologyInfo article.
“Ensuring a patient receives test results quickly to reduce their anxiety is an important goal of LabFinder, but patients also have responsibility to contact their providers for clarification of information they do not readily understand,” Dr. Seilhan emphasizes.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) refers to a CT scan as an “X-ray study, in which a series of rays are rotated around a specified body part, and computer-generated cross-sectional images are produced…[A] CT scanner machine rotates the X-ray tube around the patient’s body through a circular structure known as the gantry.” Each rotation creates multiple image slices of the body area being scanned and generates computerized information. “The patient is slowly moved up or down [on] the table to obtain different cross-sectional images,” according to the NCBI information.
Scans can be done with or without a common contrast dye like barium sulfate, taken orally immediately before testing, or an iodine-based liquid, delivered to the patient intravenously during the CT examination.
Meanwhile, Dr. Seilhan offers these tips to anyone recommended for pelvic or abdominal CT testing. The scanning technology:
• Serves as an ally in the fight against cancer. CT images can often find cancer in its initial stages – even before obvious symptoms develop.
• Detects tumors and masses in internal organs.
• Can identify causes of abdominal or pelvic pain and ease a patient’s mind or lead to earlier treatment.
• Discovers appendix-related problems, helping the patient avoid an emergent, life-threatening appendix rupture.
• Offers early warning of the presence of an aortic aneurysm, which is normally fatal if it ruptures.
“Bottom line, if your physician suggests a CT scan, welcome it. It could prove a lifesaver,” Dr. Seilhan says.
Bio: Kamila Seilhan DO is a New York City-based internal medicine specialist who has been in practice for more than 20 years. She is board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. In addition to her practice, she serves as medical director of LabFinder.com.
About: LabFinder is a consumer-facing platform that transforms the patient experience through seamless lab & radiology testing, guiding patients to conveniently located testing centers, handling appointment bookings, offering telehealth services, and allowing patients to review their test results all in one place. LabFinder supports patients through their care journey from booking to billing—reducing expenses, hurdles, and frustrations. www.labfinder.com.