CT Scan

Using a series of X-ray beans, a CT scanner creates cross-sectional images of the body.

Using a series of X-ray beams, a CT scanner creates cross-sectional images of the body.

The larger bore and rapid reconstruction speed of our 80- to 160-slice CT scanners provide enhanced patient comfort as well as super high-quality images. Single Energy Metal Artifact Reduction (SEMAR) technology accommodates those patients who have metal in their body, such as prosthetics. Because patient safety is always our primary concern, adaptive and integrated dose reduction strategies allow our staff to acquire images as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA), in order to minimize radiation exposure for maximum safety.

What is Computed Tomography?

A CT scan is a quick, painless procedure. Using a series of x-ray beams, a CT scanner creates cross-sectional images of the body. A computer then reconstructs these “slices” to produce a 3D image. The result is a picture with greater detail than traditional x-rays.

What are some common uses of CT?

  • Studying the chest, abdomen and pelvis
  • Diagnosing and treating spinal problems and injuries to the hands, feet and other skeletal structures
  • Identifying injuries to the liver, spleen, kidneys, or other internal organs
  • Diagnosing cancer
  • Detecting, diagnosing and treating vascular diseases
  • Planning and properly administering radiation treatments for tumors
  • Guiding biopsies and other minimally invasive procedures
  • Surgical planning

Before:

  • CT Abdomen and/or CT Pelvis: You must come in to pick up a prep kit at least one (1) day before your exam date
  • On the day of your exam, wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing
  • Avoid clothing with zippers and snaps as metal objects can affect the image
  • Depending on the part of the body that is being scanned, you may also be asked to remove hair pins, jewelry, eyeglasses, hearing aids and any dentures
  • You may be asked to not eat or drink anything for one or more hours before the exam
  • Inform your doctor or x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that you may be pregnant

Depending on the type of examination, contrast material may be injected through an IV, administered orally or by enema. Before administering the contrast material, you should inform the technologist of the following:

  • Any allergies, especially to medications or iodine
  • If you have a history of diabetes, asthma, kidney problems, heart or thyroid conditions. These conditions may indicate a higher risk of reaction to the contrast material or potential problems with eliminating the material from your system after the exam

What can I expect during this procedure?

To enhance the visibility of certain tissues or blood vessels, use of different contrast materials may be required. Depending on the type of examination, contrast material may be injected through an IV, administered orally or by enema.

The technologist positions you on the CT table. The table moves slowly into the CT scanner opening. Depending on the area of the body being examined, the increments of movement may be minimal and almost undetectable, or large enough to feel the motion. You are unaccompanied in the room during your scan, however, your technologist can see, hear and speak with you at all times.

To determine if more images are needed, you may be asked to wait until the images are reviewed.

During:

You might feel:

  • Flushed or have a metallic taste in your mouth. These are common reactions to the contrast material that disappear in a minute or two
  • A warm sensation that extends to your bladder
  • A mild itching sensation. If the itching persists or is accompanied by hives, it is easily treated with medication

After:

After a CT scan with contrast, the technologist will remove the intravenous line and cover the tiny incision with a small dressing. You may resume your normal activities. A full report will be sent to your referring physician within 48 hours following your exam.

For more information, visit Radiologyinfo.org/Computed Tomography