COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY (CT)
CT is a way of using X-rays to take pictures or images in very fine slices through the part of the body that the doctor has asked to be investigated.
You will receive instructions prior to your appointment. These instructions are very important as they may affect the accuracy of the test or require that the test be rebooked if you are not properly prepared for the CT scan. Depending on the type of scan that you are having, you may be asked to change into a gown to avoid parts of your clothing affecting the scan.
during your examination
The general process involves you lying on a bed attached to the scanner. It is important to try not to move during the scan as it will affect the quality of the pictures and make them harder for the radiologist to interpret. The radiographer performing the scan may ask you to hold your breath for some scans. The length of time for each breath hold is usually under 10 seconds.
ARE THERE ANY AFTER EFFECTS OF COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY?
Your scan may require an iodinated contrast injection. People who are allergic to the iodinated contrast used in CT may get some of the following symptoms:
- A skin rash or hives
- Sneezing and/or watering eyes
- Dizziness and/or headache
- Gagging or feeling of suffocation or swelling of the inside of the throat or mouth
- Change in blood pressure
If you do feel any of these symptoms after your scan, it is important to tell the radiographer or nurse immediately. If these feelings come on after leaving the radiology practice, you should return there immediately (if this is close by) or attend the nearest doctor or emergency department.
HOW LONG DOES COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY TAKE?
CT scans that do not require an injection or much preparation are usually quite quick and may be completed within 5 minutes. Even when you are having a scan that requires an injection or other preparation, the length of the scan itself is usually under 10 minutes.
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