The Risks of Scanning

Posted on February 20, 2008  Comments (1)

The Risks of Scanning by Nayer Khazeni, M.D

When ordered by your doctor in the proper setting, any risks of CT scans are far outweighed by their potential benefits. They are one of modern medicine’s greatest diagnostic tools, used to examine any part of your body and, increasingly, to guide minimally invasive procedures previously performed with surgery. CT rapidly rotates X-ray beams around you, obtaining images from different angles that a powerful computer then compiles to build, slice by slice, highly detailed pictures of your insides.

The impressive level of detail that CT provides can also cause confusion. In CTs of healthy adults, more than 90 percent of findings are “false positives.”

Full-body CT scans cost $500 to $1,000. Insurance companies do not cover the cost, but may use any detected abnormality to raise your premiums or limit future coverage. There are no public health organizations that advocate the use of full body or cardiac CT scans in healthy adults, and the American College of Radiology and American Heart Association have released statements recommending against them.

Related: Full Body 3-D CT Scan in Under a MinuteEpidemic of DiagnosesUSA Spent $2.1 Trillion on Health Care in 2006

One Response to “The Risks of Scanning”

  1. Anonymous
    July 20th, 2008 @ 9:51 am

    False positives? Higher costs and no insurance coverage even then people go for it for it’s potential benefits and that too if doctors insist. In India, some doctors are minting money by recommending these scans (even if they are not really necessary). They get commissions per patient basis from diagnostic centers. No patient will dare to go against the wish of the doctor. Money is nothing before life.

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