Computed Tomography scans (also
known as CT or CAT scans) use special X-ray equipment
to obtain information from different angles around
the body. The computer takes the data and creates
a visual image of each slice of information. The radiologist
is able to review the slices of information in sequence,
which creates a two-dimensional image of the inside
of your body. CT imaging is particularly useful because
it can show several types of tissue - lung, bone,
tissue, and blood vessels with great clarity. CT
helps the radiologists diagnose problems such as cancers,
cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, trauma
and musculoskeletal disorders.
What Should I Expect?
During the exam you will lie on a table that will move you into the doughnut-shaped
scanner. Your technologist will watch you through
observation window and will be able to communicate
with you at all times. During the exam, you will
hear humming, buzzing, or clicking sounds as the
moves to reposition you for additional images.
CT scans are painless, but some exams require injection
contrast agent. Remaining still is very important
in order to obtain clear images.
When scanning is
the technologist will return to help you from
You may eat normal meals unless other tests are
scheduled. To help eliminate contrast agents from
it is best to drink plenty of fluids following
Your exam will take about 30 minutes, after which
you will be able to return to your normal activities.
How Should I Prepare?
Before some exams, you may be asked to avoid normal eating or drinking
for a period of time. You should continue medications
by your doctor unless informed otherwise. Diabetic
patients may need to delay their medication until
after they have eaten in order to avoid an insulin
You may be asked to wear a hospital gown and
may have to remove items such as glasses, jewelry,
hearing aids, etc. Women should always inform
their technologist if there is any possibility of pregnancy.
Why do some CT procedures require an injection
CT contrast is an organically bound iodine material that is used to
abnormalities easier to see. We use only non-ionic
contrast (the safest kind), but with all contrast
agents there is some potential for allergic reaction.
to tell your technologist if you've had a reaction
to contrast in the past or if you are particularly
sensitive to medications. If you take Glucophage,
Glucovance, or any other type of metform in medication
your diabetes, you will need to stop taking
it for 48 hours after your exam.
How Do I Get the Results?
After your study is over, a radiologist will review and evaluate
Both a preliminary and final report will
be sent to your doctor, who can then discuss the results
with you in detail. Often, for more immediate
our radiologists will speak directly with
physician to discuss the result of the imaging
At any time before or after your procedure,
our radiologists are happy to
one-on-one consultations with you.