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Outpatient Radiology Services

CT (CAT SCAN)

CT or CAT scanning is advanced radiological imaging that uses an X-ray beam that rotates around the patient to capture pictures inside the body. It is commonly used to examine the details of the brain, spine, blood vessels and body areas like the chest, abdomen, and pelvis.

The advanced CT technology used at UDI includes fast scan times to achieve high-resolution, sub-millimeter imaging, with low-dose radiation for both pediatric and adult imaging.

Why would you have a CT/CAT Scan?

CT images are useful in studies of internal organs because they can separate overlapping structures precisely, producing cross-sectional images of all parts of the body, but most commonly the head, spine, abdomen and chest.

The CT scanner also is useful in determining the size and volume of tumors and other masses. This is especially helpful for cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy or surgery.

What can I expect during the CT Scan?

The CT procedure is fast and painless, although some patients experience a warm sensation if their study includes a contrast agent. Your technologist will position you on a padded table which will slowly enter the doughnut-shaped ring of the scanner. At no time will your body be fully enclosed in the machine.

X-rays pass through the body and are detected by electronic sensors. Information from these sensors is digitally processed and displayed as an image on a computer monitor.

A contrast material, sometimes called “dye,” may be administered to outline blood vessels or enhance organ images. There are two types of contrast: oral and intravenous. Oral contrast is a barium-based drink that is given to most patients receiving CT for the digestive system. If a contrast material is used, it will be injected or introduced into a vein, usually the arm. This allows the radiologist to visualize changes in blood vessels or tissue.

If you have known allergies to iodine, please let the staff know when booking your appointment as the intravenous dye (contrast) is iodine based. Additionally, patients who have renal failure or poor renal function may not receive contrast. Please let our staff know at the time of scheduling if this applies to you.

How To Prepare for Your Imaging

In general, there is little preparation needed for a CT scan and no need to change your eating or sleeping patterns, or your medication, unless otherwise instructed by your physician.

If you are scheduled for a CT scan with intravenous contrast, you may not eat or drink for 2 hours prior.

If you are scheduled for oral or intravenous sedation, you may not eat or drink for 6 hours prior.

How Will I Learn About the Results of My CT Scan?

At UDI, an on-site board-certified radiologist, will interpret your scan promptly and send a report to your physician. Your physician will share the results of the study with you.

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