What To Expect During Your CT Scan
Below you will find information on what you will experience during your CT scan
- Scanning: Your CT technologist will bring you into the CT scan room where you will lie down on the patient table. The technologist positions your body so that the area you are having scanned is in the middle of the large doughnut-shaped scanner ring measuring under 3 feet in depth which holds the T-ray tube and an electronic detector. The technologist leaves the room, but is in full view and communication with you through the observation window in the adjoining room.
- The scanner does not touch you, nor do you feel the X-rays. It does make some noise and the table you are lying on may move slightly to make adjustments for a better view. It is important for you to lie very still. At some point, you may be asked to briefly hold your breath as the images are acquired. During the scan, a thin beam of X-ray is focused on a specific part of your body. The X-ray tube moves very rapidly around this area, enabling multiple images to be made from different angles to create a cross-sectional picture. The X-ray beam information goes to the electronic detector and then into a computer, which analyzes the information and constructs an image for the radiologist to interpret.
- Length of scan: Each CT scan is individualized and tailored to each patient's needs. Most CT acquisitions take under one minute. For some clinical indications, multiple scans may be needed for either the same or different body parts, and this may in some cases require multiple doses of IV contrast solution. Total exam time is rarely over 15 minutes and is usually much shorter.
- Contrast medium: A contrast medium, or contrast solution, highlights your organs and blood vessels and helps the radiologist see them better. Contrast agents may be injected intravenously, injested orally, or injected through a catheter placed in your body. In some cases, CT images are acquired both before and after contrast administration.
What is a CT Scan?
A CT scan is a valuable, painless imaging study that allows the radiologist to see a cross section or 3-D image of any part of the body.
What will happen during my scan?
Learn what to expect before your CT Scan so you are prepared for your appointment.