Computed Tomography, commonly known as a CT scan, is an imaging test that uses X-rays and computer technology to produce detailed pictures of the inside of your body.
- CT allows us to look at any part of your body in cross-section.
- You are awake during the examination. A nurse or specialised staff will stay with you throughout your examination.
- Most examinations take 10 to 15 minutes to complete.
What is a CT scan?
Computerised tomography (CT) allows us to look at any part of your body in cross-section.
Using the CT scanner, we can build up a picture of the whole area and see parts of the body that are difficult to see by any other method.
This examination is done by a radiographer. You may see some large machines in the room, all of which are very safe.
You are awake during the examination.
You will be asked to lie on a table that is moved into the centre of the CT machine.
The CT scanner makes a slight buzzing sound as it operates.
During some scans you may be required to hold your breath for a short time and it is important you remain still for the examination.
Your comfort, privacy and safety will be maintained at all times.
Most examinations take 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Occasionally, we are required to do emergency scans and this can cause delays. We will inform you should there be any delays on the day of your scan.
It is important that you follow the preparation instructions (refer to your appointment letter).
Some types of CT scans may require you to have an injection of contrast (dye) into a vein. This dye is not radioactive.
Please tell your referring doctor and radiology staff if you have had any serious allergies to medications or known allergy to contrast dye.
Following the injection of contrast dye you may experience a warm flushing sensation, metallic taste in your mouth or a sensation of wetting yourself – these are common and will disappear shortly after the injection finishes.
Please alert radiology staff if you have symptoms of feeling unwell during or after the CT examination.
If you have diabetes or kidney disease you may be required to have a blood test before the scan to check your kidney function.
When the abdomen or pelvis is being examined, you may be given a special contrast solution to drink. This will help to outline the stomach and bowel, making interpretation easier.
You can discuss the results with your referring doctor.
Are you pregnant?
Please inform us if there is a possibility you could be pregnant.