Computed Tomography Scan - CT scans are available to help physicians diagnose a muscle or bone disorder; locate a tumor, infection or blood clot; or detect internal injuries and bleeding in patients.
A computerized tomography imaging, sometimes called a CAT scan or a CT scan, can help your physician diagnose a muscle or bone disorder; locate a tumor, infection or blood clot; or detect internal injuries and bleeding. In some cases, your doctor may even use a CT scan to guide procedures such as surgery, biopsy or radiation therapy. A CT scan uses special X-ray equipment to take pictures of the inside of your body from different angles. A computer then combines these pictures to form detailed, three-dimensional views of the area of your body being examined
Your technologist will take you to a imaging suite where the pictures will be taken.
For most types of CT scans, you will be given a special dye, called a contrast material, so that the area of your body being examined will show up clearly in the pictures. In most cases, an IV needle will be placed in a vein in your arm, where this contrast material will be injected.
You may be given an oral contrast material to drink to show your upper digestive tract. This may take up to 60 minutes or longer, depending on the body part being scanned. For certain types of CT scans, you will be given the contrast material by enema.
You may briefly feel a warm sensation as the contrast material begins to circulate into your body.
You will lie on a special scanning table with your arms by your side or over your head. Lying very still during your test is extremely important because movement can make the pictures look blurry and unclear.
The table is attached to a large donut-shaped scanner, and the table will move inside this scanner where the pictures will be taken.
Your technologist will operate the scanning machine from another room and will talk to you through an intercom system.
The test itself only lasts about 15 minutes, but you will need to stay for a brief time afterward so your technologist can be sure the pictures are clear. If not, the pictures may be repeated.