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CT Scan

CT Scan

Our ultra fast CT scanner provides the use of high performance spiral CT allowing for a faster, more accurate diagnosis while reducing the patient's x-ray dose.

What is a CT Scan?

A "CT" or "CAT" scan is the term used to describe a radiological test known as "computerized tomography" (or computed axial tomography). The CT scanner is a doughnut-shaped machine that uses advanced x-ray technology to take pictures of cross-sections of your body, called "slices." CT can see inside the brain and other parts of the body, into areas that cannot be seen on regular x-ray examinations. CT makes it possible to diagnose certain diseases earlier and more accurately than with other imaging tools. Because most diseases are better treated when found early, CT scans can help save lives.

Is it uncomfortable or dangerous?

The test itself is completely painless. You will be asked to lie quietly on the CT scanner. Depending on the type of study being done, you may be injected with, or be asked to drink, contrast material. This part of the procedure may be uncomfortable.

Many contrast agents contain iodine, which causes an allergic reaction in some individuals. Be sure to tell the technologist, if you have had an allergic reaction to iodine or a contrast agent in the past, or if you have any other allergies. You may have been given contrast material earlier as part of a CT scan, a kidney x-ray (also called an IVP), or a heart or blood vessel catheterization (also called an angiogram).

CT scanners use x-rays. For your safety, the amount of radiation is kept to an absolute minimum and our equipment is kept in top shape. However, x-rays can harm a developing fetus so be sure to tell your doctor if you are, or think you may be pregnant. Even if you haven't told your doctor, be certain to tell the CT scan technologist who prepares you for the study.

What can I do to prepare myself for the test?

Plan to arrive at the Imaging Center at least 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. This will allow the necessary time to prepare your paperwork. You will be asked to fill out a brief questionnaire about your medical history, medications and allergies.

If you are having a CT scan of your abdomen or pelvis, you need to arrive 30 minutes before your appointment. You will be asked to drink barium, a fluid that helps mark your intestinal track so that the radiologist may interpret your scans properly. You will then be asked to wait for 30 minutes before the examination, because it takes that long for the drink to coat your stomach and small intestine. In fact, depending on your medical problem and the type of study that has been requested, you may be asked to drink one bottle of barium sulfate at bedtime the night before the study and have nothing to eat or drink after midnight. Medication can be taken with a small amount of water.

A CT technologist will introduce herself/himself to you, explain the test you are having, and answer your questions. Depending on the part of your body being scanned, you may be asked to remove any metal objects, such as jewelry, and change into a gown.

How long does a CT scan take?

Each examination is tailored to individual requirements, so don't be alarmed if your exam is different from one you've had before, or if some additional pictures are taken after the first series is completed. From start to finish, the picture-taking part of the test usually lasts only 10 to 15 minutes. Once the CT staff is sure that enough information has been collected, you may leave and go about your normal activities without restriction. If you have any questions about your CT scan, please ask any of our personnel (technologists, receptionists). We will try our best to explain the procedure clearly and to make your visit as comfortable and speedy as possible.