Computer Tomography (CT) Scan Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What is a CT scan?

CT stands for computed tomography, a technique using x-rays to make images of your body in a cross sectional way. A CT image is a highly sensitive imaging method which allows the radiologist to look inside the body to view healthy and diseased tissues throughout the entire body.


What is a 64-Slice CT Scan?

Our 64-Slice or Multi-slice CT provides extremely clear images by allowing technologists and radiologists to acquire more detailed and 3D images, at the lowest dose of radiation. This detailed view leads to faster diagnosis for physicians and their patients. Additionally, greater anatomical coverage in a short time means shorter breath holds, which is a key factor for older or medically compromised individuals who have difficulty or discomfort with this part of the test. The 64-Slice is also useful for determining one’s risk of coronary disease with 64-Slice CT Angiography.


How does a CT Scan work?

You will be lying down while the images are taken. Our team will make sure you are comfortable and relaxed. The table you are lying on will slide inside the scanner, which looks like a giant ring, so that the x-ray emitter and detectors may spin around you in order to gather the necessary information and images.


How long does a CT Scan take?

The exam takes approximately 30 minutes. This allows for preparation as well as time for the computer to generate the image. Exam time may vary significantly depending on the nature of the study and other factors.


What can I expect at my exam?

You will be met by a registered CT technologist whose primary concern is your care and well-being. Our technologists have completed a rigorous course of education and training, and work under close supervision of our radiologists. Prior to the start of the CT exam the technologist will explain the procedure to you and take a brief history. After your history is reviewed, you will be positioned on the examination table. It is important for you to be comfortable, because even the slightest movement can blur the picture and result in the need for repeated scans. You will be moved into the circular gantry. The technologist will have you in full view at all times and be in constant communication via two-way microphones. During the time in the scanner, you will hear the humming of the equipment as it produces images. The patient may also feel slight movement of the table as it prepares for the next scan.


What will the CT Scan tell me?

CT scans allow radiologists to look inside your body to ensure all internal bones and soft tissues, including organs and muscles are working properly, so that if disease or abnormalities exist your doctor will be able to make appropriate and timely treatment recommendations. CT scans are also often used during cancer treatments to monitor the effectiveness of different treatments in a patient’s care.


When will I receive my results?

For most scans, your doctor will receive the final report within 24 hours. For reports needing immediate attention the radiologist will inform your doctor immediately following the exam. Your referring physician will discuss the results with you.


How do I prepare for the exam?

Certain exams require a special dye, called contrast, to be delivered into your body before the test starts. Contrast helps highlight certain areas on x-rays. Let your doctor know if you have ever had a reaction to contrast. You may need to take medicines before the test in order to avoid another reaction.

If contrast is used, you may also be asked not to eat or drink anything for 4 hours before the test.

Before receiving the contrast, tell your health care provider if you take diabetic medication. You may need to discontinue medicine temporarily.

If you are 70 years of age or older and scheduled to receive contrast, you will be required to have a blood test to check your kidney function prior to the procedure.

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