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JoeDavola

Worried About Un-Necessary Ct Scan

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About 3 years back I was briefly passing blood, so got the camera crew up the willy and had a CT scan of my kidneys. No cancers found, and even though they found 'calcification' in my kidneys, it was apparently in the meat of the kidney and therefore would have been there since birth and couldn't make it's way into the ducts. However the renal consultant said he'd check back with me in a year.

Spoke to him a couple of months back and mentioned:

- strip test had found a trace of blood recently

- occasional urgency (to the point of being painful) when going for a wee

- one instance (only one mind you) when I was on holiday when I had an excruciating pain in my left side for about an hour and a half, had to lie down and was in a sweat it was so bad....but it cleared up inside 2 hours and hasn't happened before or since

Based on this he's ordered another CT scan, I think he said it was a more in depth one to see if a stone has travelled somewhere blah blah....but I'm worried about the radiation exposure of un-necessary CT scans so I'm wondering if this is something that's really necessary?

I know I'm probably being an idiot by thinking I know better than a 50-something renal consultant. But I'm just a bit uneasy about it. Especially as I felt rather ill after my last CT for a few hours.

The scan is on Friday. Should I phone my doctor to discuss or am I being a twit?

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why not an ultrasound or xray?

This is what a friend said to me - that if they wanted to check my kidneys out, an ultrasound would do? And that considering a CT in the last 2 years found nothing, what's going to be 'different' about this one?

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I'm surprised they are being so helpful/proactive.

What have you got to lose? I'm not an expert but I doubt the radiation exposure from most modern imaging scanners is really that high.

According to the first Google result I found the radiation from 1 CT scan is about the same as a years worth of background radiation.

Doesn't seem like a big deal to me.. Unless you're going to get one every week.

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CT has 99% performance for the detection of stones at any location, and recent technological developments mean that radiation doses for stone scans can be cut by 80-90% compared with 10 years ago (under 1 mSv is possible - this corresponds to an risk of radiation related cancer of 1 in 20,000 over the next 40 years).

X-ray radiation dose is not much lower than CT these days (with modern CT protocols, CT may actually be lower dose), and the sensitivity is much worse.

Ultrasound is simple, cheap and has no radiation, but only detects about 25% of stones.

Stones can form at any time, so just because there were no stones earlier, doesn't mean that there are no stones now. There is a different scan protocol used if stone is suspected to if cancer is suspected. So, it really depends on what type of scan was done earlier and what the urologist is asking for now.

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I'd have thought MRI would be the best solution if you are very risk adverse.

Near worthless for detection of stones, unless they are causing obstruction. Most useful for anatomical assessment, detection of tumours, etc.

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CT has 99% performance for the detection of stones at any location, and recent technological developments mean that radiation doses for stone scans can be cut by 80-90% compared with 10 years ago (under 1 mSv is possible - this corresponds to an risk of radiation related cancer of 1 in 20,000 over the next 40 years).

X-ray radiation dose is not much lower than CT these days (with modern CT protocols, CT may actually be lower dose), and the sensitivity is much worse.

Ultrasound is simple, cheap and has no radiation, but only detects about 25% of stones.

Stones can form at any time, so just because there were no stones earlier, doesn't mean that there are no stones now. There is a different scan protocol used if stone is suspected to if cancer is suspected. So, it really depends on what type of scan was done earlier and what the urologist is asking for now.

Thanks for the information. He told me specifically that this was a scan to check to see if a stone had moved into a hard-to-find place, since cancer was ruled out last time.

Would that mean it's likely they'd be using lower radiation?

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Yes. Cancer scans need good resolution, so need a higher dose. Stones light up like a light bulb on CT, so you can set the scanner to minimum resolution and still spot them.

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Yes. Cancer scans need good resolution, so need a higher dose. Stones light up like a light bulb on CT, so you can set the scanner to minimum resolution and still spot them.

You are an absolute star. Thank you for putting my mind at rest.

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It is natural to be worried but try to turn your thinking around and think of this as a positive - you are being iven the works to check out what, if anything, is causing the problem. That is hard enough to get these days in the NHS.

Did you keep taking the magnesium citrate?

We all would be nervous of any scan or other investigation. It is normal for every one but for someone like you and I, who has a heightend sense of anxiety and imagination, we tend to go off on one and think all kinds of stuff. Try to focus on the now and be positive that your Doc has organised this for you.

:)

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As others have said - be thankful you are not having to beg for this stuff from the NHS !!

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Dr Chumpus sure has an amazing rudimentary knowledge of how the human body works!

I am much better at sorting out guitars and engines.

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As others have said - be thankful you are not having to beg for this stuff from the NHS !!

NHS Doctors love it. They get to use the machine that goes "ping".

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Try getting an NHS doctor to use any 'ping' machine when its a sports injury involved !!

A baseball bat and shotgun - you maybe have a slight chance. :)

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Try getting an NHS doctor to use any 'ping' machine when its a sports injury involved !!

A baseball bat and shotgun - you maybe have a slight chance. :)

Do self inflicted injuries deserve special treatment? :P

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Do self inflicted injuries deserve special treatment? :P

If you pay NI and taxes ANY injuries deserve 'special' treatment. :)

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Try getting an NHS doctor to use any 'ping' machine when its a sports injury involved !!

A baseball bat and shotgun - you maybe have a slight chance. :)

I never imagined those were your sports of choice.

I always imagine you as a darts playing egg-and-spoon man. :huh:

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^ What everyone else has said.

And, if you didn't go for the scan, might you then find yourself musing why the consultant thought it a good idea, and allowing that to bring doubt when you could have had certainty?

:)

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The scan is on Friday. Should I phone my doctor to discuss or am I being a twit?

You need further investigation. He thinks the CT scan is the way to go, so have it.

I've had some kidney investigations including radioactive xray stuff after blood in my pee.

The first time was probably 20 years ago.

No issues since the last epiosode 10 years ago. I'd have been back beating on his door. You really need your kidneys.

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Dr Chumpus sure has an amazing rudimentary knowledge of how the human body works!

I am much better at sorting out guitars and engines.

Isn't he/she an actual medical doctor? Or was that some else?

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Had the scan; all over in 2 mins. Didn't need any injections beforehand.

The radiographer confirmed that it was just stones they were looking for so the low resolution was being used. Seemed like very up to date equipment too - the wing of the hospital was only built in the last 5 years.

Thanks to all for helping calm my hypochondria.

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So are you going to pee this out or what ? If so we would like a sound recording lol :D

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