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Is Endoscopy Better than CT Scan?

Is Endoscopy Better than CT Scan?

What Is a CT Scan?

CT scans, or, in other words, CAT scans, are specialized X-ray procedures that use X-rays and a computer in order to create cross-sectional images of the body. In fact, computerized axial tomography is another name for CT scans. Sir Godfrey Hounsfield, a British engineer, and Dr. Alan Cormack each contributed independently to the development of CT. It is now a standard method for identifying illnesses in medicine. In fact, Hounsfield and Cormack shared the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their contribution.

Experts first began to install CT scanners in 1974. However, with advanced technologies like CT scanners, experts can do a scan quickly; which considerably improves the patients' experiences. Improvements have led to higher-resolution images, which assist the doctor in making a diagnosis. For example, the CT scan can help doctors to visualize small nodules or tumors; which they cannot see with a plain film X-ray.

What Is an Endoscopy Procedure?

A gastrointestinal endoscopy allows medical professionals to view the interior lining of the digestive tract. An expert uses an endoscope, which is a flexible fiberoptic tube with a tiny TV camera at one end, for this examination. The medical professional connects the camera to a video screen, which projects the images on a color TV or an eyepiece for close-up viewing. In addition to allowing for GI disease diagnosis, the endoscope also enables GI disease treatment.

What Is the Difference Between CT Scan vs Endoscopy?

  • While endoscopy is a procedure that can only see the inside surface of the upper gastrointestinal tract, CT scans make use of X-rays to create images of the organs and tissues inside the body (such as the abdominal organs, brain, chest, lungs, and heart).
  • While endoscopy creates images using a flexible instrument outfitted with a light and camera and can be used to collect upper gastrointestinal tissue samples and/or remove polyps, CT scans use radiation (X-rays).
  • Contrary to endoscopy, which is invasive (the flexible instrument is inserted through the mouth) and typically necessitates a person to change their diet for a brief period of time while adhering to your doctor's instructions, CT scans are quick, painless, noninvasive, and do not require extensive preparations.
  • While most patients undergoing a CT do not need sedation; medical professionals typically give individuals undergoing an endoscopy an anesthetic or, in other words, sedate them mildly; because the procedure may be painful or uncomfortable for many patients.
  • Both procedures are relatively risk-free, though CT does expose you to radiation (at a safe level), and endoscopy carries the risk of bowel perforation and anesthesia drug allergies. If a medical professional uses IV contrast dye to enhance CT images, some patients may be allergic to it or risk kidney damage.
  • While complications from CTs can include allergic reactions to IV dye, kidney damage from the IV dye and dye leakage at the IV site, complications from colonoscopies can consist of an irregular heartbeat, pulmonary aspiration, and/or respiratory depression. If gastrointestinal tract perforation occurs, infection and/or bleeding can also occur.
  • When compared to endoscopy procedures, medical professionals perform CT scans on people of almost any age.

What Are the Risks of a CT Scan vs a Gastrointestinal Endoscopy?

CT Scan Risks

CT scan is a very low-risk procedure.

  • When having a CT scan, experts will expose the patient to radiation. It is a safe level, however.
  • The contrast injection, which the medical professionals occasionally use in CT scanning, poses the most significant risk. Experts can use this contrast to distinguish between normal and abnormal tissues. Additionally, it aids in the distinction between blood vessels and other structures like lymph nodes. Like any medication, the contrast can cause severe allergic reactions in some people. A fatal reaction to the contrast has a probability of 1 in 100,000. Those who are more at risk may need special pre-treatment, and the test should be performed in a hospital setting. Be it anyone who has experienced a severe allergic reaction to another medication, has asthma or emphysema, or has severe heart disease is more likely to experience a contrast reaction and is advised to have the test done at a hospital's X-ray department. In addition to causing an allergic reaction, the intravenous dye can harm the kidneys, especially if a person already has mild kidney disease. Usually, the medical professionals suggest the patients to drink a lot of water to help the dye leave their body.
  • There is a chance that the contrast will leak outside of the vein under the skin whenever the professional injects an injection into a vein. Rarely, if a significant amount of contrast leaks under the skin, the skin may break down.

Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Risks

  • Upper GI endoscopy (EGD): Although uncommon, bleeding and esophageal or stomach wall puncture are possible during EGD. Other complications are as follows:
  • An extremely irregular heartbeat
  • Pulmonary aspiration - This condition occurs when material, either particulate (food, foreign body) or fluid (gastric contents, blood, or saliva), enters your windpipe from your throat.
  • Infections and fevers that come and go
  • In people with severe lung disease or liver cirrhosis, respiratory depression, or a decrease in the rate or depth of breathing, occurs.
  • The vagus nerve system's response to sedatives
  • Local discomfort
  • Arrhythmias of the heart
  • Bleeding and infection in the bowel; usually following a biopsy or polyp removal.
  • A hole or perforation in the bowel wall
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