CT

About your CT...

Your doctor has requested you undergo a CT examination. The following information should help clarify what you can expect regarding the procedure.

What is a CT scan?

Also known as a "CAT scan," CT (Computed Tomography) combines multiple X-ray images to produce a two-dimensional cross-section view of anatomy with as much as 100 times more clarity than conventional X-ray. CT imaging is used to clearly show soft tissue, like the brain, as well as dense tissue, like bone. The information gathered during a CT scan is processed by a computer and interpreted by a radiologist to diagnose, or rule out, disease. Some CT scans require the use of a contrast medium. Given intravenously or orally, the contrast agent highlights certain body parts to enable the radiologist to better see any abnormalities. CT scans of the abdomen and pelvis often require the patient to drink a barium-based liquid to outline the intestines for better viewing.

What will the exam be like?

You will be met by a CT technologist whose primary concern is your care and well-being. This technologist has completed a rigorous course of education and training, and works under close supervision of the radiologist to assure the most accurate results from your examination. Prior to the start of your CT exam, the technologist will explain the procedure to you and address any concerns you may have. Next, you will be gently positioned and secured on the scan table. It is important that you remain still, because even the slightest movement during the exam can blur the picture and result in the need for repeated scans. You will hear humming as the equipment generates the images, and you will feel a slight movement of the table as it gently positions you for each scan. The technologist will have you in full view at all times and will remain in constant communication with you through a two-way microphone.

How long does the exam take?

This exam usually takes 30 minutes. Actual exposure time is minimal although the time can vary significantly depending on the study requested and other factors. The radiologist, a physician specialist, will study the results of your exam and discuss them with your doctor, who will then consult with you.

How do I prepare for the exam?

If the prescribed CT is of the abdomen,
  • Do not eat or drink for 4 hours prior to the exam.
  • Drink clear liquids for the meal prior to exam time.
  • Arrive 1 hour before the actual exam time for administration of the oral contrast.
If the prescribed CT is of the pelvis,
  • Do not eat or drink for 4 hours prior to the exam.
  • Arrive 2 hours before the actual exam time for dosing or pick up the dose at any of our offices prior to the exam to avoid a two hour wait.
For all other CT exams, there are no special instructions. Please inform the technologist or staff if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.


American College of Radiology. Radiology Associates' CT facilities are accredited by the American College of Radiology

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