WHAT IS A CT?
Also known as a CAT scan, computed tomography (CT) is a valuable diagnostic imaging exam that uses X-ray and computer technology. The CT scanner rotates around the patient and produces a series of cross-sectional images, which are then transferred to a computer for viewing. These images provide physicians with a precise look at organs and structures not able to be seen clearly on conventional X-rays.
PREPARING FOR YOUR CT
Your comfort during the procedure is one of our highest priorities. We can achieve it through your help with the following:
- Please arrive on time for the exam.
- Please remember to bring your insurance card, your referral form, a current list of medications, previous X-rays, and any CT and MRI films/CDs.
- Please wear comfortable clothing and leave all valuable items at home. Avoid underwire bras, girdles, metal snaps and pins.
- You may be asked to limit eating and drinking to only clear liquids within several hours before your exam.
- Because many CT exams require oral or IV contrast, please find out if your exam requires these at least one day before your appointment.
- If you are diabetic, you will be given instructions by your doctor regarding your medications for the day of your CT scan.
- All other medications should be taken as prescribed.
DURING YOUR CT EXAM
- A CT technologist will escort you into the scanning room and will help you lie down on a cushioned table. A pillow and blanket will be provided for your comfort during the exam.
- The table will be moved into place for the procedure, which you can expect to take 5-20 minutes depending on the body part being studied. Once the exam begins, you will be asked to hold your breath for a short time to minimize any body movement and to make sure the images captured are clear. If you hear a humming noise or feel your table moving during the exam, don’t worry. These are all part of the procedure process.
- We want you to be calm and relaxed during your CT exam. If anything concerns you, please do not hesitate to let us know. A microphone system will enable you to talk with your technologist at any time during the exam.
PLEASE NOTIFY US
- Please notify us if you are on any medications for seizures.
- Please notify us if you have any allergies to iodine or contrast media injections.
- If you are pregnant, think you may be pregnant or are nursing, please consult your physician before scheduling your CT appointment.
- If you must reschedule or cancel your appointment, please give us at least 24 hours’ notice.
- If you have any questions about your procedure preparation, please let us know.
AFTER YOUR CT EXAM
When your procedure is finished, you should feel no side effects and can resume your normal activities. If you received a contrast agent for the scan, you may be advised to drink plenty of fluids for a few hours after the exam. Here’s what happens next:
- Our CT technologist prepares your images for the radiologist to evaluate.
- The radiologist interprets your results and writes a report.
- The report is then sent to your doctor. Your doctor will talk with you about your CT results and next steps.