CT scans, or computed tomography scans, use a series of X-ray images to create cross-sectional images of soft tissues, bones, and blood vessels inside your body. CT scans offer more detailed images than X-rays and help your provider diagnose internal injuries, diseases, and trauma.
Your doctor may recommend a CT scan to detect or rule out some of the following conditions:
CT scans help your provider monitor the effectiveness of cancer treatments and other types of treatment. The scans can guide radiation therapy, biopsies, and surgeries.
To prepare for a CT scan, you might change into a hospital gown and remove jewelry, eyeglasses, belts, other metal objects, or dentures. Avoid eating and drinking several hours before your scan. CT is very sensitive to metal. Try to wear clothing that does not contain metal in the area that you are having imaged.
You may receive a special dye called contrast to highlight specific areas inside your body. Depending on the part of the body being scanned, contrast may be consumed or injected. Each patient will be asked several questions prior to adminstering contrast to ensure it is safe to do so. Please let us know when you schedule your appointment if you have had a prior reaction to Iodine, or Iodinated Contrast Material. Premedicating with Benadryl/Prednisone prior to your appointment may be necessary.
Most CT scans, which are painless, usually take about 10-20 minutes. Depending on the body part being imaged, you will either be asked to lay down head first or feet first on a motorized table that slides through the gantry, which resembles a donut. Remain completely still during the exam. Each rotation of the X-ray tube produces several images of the inside of your body. You may need to hold your breath at certain times during your scan. If your test has been ordered with contrast, the technologist will start an IV. An iodinated contrast that acts as a dye, will highlight certain disease processes in your body. With this contrast, it is not uncommon to have a flushed feeling throughout your entire body. This is because the contrast follows the flow of your blood stream. The sensation typically goes away within one minute. Your technologist will inform you prior to injection to ensure you are aware ahead of time.
There’s no downtime after CT scans, so you can resume a normal routine right away. If you’ve received contrast material, you must drink a lot of fluids after the procedure to flush the material from your body. A radiologist interprets the results and your doctor discusses them with you. They let you know if you need further diagnostic testing or treatment.
If your doctor orders a CT scan, call the Image Works office to schedule an appointment or book one online today. You can also walk in if you have appropriate provider orders.
Notes: Accept walk-ins with appropriate provider orders