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Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

Computed Tomography, also known as CT or a CAT scan, is a type of X-ray that provides detailed, cross-sectional (sliced) images of the body. A primary advantage of using CT scans over other types of imaging tests is that it can be done on all types of body tissue (such as muscle and bone) without sacrificing clarity.

A special dye, also known as contrast or iodine, may be used during your exam, to highlight your blood vessels and organs. This will provide more detailed information to your doctor. Please notify the technologist if you are allergic to iodine or think you may be. Women should always inform their doctor or technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant. Before the appointment, check with your physician to see if lab work is needed.

Preparing for a CT Scan

Wear loose and comfortable clothing with no metal zippers or buttons. Arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment time to register and complete necessary paperwork.

If your exam requires a contrast injection, you should not eat or drink 4 hours before exam. If your exam does not require a contrast injection, there is no prep needed, simply follow your regular daily routine unless your provider tells you otherwise.

You'll be asked to remove your watch, jewelry, hearing aids, pens, eyeglasses, and other metal objects. Bring a list of the current medications you are taking.

What to Expect from a CT Scan

Most CT exams take 15 to 30 minutes to complete. Depending on the type of test you are having, the test may take longer. Please arrive 1 hour early when having an Abdominal or Pelvic CT. You may be asked to drink an oral contrast cocktail 1 hour before your exam time. Results will be sent to the referring physician within 24 to 48 hours.