WHAT IS CT?
Computerized Tomography (CT), also known as Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT Scan), is a painless diagnostic procedure using low amounts of radiation to generate a sequence of highly detailed images. A computer then takes these images and compiles them into complete cross-sectional images (“slices”) of the area of the body being scanned. CT scans help radiologists to diagnose most cancers, cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases and traumas.
BEFORE YOUR CT EXAM
We recommend that you wear loose fitting clothing, without any metal snaps or zippers. Gowns will be available to you if necessary. Accurate information regarding your medical history must be obtained when scheduling your appointment, such as: history of allergic reaction to CT contrast material; renal disease; diabetes; high blood pressure; pregnancy.
DURING YOUR CT EXAM
Usually, your CT scan will only take a few minutes. Depending on the exam ordered by your doctor, you may be required to take an oral contrast agent or have contrast/dye administered by vein. Our CT technologist will explain this procedure to you, if necessary.
In the CT room, the technologist will assist you onto the examination table. Once you are comfortable, the table will slide into the CT scanner which resembles a large “doughnut”. During the exam, the technologist will have you in full view and will be able to answer any questions you might have.
Periodically, you will be asked to hold your breath for short periods of time. This will help generate clearer images. It is very important that you lie still throughout the exam to ensure good image quality.
AFTER YOUR CT EXAM
After consulting with the CT technologist, you may leave. Unless you have received special instructions, you will be able to eat and drink immediately. The radiologist will carefully review the images from your CT exam and send a full report of the findings to your doctor, who will then discuss the findings with you.
CT EXAM PREPARATION
Head, Neck, Chest CT Exam - Nothing to eat or drink 4 hours prior to exam if IV contrast is ordered. May be performed with or without IV contrast.
Abdomen & Pelvis CT Exam - Nothing solid to eat after drinking oral contrast. Clear liquids only. Most cases will be performed with oral and IV contrast.
Spine & Extremities CT Exam - No preparation necessary. In some cases contrast will be needed.
If you feel feverish, please call this to our attention.
Please let us know if you might be pregnant or are currently breast feeding.
Please bring copies of your most recent CT films and reports with you to the exam. They will be returned after the radiologist has reviewed them.