HAVING A CT SCAN
Your doctor has requested that you have a CT scan.
CT (Computed Tomography) uses x-rays to image your body in two dimensions. Once acquired, the images may be manipulated on the computer to enhance the study with, for example, 3D images. CT can generally provide more information than plain x-ray, particularly of the soft tissues but also the skeleton etc.
This is a brief outline of what you might expect to happen while you are here.
Once you have presented at reception, your personal details will be checked and entered into our computer system.
The radiographer will call you through to the CT scanning room, introduce themselves and explain the procedure. At this time, if you are pregnant, or think you could be, please tell the radiographer, as it may affect whether or not the examination goes ahead.
The type of scan your doctor requested may require you to drink some Oral Contrast.
This is a special drink that will show up on CT in your abdomen. If this is the case, the radiographer will give you some oral contrast to drink half an hour before your scan.
Depending on the type of scan you are having, you may need an injection of x-ray dye (Intravenous Contrast). IV Contrast is used to enhance the appearance of blood vessels and organs on CT images. If contrast is required, the radiographer will explain the procedure and gain your consent before continuing.
You may be asked to remove jewellery and items of clothing which could show up with CT and cause artefact on the images. (As a rule, anything metallic such as zips, bra hooks, hair clips, glasses, keys etc, embroidery on clothing, and some types of buttons may show up on CT).
Generally, you will only be asked to remove clothing, jewellery etc. that is over the area to be scanned. You will be supplied with a gown if necessary.
Some types of examination may require that you remove any dental plates or dentures before the CT scan, as they can obscure important anatomy.
Once you are ready, the radiographer will position you and start the scan. You may be required to hold your breath for a brief time.
You will need to keep as still as possible while the scan is being taken. If your child is the patient, and you are not pregnant, you may be asked to assist in holding your child still for the scan. If this happens you will wear a lead apron to protect yourself.
After being scanned you will be asked to remain on the scanning table while the images are checked with the Radiologist (Radiology Doctor).
When the examination is completed you will return to reception and wait approximately 10 minutes while your images are compiled. The Radiologist will need to spend some time studying your scan before he reports it. The report will then be sent to your doctor.
If you have any questions at any stage during your visit, don’t hesitate to ask us.