Picture of ct scan machine

A CT-Scan machine

CT Scans

CT scan (sometimes seen as CAT scan or computerized tomography ) is an x-ray procedure enhanced by a computer. The results are 3-dimensional "slices" or scans through a body part showing bone and body tissue. Numerous scans are taken to make up a complete exam.

How is a CT scan performed?

You will be positioned on the scanning table that slides into a donut-shaped gantry. It is not tunnel-like nor is it enclosed. As each scan is done, the table slowly moves you back out of the gantry. The technologist will give you breathing instructions if necessary. The technologist is always in contact with you via a two-way microphone. You will not be alone! Some CT scan examinations require the use of a contrast media. This may be given by mouth and/or injected into a vein. These substances are given to highlight various body parts.

How long does a CT scan take?

CT scans can take 30-60 minutes, depending on the type of scan needed. This allows for preparation time as well as time for the computer to generate the images. Actual exposure time to radiation is minimal. The CT scan machine used at Madison Radiology is a spiral CT scanner. This machine is able to scan continuously, allowing for faster and more accurate examinations. An entire abdomen and pelvis scan can be completed in approximately 5 minutes with this technology.

Who will perform my CT scan?

Our CT scan technologists are licensed by the state of Connecticut and registered with The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. They have received special training and have passed a state board examination to be CT scan technologists. The technologist works closely with the radiologist to be sure the results of your examination are most accurate.

How do I prepare for a CT scan?

Some CT scans require special preparation while for others no special preparation is needed.

For the following procedures you should have nothing to eat or drink 4 hours prior to your appointment:

  • Chest
  • Head/Brain
  • Orbits
  • Abdomen
  • Mastoid/Temporal Bones and IAC's
  • Pelvis
  • Neck
  • CT IVP

The following procedures require no special preparations prior to the CT scan:

  • Sinus
  • Cervical Spine
  • Thoracic Spine
  • Lumbar Spine
  • Renal Spiral
Picture of man examining MRI results Serving the shoreline for over 30 years - Bernard S. Jay, M.D., FACR

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