What is a CT scan?
Computed Tomography (CT) is a scan that helps doctors to see into the body in order to evaluate, diagnose and monitor disease or trauma. The CT uses x-rays to produce computerized images of the organ or body part of interest. The radiologist then examines the image for abnormalities.
CT has several advantages over a standard x-ray. It can distinguish between different types of soft tissue (showing a difference between the liver and the kidneys, for example). In addition, CT Scans can be combined to produce a three-dimensional image, which can provide additional insight to the affected areas.
Why do I need a CT?
Your doctor may request a CT scan because it has several advantages over a standard x-ray. It can distinguish between different types of soft tissue (showing a difference between the liver and the kidneys, for example). In addition, CT Scans can be combined to produce a three-dimensional display, which can provide additional insight to the affected areas.
A CT Scan may seem intimidating, but your doctor has asked for the scan for a reason. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about the need for your CT scan in relation to your health concerns.
What to Expect During your CT Scan
The CT scanner is a large, doughnut-shaped machine. You will lie on a cushioned table that will automatically move into the scanner after you have been comfortably positioned for imaging. Prior to the scan, you may be given a liquid to drink and/or an injection into a vein. For certain sequences of the test, you may be asked to hold your breath.
The technologist will leave the room during the examination, but will be able to see and talk to you during the procedure. When the scan is complete, the technologist will return to help you off the table.
For Your Safety
Please contact us at 248-937-3447 prior to your scan if you are:
- Allergic to iodine or x-ray contrast
- A diabetic taking Metformin or Glucophage
- Suffering from active tuberculosis
- Currently taking steroid medication
- Have a kidney disease
Preparing for your CT Scan
Your physician may have requested a scan that requires an injection of x-ray contrast. The contrast occasionally causes side effects, ranging from mild symptoms such as hives and nausea, to severe allergic reactions.
If you have a history of multiple allergies or allergic reactions, taking medication before your scan reduces the possibility of side effects.
Most CT abdomen and/or pelvis examinations also require a barium drink that helps the equipment produce more distinct images by better visualizing the area being scanned. You will be able to pick up the barium drink ahead of time from your DMC imaging center. Our staff will give you specific instructions for the drink at that time.
The Day of your Scan
You should expect to be at the hospital for approximately 60 minutes. Please arrive promptly at your appointed time.
Do not eat or drink for two hours before your scan. You may take prescribed medications, if needed. Small sips of water are permitted.
Wear comfortable clothing. Your scan may require you to change into a hospital gown.
Please remember to bring the following IMPORTANT items. If you do not have them with you when you arrive, you may need to reschedule your scan:
Insurance card(s) and any referral/ authorization forms
- Picture identification
- Prescription/order for the test from your doctor
If you are unable to keep your appointment, please call us at 1-877 MYTEST9 at least 24 hours in advance.
Your CT Scan Results
DMC board-certified radiologists will interpret your CT scan and send the results to your physician, usually within 24 hours.