CT Scan

A CT (computerized tomography) scan, often called a CAT scan, is a painless examination that combines X-rays with computer scans which give your physician a detailed image of soft tissue, organs and bones. CT imaging is particularly useful because it can show several types of tissue — lung, bone, soft tissue and blood vessels — with great clarity. Using specialized equipment and expertise to create and interpret CT scans of the body, radiologists can more easily diagnose problems such as cancers, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, trauma and musculoskeletal disorders. There is a small amount of radiation with CT, but the benefits of this test far outweigh any risk.

Oral Contrast

Before the procedure

Your CT scan requires oral contrast material to enhance soft tissue and organs. Since your exam requires oral contrast you may not eat four hours prior to your exam. If you are diabetic please do not eat two hours prior to your exam. You may take your normal medications. Please arrive one hour before your scheduled appointment time. You will be given contrast to drink before your scan. The oral contrast is the most important part of your exam and we ask you to drink the entire dose given. We understand the contrast may be unpleasant tasting but it is necessary to drink in order to have a diagnostic test. Please also note in addition to oral contrast some CT scans require IV contrast as well.

During the procedure

In the scanner room there is a patient table and a structure called a gantry. You will first lie on the table. When you are comfortable, the technologist will move the table into the gantry opening until you reach the first scan position. Unlike MRI scanners, the CT scanner is open on both sides and you may see out both ends of the machine. After being positioned, all you have to do is relax, hold still, and follow breathing instructions if any are given. The number of scans required and total time of examination will vary. The whole procedure can take up to 30-45 minutes. Some exams are much shorter.

IV Contrast Instructions

Before the Procedure

Your CT scans require IV contrast material to enhance certain tissue and blood vessels. Since your exam requires IV Contrast please do not eat four hours prior to your exam. If you are a diabetic you may not eat two hours prior to your exam. You may take your normal medications. Please drink plenty of fluids to help your IV placement. Drinking fluids will not interfere with your exam.

During the Procedure

In the scanner room there is a patient table and a structure called a gantry. You will first lie on the table. When you are comfortable, the technologist will move the table into the gantry opening until you reach the first scan position. Unlike MRI scanners, the CT scanner is open on both sides and you may see out both ends of machine. After being positioned, all you have to do is relax, hold still, and follow breathing instructions if any are given. The number of scans required and total time of examination will vary. The whole procedure can take up to 30-45 minutes. Some exams are much shorter.

When and where to report on the day of your CT

Your CT scan is scheduled at our office at 3100 Blue Ridge Road, Suite 103. You will first check in at Suite 100 and then proceed to the Suite 103 waiting area. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.

During your procedure

A patient table and a structure called a gantry is in the scanner room. You will recline on the table and, after you’re comfortable, the technologist conducting the examination will move the table into the gantry opening until you reach the first scan position. At this point all you have to do is relax and remain still while each scan is done. The number of scans required and total time for the examination will vary, but the whole procedure should take from 5 to 15 minutes.

After your procedure

You can get back to your normal diet and activities right away. Any contrast you were given will pass naturally through your body within a day. Your results will be available in about one week, allowing time for the radiologist to evaluate your images.