Neck CT Scan
What is a CT scan of the neck?
NeckCT uses a thin beam of X-ray and a rapidly moving X-ray tube to acquire data from different angles around your body, which is used to create cross sectional images. Neck CT images are taken from the bottom of your brain through your upper cheset. Neck CTs can help to evaluate for neck infections and masses. They can help stage cancers that originate in the neck or elsewhere in the body, and can help locate abnormalities not visible on routine neck radiographs (X-rays) or analyze abnormalities suggested by X-rays or other imaging procedures.
How do I prepare for the exam?
No food should be eaten for four hours prior to your exam time but fluids are encouraged. Patients should wear clothing that is comfortable and that has little or no metal. Chains and necklaces must be removed before being brought into the exam room.
What will happen during the exam?
Depending on the reason for your exam you may have an intravenous catheter (IV) placed in your arm. Through this IV, contrast solution will be injected. During the exam you will lie on a table with your arms raised above your head. The table will rise up and move in and out of a large circle once the exam has started. The technologist will explain any breathing instructions you may have during the actual exam and cover some specific medical history questions. After this is complete the scan will start. A few images will be taken so that the technologist can set up the area to be scanned. At this point it will be very important that you hold still. If you are receiving an injection of contrast, a technologist will stay in the room for the start of the injection and step out just prior to the scan starting again. Most patients will have this test done lying on their.
How long will the exam take and how will I learn my results?
Depending on the reason for your test, the procedure can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.
You will get the results of the exam from your doctor.
What will happen after the exam?
After the exam is complete and you are feeling well, your IV (if any) will be removed and you will be released. A technologist will process your images using a computer. Images will generally be reviewed within 24 hours. A report will be sent to your physician.
Radiologyinfo.org for Patients
The radiology information resource for patients. RadiologyInfo.org tells you how various X-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound, radiation therapy and other procedures are performed. It also addresses what you may experience and how to prepare for the exams. The website contains over 200 procedure, exam and disease descriptions covering diagnostic and interventional radiology, nuclear medicine, radiation therapy and radiation safety and is updated frequently with new information. All material on the RadiologyInfo.org website is reviewed and approved by experts in the field of radiology from the ACR and RSNA, as well as other professional radiology organizations.