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Departments

CT Scanning System

CT scannerWhat is a CT exam?

CT is an abbreviation for a diagnostic procedure called Computed Tomography. This is a valuable medical exam that combines X-rays and sophisticated computers to generate detailed anatomical images. Sometimes called CAT scans, CT scans have been performed safely and successfully for almost 30 years.

A CT scan gives physisians a non-invasive way to see inside your body. One advantage of CT is its ability to rapidly acquire two-dimensional pictures of your anatomy. Using a computer, these 2-D images can be presented as 3-D images for in-depth clinical evaluation.

The LightSpeed® VCT system from GE Healthcare used in our facility represents the latest generation of GE CT technology. It produces images of unprecedented detail in a very short time and with a lower radiation dosage to you.

What should I expect?

A technologist will escort you into the CT scanning room, where you’ll see a table and a large, donut-shaped device called a gantry. The technologist will have you lie on the padded table and make sure that you’re comfortable. You’ll be asked to lie very still during the scan and hold your breath for a short time to minimize any body movement. During the scan, you might hear a humming or buzzing noise, but you should not feel anything unusual. You may feel the table move while images are being taken at certain locations of your body. The technologist will monitor you during the entire exam through a window and will communicate with you through an intercom. The specific details of your upcoming examination will be explaned fully by a CT technologist or your physician.

How long will the exam take?

The actual scan portion of the exam takes only a few seconds. You will be asked to stay still and hold your breath as the CT scanner acquires the X-ray images of your body. Depending on the specific exam, the entire exam may take up to 45 minutes, as the physician reviews the images and makes a diagnosis.

CT scannerAre IVs or shots involved?

Depending on the exam, a solution called “contrast” may be administered with an IV to help improve the accuracy of the examination. Because of this, it is very important to let your doctor know beforehand if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to contrast, or if you have any other allergies, expecially an allergy to iodine-based products or shellfish. In addition, the technologist will hook you up to an ECG monitor.

After the CT exam

A physician will carefully analyze your CT images, review the findings with your physician, and provide a report. Your physician will then discuss

Safety of CT examinations

CT is a safe and effective diagnostic procedure. In fact, nearly 50 million CT exams are performed in the U.S. every year. Like many other imaging technologies, CT has been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Additionally, the GE LightSpeed VCT system has been designed with dose reduction features that minimize your exposure to radiation.

The profession is supported by the American Registry of Radiology Technologists (ARRT), which provides continuing education, certification and a registry of radiologic technologists. Our health-care professionals involved in your care are professionals who can safely operate the CT scanner and obtain the best images to assist your doctor in making an accurate diagnosis.

Reasons for CT scans

CT exams are performed when people are ill or injured, or when a doctor suspects a medical problem that cannot be detected easily with a routine physical examination. If you have any questions concerning your exam, please talk to your physician or the CT technologist.