CT stands for Computerised Tomography (also referred to as a CAT scan). CT’s use x-rays to take pictures from different angles around the body. A computer then takes these images and produces image slices or cross-sections through the relevant areas of the body.
Each scan equals a single slice, similar to slices in a loaf of bread.
CT scanners acquire images rapidly and in sequence with multiple slices being stacked together to form a 3 dimensional image.
Again, having a CT scan is completely painless and involves the patient lying down and being placed into the doughnut-shaped CT scanner. As the patient passes through the CT imaging system, a source of x-rays rotates around the inside of the circular opening.
Q: What happens during a CT scan?
A: You will be required to lie very still on a table, which is moved into the round scanning area containing the x-ray tube and detectors. The scanner makes a buzzing sound as it rotates around the part of the body being examined. A computer processes the information and the images are then produced.
Q: Is there any preparation needed?
A: When the abdomen or pelvis is being examined, you may be given a special drink. This gives a clearer outline of the bowel area and aides in interpreting the area more accurately.
For other examinations, you may be required to be injected with a contrast or dye, again designed to provide the clear information. You may also be asked to fast for a certain time period. Finally, please remember to bring along your referral form from your Doctor and any previous x-rays.
Q: How long will the examination last?
A: Usually, up to 5 - 10 minutes.
Q: How do I obtain my results?
A: The films and reports will be delivered to your Doctor and he/she will discuss any findings in person.