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Computed Tomography (CT)

Computed Tomography (CT), formerly known as a CAT scan, uses X-ray and computer equipmentcompoted tomography to produce cross-sectional images of body structures, tissues, and organs. CT imaging provides the unique ability to visualize soft tissue, bones, muscle, internal organs, and blood vessels.

What are some common uses of CT?

  • Planning and proper administration of radiation treatments for tumors.

  • Guiding biopsies and other minimally invasive procedures.

  • Planning surgery.

  • Measuring bone mineral density for the detection of osteoporosis.

  • Quick identification of injuries to the liver, spleen, kidneys, spine, head, or other internal organs in cases of trauma.

What should I expect during this exam?

A CT examination usually takes between five minutes and half an hour.

  • The technologist will position you on the CT table. Pillows will be used to help you keep still in the proper position during the scan. The table will move slowly into the CT scanner opening. Depending on the area of the body being examined, the increments of movement may be very small and almost undetectable or large enough to feel the motion.

What will I experience during this exam?

CT scanning is a painless procedure. Depending on the type of scan needed, individual preparations may differ. Here is an overview of what to expect from the different methods we use to administer contrast materials:compoted tomography

  • Mouth: A member of our staff may ask you to drink the contrast material, a liquid that allows the radiologist to better see your stomach, small bowel, and colon. Some patients find the taste slightly unpleasant, but tolerable.

  • Enema: For a study of the colon, your exam may require the administration of the contrast material by enema. You will experience a sense of abdominal fullness and may feel an increasing need to expel the liquid.

  • IV injection: To accentuate the difference between normal and abnormal tissue in organs, such as the liver or spleen, and to better define the blood vessels and kidneys, a contrast material is commonly injected into a vein. You may feel flushed and may have a metallic taste in your mouth, which should pass in a minute or two. In very rare cases, you may experience a mild allergic reaction. SWDIC has registered nurses on staff at all times.