A CT (computed tomography) exam is a fast, painless and non-invasive scan used to assess your organs, blood vessels, abdomen and bones. The CT scan provides valuable information about the location, nature and extent of many different diseases or abnormalities.
What You Need To Know
Your doctor may recommend a CT exam to help:
- Detect and monitor disease such as cancer, heart disease, lung nodules and liver masses
- Identify muscle and bone disorders
- Find the location of a tumor, infection or blood clot
- Plan for surgery—and assess the success of a surgery
- Identify injuries to internal organs
Our clinical teams are committed to capturing high-quality diagnostic images using the appropriate amount of radiation for you. While you are exposed to radiation during a CT exam, the benefits typically outweigh the long-term risks.
Here’s how we work to protect you:
- Our technologists carefully position you within the scanner in an effort to obtain optimal images of the area of interest.
- Your unique size and weight are considered when setting up the exam.
- Our scanners are equipped with advanced technology (real-time dose modulation) to minimize your exposure and maintain maximum image quality during the scanning process.
- Our centers and CT scanners are accredited by the American College of Radiology which includes annual, rigorous quality and safety reviews.
Be sure to tell us if you are pregnant, nursing, or if there is a chance you may be pregnant.
What To Expect
- We’ll give you a call before your appointment to talk through preparation instructions and your past imaging exams.
- If your exam requires contrast, we’ll discuss any special requirements with you.
- Be sure to tell us if you are pregnant, nursing, or if there is a chance you may be pregnant.
- On the day of your exam, please arrive 15 minutes early for check-in. If instructed to do so, please bring prior imaging results with you.
- When you arrive, you will be led to a changing room and given a pair of scrubs to wear for your exam. You will be given a locker to store your clothes, and anything else you may have with you during your exam.
- The technologist will help position you onto the scanner table. Your position and how much of your body will be inside the CT will depend upon the body part being scanned.
- Once you are comfortably positioned, the technologist will go out of the room to run the scanner from a computer located directly next to the scanner suite, visible through the viewing window. The technologist will communicate with you throughout the exam and check to see how you are doing.
- Depending on the part the body being scanned, CT contrast (a special dye that helps highlight your anatomy) may be needed. Contrast will be administered through an IV placed in your hand or arm before your exam.
- When your scan is complete, you’ll be escorted back to the changing room so you can change out of the scrubs and back into your clothing.
- Once you have changed, your appointment is complete. You do not need to check out with the front desk when you leave.
- After the exam, your images will be sent electronically to a radiologist who will review the information and send a report to your referring provider, typically within one to two business days.
- You should follow up with your referring provider to discuss your results.