CT Scan – Computed Tomography ScanACT scan, also known as computed tomography scan, and formerly known as a computerized axial tomography scan or CAT scan, makes use specialized x-rays and detectors to generate high resolution images of the brain, spine, neck, body, and bones. It allows radiologists and doctors to see the patient’s body from inside in multiples planes. It can also be used to look at vessels. A CT Scan is performed extremely quickly (Approx 5-10 secs), and utilizes very low medically safe levels of radiation.
Patients are required to arrive up to 20 minutes prior to their scheduled exam. For exams requiring contrast, patients must arrive 1 hour before exam time.
Prior to your exam, you will be asked to fill out a few forms. You may be required to change into a gown and remove all metal around the area being scanned, including:
- jewelry (such as earrings and necklaces)
- hair pins
- dentures (false teeth)
- piercings (such as ear, nipple and nose rings)
- eye glasses
- other removable objects
We recommend not to wear any jewelry, hair pins or piercings for your exam as these items will interfere with the images.
For some exams, an injection of contrast dye is required to visualize the internal structures and organs. The contrast dye may be administered through a vein (IV) in your arm, or it may be taken orally. If your exam needs oral contrast you will need to fast for 4 hours and arrive at our clinic at least 1 hour prior to your exam to drink the contrast.
During the test, you will lie on the scan table that is attached to the CT scanner, which is a large doughnut-shaped machine. The CT scanner sends X-rays through the body area being studied. Each rotation of the scanner provides a picture of a thin slice of the organ or area being targeted. The CT scan takes an average of 5 minutes to perform. Using newer technology and hardware, our scans are quicker and provide optimal images while reducing radiation exposure.
If you are pregnant, tell the technologist before proceeding as you cannot have this exam.