CT is a medical imaging procedure that uses x-rays and digital computer technology to create detailed pictures of the body. It is a fast, painless and accurate procedure used to assess the head, spine, lungs, abdomen, extremities, internal organs and blood vessels. It can also be used to detect and monitor cancer and the effectiveness of cancer treatment.
How do I Prepare for CT Scanning?
You should wear comfortable, loose- fitting clothing to your exam. You will be also be required to remove all metallic objects and accessories prior to the examination. This includes hairpins, jewelry, eyeglasses, hearing aids, wigs and underwire bras. You may be asked to remove your clothing and put on a hospital gown.
Depending on the type of CT examination, you may be asked to refrain from eating or drinking for a few hours prior to the procedure. To enhance the visibility of certain organs or blood vessels, use of contrast materials may be required. Contrast may be injected through an IV, swallowed or administered via enema.
Inform the CT technologist if you have any allergies to contrast material or if you have been diagnosed with heart failure, diabetes or kidney problems. Women should also inform the technologist if there is any possibility that they may be pregnant.
What to Expect During CT Examination
CT scan is painless and only takes about 15-30minutes. During the scan, you will be briefly exposed to ionizing radiation although no long-term harm is expected from this exposure. The benefits outweigh any small potential risk. It is advisable to inform our team of technologists if you are pregnant to avoid exposing your baby to radiation.
The technologist will position you on the table (gantry) which will move slowly into the CT scanner opening. During the procedure, you may hear buzzing, clicking and whirring noises. The technologists will be in a separate room and can communicate with you via intercom.
After the scan, you can resume your usual activities. If you received contrast material, you may receive special instructions including drinking plenty of fluids to enable your kidneys remove contrast material from the body. The Radiologist then interprets the images and produces a result for your doctor.