Computed tomography (CT), or CAT scan, uses X-rays to obtain images of the body. CT scans are highly useful for examining injuries and abnormalities, guiding needle biopsies and aiding in surgical preparation.
The patient is positioned on a table on his or her back, side or stomach, and may be provided with pillows for comfortable support. The table moves very slowly through the doughnut-shaped CT scanner. The X-ray beam inside the CT unit spirals slowly around the patient on all sides, creating 360-degree images or “slices” of the area being examined.
As the patient moves through the unit, many slices are captured. The images are then combined to produce a highly detailed, three-dimensional digital image. Medical imaging like CAT scans allow doctors to get an amazing view inside the body for better diagnostics.
Depending on the size of the area being scanned, the examination can take from 5-10 minutes.
Just prior to actual CT scanning, the patient is placed on the CT examination table by a CT technologist on his or her back, side or stomach, and may be provided with pillows for comfortable support. The technologist leaves the room and the scanning begins as the CT examination table moves through the large doughnut-shaped CT scanner. During this time, specialized x-ray images are obtained as the x-ray beam inside the CT unit spirals around the patient, creating a volumetric data of the area being examined. The patients will not feel anything from the x-ray beam.
In some cases, a contrast material is needed for better scan results. In such cases, it is normal to feel a warm sensation as the dye makes its way through your body. (Either by swallowing, injection or enema, depending on the area being studied).
Metal objects such as jewelry, eyeglasses and hair clips should be removed prior to the procedure, along with hearing aids and removable dental work (Items to be removed according to the scanned area, no need to remove items from the whole body).
Regular CT Scan:
No preparation is required.
CT Scan with Contrast:
Do not eat or drink anything for six (6) hours prior to a CT with contrast examination. Patient needs to bring a recent kidney function test (Creatinine) to make sure the kidney function is sufficient to excrete the contrast.
Note: Patients with renal dialysis should schedule their dialysis appointment right after the CT with contrast exam.
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