A computerized tomography (CT) scan combines a series of X-ray images taken from different angles around your body and uses computer processing to create cross-sectional images (slices) of the bones, blood vessels and soft tissues inside your body. CT scan images provide more-detailed information than plain X-rays do.
A Computed Tomography (CT) scan uses X-rays and a computer to take pictures of the internal structures of your body. The CT scanner is a large, donut-shaped machine.
Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA) is an examination that uses X-rays and intravenous contrast media to visualize blood flow in the arteries. Please let us know if you have a history of diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, or an allergy to contrast.
CT scans produce more detailed images of your internal organs than conventional X-ray exams. They are commonly used to diagnose conditions like appendicitis, gastrointestinal or bowel obstructions, and sinus problems. CT scans show bone structure, which can be helpful for broken bones and arthritis.
CT/CTA might not be an option if you are pregnant. Please discuss this with your healthcare provider.
If your exam requires intravenous (IV) or oral contrast, please do not eat or drink before your appointment as directed. If you take medications prescribed by your healthcare provider, they can be taken with a sip of water.
If your CT exam requires oral contrast, we ask that you arrive at least 1 hour before your scheduled exam time to begin drinking the contrast solution and to complete the appropriate paperwork. If your exam does not require oral contrast, we ask that you arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time. You will meet with one of our certified technologists who will explain the exam and answer any questions you may have. Before the exam begins, we will check for any metal that is in the same area as your CT scan, like your pockets for a CT abdomen or hairpins for a CT head. If there is metal in or on your clothing, we will ask you to remove it or to change into a gown or scrubs that we will provide.
You may be asked to change into scrubs or a gown. The technologist will help you onto the examination table. Once you are in place and comfortable, the exam will begin. To obtain a clear image, you will hold your breath for about 20 seconds each time we obtain an image. The total imaging process will take 20 minutes or less. Through the entire test, a certified technologist is nearby if you have questions or need assistance.
Unprotected radiation can be harmful to growing children, pregnant women, and reproductive organs. Therefore, Advanced Radiology has strict policies to ensure your safety. We follow ALARA (as low as reasonably achieved) radiation policies when appropriate.
If you are a woman and there is a chance you could be pregnant, a pregnancy test should be done before a CT is performed, as it may affect a developing fetus. Each case, though, will be examined on an individual basis to ensure your safe.
Although it is rare, there is a slight risk of an allergic reaction to contrast material if your exam requires it. Most reactions result in itchiness or hives. For individuals with asthma who are allergic, the reaction can be an asthma attack. In very rare instances, an allergic reaction may cause swelling in your throat or other areas of your body. Immediately tell your technologist or doctor if you experience any of these symptoms during or after your exam.
Results are available within 24 – 48 hours.
Once the exam is complete, a physician will review the study and dictate a report. This report will be sent to the doctor who ordered your study. We recommend that you call and schedule a follow-up appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss the results.
Typically, the healthcare provider calls, faxes or submits an online request for the CT. Then we call you to confirm your appointment date and time. However, if your healthcare provider asks you to schedule your exam, simply call us. We will make sure the exam is timely and convenient and that it meets any special requirements of your insurance carrier and healthcare provider.
When you call, we will need to know which exam your healthcare provider ordered and why. We will also ask you for your insurance information. You will need to pay any co-pay or deductible at the time of the exam. We conveniently file your claim with your insurance provider.
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