A Computed Tomography or CT scan creates very clear two-dimensional images of the brain and other parts of your body that cannot be seen on regular X-rays. The images are produced by projecting small amounts of X-rays through the part of the body being examined and converting the information into images by using a special computer. For some CT scans, the technologist injects a contrast medium or dye to highlight certain tissues for closer examination. This type of scan helps differentiate between healthy and diseased tissue, making it possible to accurately diagnose many diseases in their early stages.

Preparing for a CT Scan

How do you prepare for your CT scan?

  • Please arrive at least 20 minutes before your appointment.
  • Remove metal and plastic items from the part of your body being examined.
  • Let our staff know what medications you are taking.
  • If you could be pregnant, are breast feeding, are allergic to contrast medium (dye) or are diabetic, please tell our staff.
  • If you must cancel or reschedule, please do so at least 24 hours before your appointment.

What should you bring to your procedure?

  • Prescription or referral from your physician
  • List of medications you take
  • Insurance cards
  • Any previous MRI, CT or PET/CT scans and reports taken outside our network
  • Medical history
  • Pathology reports, if available

CT Scan Special Instructions

Special instructions for a Head, Neck, Chest or Lung scan:

  • Do not eat anything for 2 hours before your scan.

Special instructions for an Abdominal or Pelvic scan:

  • Do not eat anything for 2 hours before your scan.
  • Before your scan, you may be asked to drink a liquid to help us visualize your bowel.

What to Expect During a CT Scan

What will you experience during your CT scan?

Upon Arrival

  • The technologist will interview you to obtain a medical history.
  • You may be asked to change into a gown.
  • A member of our staff will take you to the CT room, help you onto the table and position you for the scan.

During your CT scan

  • You will feel the table move after each scan and may hear a whirring noise or high-pitched beep.
  • To get the most precise results, the technologist may ask you to hold your breath for a short time.
  • Please lay as still as possible to avoid blurring the images.
  • You will be able to communicate with the technologist at all times during your scan.
  • The exam usually lasts 10 to 15 minutes.

After your CT scan?

  • You may leave immediately after your CT scan.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, for the next 24 hours to help flush the contrast medium from your body.
  • The radiologist will review your scans and send the written report to your physician.
  • Urgent findings will be called or faxed to your physician.

For an appointment, please call 410-580-2400.