A CT scan is a medical imaging procedure that uses digital technology and X-rays to produce cross-sectional images. A CT scanner is a large doughnut shaped machine attached to a flat table that moves through the centre. The scanner is quiet, and the procedure is painless.

This non-invasive test is used for a range of purposes including to:

  • Diagnose diseases and disorders of the stomach and bowel, kidneys, bladder, appendix, liver, spleen and pancreas

  • Identify sources of pain and trauma

  • Diagnose vascular disorders that can lead to stroke, heart attack or kidney failure

  • Aid in planning radiation treatments for tumours

  • Guide biopsies and other minimally invasive procedures

Any specific preparation instructions will be advised at the time of booking. Generally the following preparations apply:

Head, neck, chest, abdomen and pelvis scans:

Nothing to eat for two hours prior to your appointment time. You may drink a small amount of water.

Renal scans:

It is desirable to have a full bladder for this scan. Please do not empty your bladder within the one hour prior to your appointment.

Spinal and musculoskeletal scans:

No preparation required.

Some CT examinations require an injection of iodinated contrast medium into an arm vein, to allow imaging of the blood vessels and vascular tissues. If required, this will be discussed prior to the injection and you will be asked to complete a questionnaire and provide consent.

You may be asked to change into a gown and/or remove jewellery.

You will lie on a table which is slowly moved into the doughnut shaped CT unit. Housed within the CT is an X-ray tube which rotates around you. Detectors capture the X-rays passing through the examined area for the computer to interpret into images. You may be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds during the scan.

Our Radiologist will review the images and issue a report. Once completed, the report will be sent electronically to your referring health professional.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Your original request form

  • Medicare and any Government concession pension or health care cards

  • Previous relevant imaging & blood test results

You will receive a small dose of X-ray radiation.

Please advise the radiographer if you are, or think you may be pregnant.

Problems related to the contrast injection are very rare. The injection will be discussed prior to the examination and you will be asked to complete a questionnaire and provide consent.

CT examination times are normally between 5 and 20 minutes. This varies according to the type and reason for your examination.