How do CT scans work?
Rotating X-ray equipment allows us to get images from multiple angles around the body - from head to toe.
Unlike regular X-rays, which show only bones, the CT scan shows high-resolution images of several types of tissues, organs such as lungs and kidneys, blood vessels and bones.
Imagine a loaf of bread. When you remove a slice, you can see the entire surface of the slice.
That's how a CT scan "sees" your body - from the outside skin to the center of the tissue or organ.
Put together, these slices or views form a detailed three-dimensional image.
These digital images are captured on the computer and viewed by our radiologists.
The radiologists can manipulate each image to evaluate it from all angles.
What can you expect during a CT scan?
A CT scanner looks like a large tube open at the front and back with an adjustable table in the center.
For your security, your technologist will verify your name and date of birth before assisting you onto the table and positioning you for your test.
He or she may use pillows to help make sure you are comfortable and remain in the correct position.
Your technologist may cover you with a blanket during the procedure to ensure your privacy.
When the exam begins, the table slowly slides into the tube as the X-ray rotates around your body.
You will likely hear some soft clicks as the table moves through the tube.
You must remain still for the length of the test, which may take one to five minutes.
Although you will be alone in the room during the actual test, be assured your technologist can hear and speak to you and will be immediately outside monitoring you throughout your scan.
For abdominal or pelvic scans, which require the use of oral contrast, you may be asked to arrive an hour before your appointment time.