What Is Computed Tomography?

Computed tomography, commonly known as a CT scan, uses X-rays and computers to produce detailed images of internal organs, bones, soft tissues and blood vessels. 

Before The Test

Please be aware that the correct preparation is very important for the test to be performed properly. 

  • If intravenous material is required for your CT scan, you might be instructed to have a blood test before the CT scan    appointment. 
  • Drink only clear fluids after midnight the night before your scan. Clear liquids   include clear broth, tea, strained fruit juices, strained vegetable soup, and ginger ale. 

How To Prepare For A CT Scan 

Please plan to arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time. This will help to ensure that your CT scan can be completed on schedule. 

  • Take nothing by mouth for four (4) hours immediately before your scan.
  • You may be instructed to drink a “oral preparation” to prepare for your scan.
  • Continue to take any prescribed medication as usual. Consult your doctor if you have any questions. 
  • You will be asked to change into a hospital gown as well as to remove all jewelry. 
  • Your CT scan will take between 15  – 60 minutes. 
  • Your test will be performed by a registered and licensed technologist, and the results are reviewed by the radiologists. 
  • Let us know if you are diabetic, has renal failure or allergic to shellfish or tin foods. 

During The Test 

  • Depending on the type of scan you are doing, you may be injected with a contrast material so the radiologist can see your body structures on the CT image. 
  • The contrast agent may cause you to feel flushed  or you may have a metallic taste in your mouth, this is normal. If you experience shortness of breath or any unusual symptoms, let the technologist know right away. 
  • It is very important that you lie as still as possible during the entire procedure as movement could blur the images  produced by the scanner. 

After The Test 

Generally you will be able to resume your usual activities and normal diet immediately. Your doctor will discuss your results with you.