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What is CT?
A CT or CAT scan is a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images or slices of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, organs, and blood vessels. These scans are more detailed than a standard x-ray. CT scans may be done with or without contrast, a special dye, which is administered orally and/or intravenously to help highlight the particular area of interest to be seen more clearly.
Please click on the picture below to see an example of how a CT scan is performed
Please click below to see an example of images from a CT Scan:
How Do I Prepare for My CT Exam?
Your doctor will let you know if you need to drink Barium Sulfate, an oral contrast material, before your exam time. If your exam requires the use of contrast, your doctor may require you to come off certain medications for a period of time. Always speak with your doctor before stopping any medications. You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to your exam or you may be given a gown to wear during the procedure. Metal objects including jewelry, eyeglasses, dentures and hairpins may affect the CT images and should be left at home or removed prior to your exam. You may also be asked to remove hearing aids and removable dental work. Depending on your exam, you may be asked not to eat or drink anything for several hours beforehand, especially if a contrast material will be used in your exam. You should inform your physician and the technologist of any medications you are taking and if you have any allergies. If you have a known allergy to contrast material your doctor may prescribe medications to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction. If you are a female of childbearing years, you will be asked if there is any chance you could be pregnant.
You can find the preparation for your exam by clicking Here
Please arrive about 15 minutes before your exam to fill out a brief questionnaire and history form, or you can pre-fill them out online Click Here
How is a CT Exam Performed?
During the exam, your technologist will talk you through each step. You will lie on a table that will slowly move in and out of a large machine that resembles a donut. In most cases, the technologist will ask you to hold your breath several different times throughout the process. The length of the exam will depend on the type of study as well as the location of the body part being examined. Some exams will require the use of contrast, a special dye, to highlight certain areas of interest in the body. Depending on the exam, the contrast will be administered either orally, intravenously, or both.
What Happens After My CT Exam?
If your exam required the use of contrast either orally or intravenously be sure to drink plenty of liquids after. Your technologist will tell you when it is appropriate to resume your medication use if you were ordered to come off it for your exam. Your CT Technologist sends the images that were taken to one of our onsite board certified radiologist’s reading stations, where they are read and interpreted. Your results report will be faxed or emailed to your referring physician within 24 hours of your exam. Your referring physician will be the one to discuss with you the results of your exam. We always welcome our patients to pick up a copy of their reports for their own personal records.