Computerized Tomography (CT)

What is CT?

Computerized tomography imaging is sometimes referred to as CT or CAT Scan.  It uses computers and X ray technology to visualize organs, soft tissues and bones within your body.  The information the images provide will help your doctor in diagnosing disease, viewing internal abnormalities and assessing the extent of trauma damage.  With this information, your physician will be able to identify problems and plan a course of treatment specific to your needs.

Before Your Exam

Depending upon the type of CT scan you are having, you might be requested to follow one or more of these instructions:

  • Avoid eating or drinking after midnight the evening before your exam
  • Bring all comparison films with you the day of the exam
  • Change into a hospital gown
  • Inform your technologist whether any of the following apply to you:
    • You have any allergies
    • You have kidney problems
    • You are pregnant or think you may be
    • You ate or drank anything before the procedure
    • You take medication for diabetes (i.e. Glucophage)
    • Your physician gave you any special instructions

On the day of the exam check in through outpatient registration 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment to complete your paperwork.  In some cases oral and/or IV contrast (a form of dye that will enhance the image) may be required.  If you are given oral contrast to drink the evening before, please follow the instructions carefully or you could encounter delays on the day of your procedure.

During the Exam

Once you are in the scan room you will be asked to lie on a table that allows the technologist to position you properly.  Please be sure you are comfortable, as you will be lying on the table for approximately 15 minutes.  You will be asked to lie very still and at times to hold your breath when the scanner is recording an image.

After Your Exam

You may resume normal activities unless instructed otherwise.  If you received either IV or oral contrast it will pass through your body naturally within a couple of hours.

Everything you need to know about your upcoming procedure