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Computed Tomography (CT)


What is a CT? 

A CT is an X-ray technique that uses computers to manipulate data into 2 and 3-dimensional representations of your body.  This scan is frequently utilized to diagnose and monitor treatment of many disease processes, including cancer, infection, traumatic injuries, congenital deformities and even metabolic disease. A CT can be performed with or without contrast, which may be administered intravenously or orally.  The contrast allows for better visualization of a patient’s internal organs and other structures.



If your CT was ordered with oral contrast, such as an abdomen or pelvis exam, please arrive 45 minutes prior to your scheduled time to drink the contrast.  We ask that you bring a 32oz unopened Gatorade with you for us to mix your contrast with.  For any exam not requiring oral contrast we just ask that you arrive 10 minutes before your scheduled exam to complete paperwork.


What to expect:

You will be asked to lie on a table that glides on a track through a donut shaped scanner.  You will hear noises such as humming, buzzing or clicking throughout the exam.  You should remain as still as possible, and may be asked to hold your breath for short durations during the exam.

 CT scans can be performed with or without IV and oral contrast.  If you are given IV contrast you may notice a slight metallic taste or a warm sensation in your body.  Oral contrast could lead to a temporary change in your bowels. 

 Because the contrast medium is iodine-based you may experience an allergic reaction which could include sneezing, itching, or other allergic symptoms; any patient experiencing a reaction will be treated before they leave our office.  In rare cases you could experience anaphylaxis which is restricted breathing caused by swollen tissues in the airway.  In these cases emergency medical treatment is administered immediately. If you think you may be allergic to iodine please let us know when your appointment is scheduled.