Computed Tomography (CT) Scan
Computed tomography (CT), also known as Computed Axial Tomography (CAT), is a painless, sophisticated x-ray procedure. Multiple images are taken during a CT Scan, and a computer compiles them into complete, cross-sectional pictures (“slices”) of soft tissue, bone, and blood vessels.
A CT scan obtains images of parts of the body that cannot be seen on a standard x-ray. Therefore, these scans often result in earlier diagnosis and more successful treatment of many diseases.
While CT imaging does involve x-rays, the diagnostic benefits generally outweigh the risks of x-ray (radiation) exposure. A contrast agent is a substance used to “highlight” an organ or tissue during examination and is sometimes referred to as a “dye.” Again, the benefits of early, accurate diagnosis generally outweigh any risks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need to drink contrast? The oral contrast fills the colon for better visualization on the images.
Why do I need the IV contrast? The IV contrast enhances all of the vascular structures on the images (i.e. liver, pancreas, kidneys). It will also characterize potential pathology.
Could I have a reaction to the IV contrast? Yes, but the chances are minimal. It has the same risk for reaction as any medication does, which is why we use contrast screening forms—to flag possible patients who are at risk for having a reaction to the contrast.
How long is this exam going to take? Depending on the anatomy being scanned, a CT can take from 5 minutes up to 20 minutes.
What is this test going to show? A CT scan is a good way to image and evaluate bones, internal organs, the brain and vascular structures within the neck, chest, abdomen, and pelvis
To schedule a CT Scan please contact Main Scheduling at (239) 624-4443