CT Scan (Computed Tomography; CAT Scan)
A Computed Tomography (CT) scan is a special imaging exam performed in The NeuroMedical Center’s Imaging Center on the 1st floor. This scan allows doctors to see inside your body by taking x-ray images from many angles. These are combined to show clear cross-section slices of parts of your body, and are a crucial part of the diagnosis and treatment process for many neurological conditions.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
Once arriving for your CT scan, you may be asked to change into a gown and remove your glasses, jewelry, and other metal items. You may be administered a special dye orally or through an IV to help your physician see the scans more clearly. The CT technologist will help you lie down on an exam table, and once you are comfortable, the table will begin moving through the center of the machine. It is very important to remain still during the CT scan as any motion, whether breathing or body movements, can lead to a loss of image quality and blurring. A technician in a room next to you will watch you and the images as they are taken, and may ask you to hold your breath during certain parts of the scan. A CT scan typically takes 30 minutes to complete.
BEFORE YOUR EXAM:
If your scan is of the abdomen/pelvis, please arrive 1 HOUR BEFORE your scheduled CT scan.
- Unless told otherwise, DO NOT EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING 4 HOURS PRIOR TO YOUR SCAN.
- Take your medications as directed with a small sip of water.
- If possible, bring any prior CT, x-ray, or MRI images with you.
If IV contrast is ordered, and if you are 65 years of age or older, are diabetic, or have kidney problems or high blood pressure, you must complete lab work before getting a CT scan. Be sure to make arrangements for this at the time of scheduling your CT scan. If you are of childbearing age, a pregnancy test or signed waiver will be required.
AFTER YOUR EXAM:
When your CT scan is done, you can go home and resume normal routine. If you were given a special dye, you may receive special instructions. It is recommended that you drink plenty of fluids to help your kidneys remove the contrast material from your body. The physician who ordered your scan will review your images when they are ready, and will go over your results with you at a follow-up appointment. Your technologist will not be able to provide you with any results at the time of your exam.