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A CT (computed tomography) Scanner uses computer processing and X-ray to produce detailed cross-sectional images of your body, including three dimensional pictures. Unlike standard X-ray, CT can show not only bones, but soft tissue anatomy, blood vessels and air - all in very fine detail. These images are interpreted by a Radiologist.
You need a referral from your doctor to be able to book an appointment for this scan.
When you make an appointment for your scan you will be advised as to whether you require any specific preparation and we will go through the process with you then.
As a general guide you will be advised to not eat anything two hours prior to your appointment if you are required to have Contrast. Contrast is a colourless fluid that is injected at the time of your scan to improve the definition of the images.
For abdominal examinations you may also be required to drink water before your scan.
All patients will be asked to present 10 minutes prior to their appointment time as you may need to complete a questionnaire.
Depending on the type of scan you are having, your appointment may take 60 minutes to complete.
Your radiographer will guide you through the whole process and gain consent from you. For some examinations you may be asked to change into a gown and to remove metallic objects such as jewelery and hearing aids.
The CT radiographer who is trained in the use of X-ray equipment and CT scanning, will position you on the bed and take care of you throughout the scan. The Radiographer will need to leave the scan room briefly whilst it is in progress but will remain in contact with you via an intercom and a viewing window.
It is important that you keep still while the scan takes place. If you have difficulty lying flat, have poorly controlled pain or suffer from claustrophobia, please discuss this with us prior to your scan.
If you need to have Contrast for your scan this is given through a small needle that is placed in your vein. Injection of Contrast may give you a brief sensation of warmth throughout the body and maybe a metallic taste in your mouth. These sensations are expected and normal and are of no cause for concern.
After the examination, you are able to resume your normal activities.
Results of your scan will be sent to your doctor as soon as possible. You can also request a copy of your results.
The health risk from exposure to X-rays is generally outweighed by the vast health benefit achieved by getting a clear diagnosis.
Yes, please continue with prescribed medication as per normal. The bookings team will speak with you about medication if it is of concern depending on the type of CT scan you are booked for.
Claustrophobia is not usually a problem, but let the radiographer know if you feel uncomfortable. The large circular donut shape of the CT scanner should not make you feel enclosed as the opening is large and you can always see out.
We ask patients to allow up to 45 minutes for their appointments, however, you may be finished within 30 minutes.
CT scanning uses X-rays, so you will be exposed to some radiation during the scan. However, it is safe for parents to sit with their children during the scan wearing a lead protective apron.
Contrast agents, also known as "dyes," are colourless liquids that are usually injected into an arm vein. They are used to highlight specific organs, blood vessels, or tissues and make them easier for the radiologist to determine the extent of disease or injury.
ACC: No Charge – Specialist Referred only
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