Computed Tomography (CT)

A Computed Tomography (CT) scan uses special advanced x-rays to gather many images from different angles of your body. The CT scan works by utilizing a rotating x-ray device along with a digital computer to capture detailed cross-sectional and three dimensional images of body tissues and organs. The machine captures these images in sections that resemble slices of bread, allowing clinicians to see the entire surface of a single section. Combined, all of these sections produce a 3-dimensional image.

Why do I need this Exam?

CT scans are helpful in showing lung, bone, soft tissue, and blood vessels very clearly, allowing radiologists to examine your body in more detail. This can aid in providing more accurate diagnoses for such health problems such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, infection, trauma, and muscle or bone disorders.

Those patients with pacemakers, cardioverter, or other metallic devices can safely undergo a CT scan, as opposed to an MRI exam.

How long will the exam take?

Please allow approximately 30-60 minutes for most CT scans. Scan times do vary, depending upon whether an exam is performed with or without contrast. There may also be specific clinical concerns the doctor may have that could affect how long your exam will take.

What happens after the exam?

If you have had any previous x-rays or diagnostic studies performed at another facility, it is helpful to bring the films along with you for your CT scan at our facility. Your CT exam will be interpreted by a board-certified radiologist with many years of training and professional experience. A report will be sent to your doctor within 24 hours and he or she will contact you with the results. Your physician will review your clinical history in conjunction with exam results to provide you with the most accurate diagnosis and optimal treatment plan.

Safety - Your exam will be performed by a board-certified Technologist with advanced certification in CT by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).

How can I prepare for my upcoming exam?

You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to your exam. 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.

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 of any medications you are taking and if you have any allergies. If you have a known allergy to contrast material, or "dye," your doctor may prescribe medications to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction.

Also inform your doctor of any recent illnesses or other medical conditions, and if you have a history of heart disease, asthma, diabetes, kidney disease or thyroid problems. Any of these conditions may increase the risk of an unusual adverse effect.

Women should always inform their physician and the CT technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.

Patients should also inform the Technologist if they are taking GLUCOPHAGE (METFORMIN) OR GLUCOVANCE (GLYBURIDE/METFORMIN) for a diabetic condition or have any IODINE allergies.

BUN & Creatinine for all patients over 50, diabetic or with kidney disease.


Specific Preparations

Drink 1/2 bottle of barium 2 hours before exam. Drink 1/2 bottle of barium 1 hour before exam. No solid food should be eaten for 8 hours before the exam. Clear liquids may be consumed.

Brain/Head with contrast
No solid foods for 4 hours before exam. Clear liquids may be consumed.

Brain/Head without contrast
No preparation is required.

No solid foods for 4 hours before exam. Clear liquids may be consumed.

Cervical Spine
No preparation is required.

Thoracic Spine
No preparation is required.

Kidneys- Renal Stone Exam
No preparation is required.

Lumbar Spine
No preparation is required.

Neck (soft tissue)
Nothing to eat or drink for 4 hours prior to exam.

No preparation is required.