CT Scan

With our Siemens Emotion Scanner, we are extending out commitment to giving you the very best in healthcare.

Our CT scanner provides us with outstanding diagnostic information by enabling us to perform multi-slice CT on a routine basis. For example, we now can scan a patient in a single breath hold, which results in a more accurate diagnosis while also reducing examination time and increasing patien comfort.

CT Studies

  • Head & neck
  • spine & pelvis
  • chest & abdomen
  • Extremities

Computerized tomography (CT scan) combines a series of X-Ray views taken from many different angles and computer processing to create cross sectional images of the bones and soft tissues inside the body.

The resulting images can be compared to looking down at single slices of bread from a loaf. The doctor will be able to look at each of these slices individually or perform additional visualization to view your body from different angles. CT scan images can provide much more information than do plain X-rays.

A CT scan has many uses, but it is particularly well suited to quickly examine people who have internal injuries from trauma. It can also be used to visualize nearly all parts of the body.

Why is it done

Your doctor may recommend a CT scan to help:

  • Diagnose muscle and bone disorders, such as bone tumors and fractures
  • Pinpoint the location of a tumor, infection, or blood clot
  • Detect and monitor diseases and conditions such as cancer, heart disease, lung nodules, and liver masses
  • Detect internal injuries and internal bleeding.

Risks

During a CT scan, you are briefly exposed to much more radiation than you would be during a plain X-ray. The radiation from imaging tests has a very small potential to increase your risk of cancer. CT scans have many benefits that outweigh potential risks.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant. If you are pregnant, other imaging techniques may be done.

I certain cases, your doctor may recommend that you receive a special dye called a contrast material through a vein in your arm before your CT scan. Although rare, the contrast material can cause medical problems or allergic reactions. Most reactions are mild and result in a rash or itchiness. Tell your doctor if you have ever had a reaction to contrast material.

How to prepare

How you prepare for a CT scan depends on which part of the body is being scanned.

You will be asked to:

  • take off all or part of your clothing and given a hospital gown
  • Remove any metal objects, such as a belt or jewelry, which may interfere with the imaging results
  • Stop eating a few hours before your scan

Contrast material

A special dye called contrast material is needed for some CT scans, to help highlight the areas of your body being examined. The contrast material blocks X-ray and appears as white on the images, which can help emphasize blood vessels, intestines, or other structures.

Contrast material can enter your body a variety of ways:

  • Oral. If your abdomen or pelvis is being scanned, you may need to drink barium or a liquid that contains contrast material.
  • Injection. Contrast agents can be injected through a vein in your arm, to help view your gall bladder, urinary tract, liver, or blood vessels. You may experience a feeling of warmth, or a metallic taste during the injection.

What you can expect

CT scanners are painless and only take a few minutes to complete.

CT scanners are shaped like a large doughnut standing on its side. You will lie on a narrow table that slides into the “doughnut hole” called a gantry.

The table will move slowly through the gantry during the CT scan, as the gantry rotates in a circle around you. Each rotation yields several images of thin slices of your body.

A technologist will be nearby, in a control room. You will be able to communicate with the technologist by an intercom. The technologist may ask you to hold your breath at certain points to avoid blurring of the images.

After the exam you can return to normal activities. You may be asked to drink lots of fluids to help your kidneys remove the contrast material from your body.

Results

CT images is stored as electronic data files and usually reviewed on a computer screen. The Radiologist interprets these images and will send a report to your doctor. Your doctor will then explain the results to you.

Tuesday the 21st. Copyright 2012, Three Rivers Hospital