About The Scans

What is a CT scan?

A CT scanner is a special X-ray machine that produces an image of a cross section, or slice, of the body. The scanner consists of a ‘doughnut’ shaped structure, or gantry, about two feet thick which you will pass through while lying on a couch.

Our modern scanner can produce many images in under a minute and the actual scanning time is quite short.

Are there any risks?

CT scanning does involve the use of X-rays; however the risk of missing a serious disorder by not having a CT scan is considerably greater.

Women who are or might be pregnant must inform a member of staff.

Many CT examinations involve you having a contrast medium injected into a vein in order to increase the amount of information obtained from the scan. This is usually administered through a vein in your arm. These injections are generally safe, however, please inform staff in the Bridge Clinic Advanced Imaging Centre if you have severe asthma, allergies or are taking a medication called Metformin.

What happens before the scan?

For some scans no special preparation is required and you may eat and drink normally before and after your appointment. For some examinations you may be asked not to eat for a few hours before the scan.

If your scan is of the abdomen and pelvis you will be asked to arrive 30mins before the scan appointment time. This is so you can in drink 1 litre of water which acts as a contrast and gives more information on the images.

You may be required to remove some clothing and put on a gown and dressing gown. There is a locker available for your possessions.

What happens during the scan?

You will be taken into the scanner room and asked to lie on the couch and every effort will be made to make you as comfortable as possible. If a contrast injection is required a cannula will be inserted into your vein in preparation for the scan and the procedure will be explained. When you have been positioned in the scanner the staff will retire from the room but they can see and hear you at all times.
The couch will pass through the scanner several times and you may be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds.

What happens after the scan?

You may eat and drink normally after the scan. If you had a contrast injection you are advised to drink plenty of water for a few hours after the scan. This is to keep you well hydrated and to help flush the contrast through your renal system.

A radiologist will look at the images from the scan and write a report of his/her findings. This will be sent to your referring Doctor.


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