A thoracic CT scan uses a series of X-rays to diagnose pathologies in the heart, lungs, mediastinum (region around the heart), and upper part of the abdomen. This exam may also be used to detect some bone pathologies in this region.
A medical imaging technologist will ask you to lie down on your back with your arms extended over your head. The technologist then places shields over the genitals and breasts (for women) to prevent these areas from being exposed unnecessarily to radiation. You will be given instructions about when to hold your breath as the images are acquired.
A radiologist will analyze the exam and send the report to your treating physician. There are no side effects.