What are CT Scans ?

Computed tomography (CT) uses x-rays in a similar way to a normal x-rays. However CT uses sophisticated computer software to produce detailed cross-sectional images of any part of your body. “Tomography” refers to the technique for making detailed cross sectional images. Most CT examinations are simple, fast and painless procedures.


Patient Preparation

This will be advised at the time of booking. Generally the following preparations apply:

Head, neck and chest scans:

Nothing to eat for two hours prior to your appointment time. You are encouraged to drink water prior to your appointment.

Abdomen and pelvis scans:

Nothing to eat for two hours prior to your appointment time. You may continue to drink water.

On arrival you may be given a drink which is used to identify your bowel on the images.

Renal scans:

It is desirable to have a full bladder for this scan. Please do not empty your bladder within the one hour prior to your appointment.

Diabetic patients should discuss their medications when making their appointment.


What will happen during the examination?

You may be asked to change into a gown and/or remove jewellery.

You will lie on a table which is slowly moved into the open area of the doughnut shaped CT unit. Housed within the CT is an x-ray tube which rotates around the patient. Detectors capture the x-rays passing through the examined area for the computer to interpret into images.

You may be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds during the scan. The scans are so quick that large areas of the body can be imaged in a single breath hold.

Some CT examinations require an injection of iodinated contrast medium into an arm vein, to allow imaging of the blood vessels and vascular tissues. If required this will be discussed prior to the injection and you will be asked to complete a questionnaire and provide consent. Please inform us if you are taking any diabetic medication, have kidney disease or have had a previous reaction to x-ray contrast.


Are there any risks?

You will receive a small dose of x-ray radiation. The benefits of detecting disease are believed to outweigh any potential risks from receiving such a small dose. However, please advise the radiographer if you are, or think you may be pregnant.


After the examination

The scan processing and reporting by a radiologist (specialist medical imaging doctor) may take up to four hours or more from the end of the examination. We can generally deliver the films and report to your doctor by the next working day. Alternatively you doctor may request that your return later to collect the imaging and report.


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