About your CT Scan
(Computerized Tomography)

CT or CAT (Computerized Axial Tomography) has undergone significant changes in the last several years. The biggest change has been to multi-detector, or multi-slice scanners, which allows much faster exams for patients. Scans that used to take minutes are now done in seconds. CT Scan is an imaging procedure that combines rotating, low-dose x-ray machine with computers to obtain a series of images, or thin slices (like a loaf of bread) through specific parts of the body. Powerful computers then reconstruct the slices in multiple directions, axial (or cross sections), coronal (or front to back), and sagital (or side to side) views. This gives the radiologist more information with which to make an accurate diagnosis.

Frequently, a contrast agent is ordered with the exam to enhance the appearance of various organs during the exam. The contrast agent is given orally or by intravenous injection, depending on the type of exam requested. If contrast is requested, the important benefits and minimal risks will be explained to you, and you will be asked to sign a consent form.

For the examination, you will lie down on the scanning table, which moves your body through the doughnut shaped machine during the exam. The technologist can see and hear you during the entire exam so you are not alone. It is important that the patient lie still during the exam so that the images are not blurred.

After the scan is completed, a radiologist interprets the study and a full report is forwarded to the referring doctor.