Computed Tomography (CT) is an x-ray technique that uses a rotating x-ray tube and electronic detectors to create cross sectional images. With modern CT scanners, many cross-sections are obtained with each rotation, and an average scan now takes less than a minute. Special-purpose image processing workstation can then create a three dimensional image of the body structures from the cross-sectional "slices", allowing our radiologists to "see" inside your body in great detail.
Some CT examinations require that you drink or have an injection of a "contrast agent" or "contrast media". Some types of contrast media are taken orally to delineate the stomach, small bowel and colon. Other types are injected by vein to increase detail in blood vessels and most organs of the body. In most cases you will be notified in advance if either type of contrast media will be used as part of your CT scan.
Precautions and Contraindications to CT Examination
Pregnancy - Radiation is potentially dangerous to an unborn child. Tell your doctor, our office staff, or the technologist if you are pregnant, or suspect that you may be pregnant.
Allergies to Contrast Media - Tell you doctor, our office staff or the technologist if you have had a previous reaction to contrast injection.
Preparing for CT Examinations
Preparation requirements vary based on the examination to be performed and the physical condition and age of the patient. Refer to the specific scan you are having. You will be informed by our office about any specific preparations.