CT Scans - More Information
A Computer Tomography or CT scan uses x-rays and computer technology to produce cross sectional images of the body. CT scans produce a high quality image of the body's internal organs of the body and give a lot more detailed information than ordinary x-ray images.
For some examinations we need to give the patient an injection of x-ray dye, or contrast, to show up the organs and blood vessels better. When booking for a scan you may be asked some questions about your general health and medical history to prepare for the contrast.
During the scan you will have to lie on the scan table and enter into the gantry (Donut). The hole in the gantry is large and will not cause claustrophobia in most patients. You will only need to go into the gantry so that the part of the body we need to image passes through the hole.
In some scans you will be given instructions to hold your breath and told when to breathe again. These instructions come via an automatic voice through the loud speaker. The breath hold time is almost always less than 20 seconds.
X-ray dye, or IV Contrast, is a colourless iodine based medication that is injected into the blood stream. The contrast is used to highlight the organs in the body and any possible pathology. Some pathology cannot be identified without IV Contrast.
As with any medication we need to be careful which patients get the contrast and when to use it. If a patient is allergic to iodine the indications for the test will be examined closely to decide if contrast is really needed or not. Some patients who suffer from specific health problems may need to have a special preparation before being given contrast.
A detailed questionnaire on patient’s health and medical history is filled out when the patient arrives at the practice. These same questions are also asked when you book for your scan so any preparation can be arranged before you come into the practice.