Start of Main Content

CT Scan

What is Computerized Tomography (CT)?

A CT scanner uses special x-ray equipment with sophisticated computers to produce detailed images of all areas in the body. The machine takes multiple images from different angles of a specific area of the body, and the computer connects those images to create detailed views of that area of the body being studied. Our 64-slice scanner with Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction (ASIR) technology provides some of the highest image quality with dramatically decreased radiation dose.

What is the exam like?

You will be positioned on a padded table and placed within the CT scanner. After the technologist positions you on the table, he or she will leave the room but will stay in constant communication with you through an intercom system.

For many scans, you will be asked to hold your breath and remain still for a few moments while the images are being obtained. You may hear the CT scanner rotating while the table moves slowly through the scanner.
Many CT scans require an intravenous injection of a contrast agent that will highlight the areas of the body being studied and will help the radiologist see those areas more clearly.

The total exam time for an average CT scan is approximately 15-30 minutes, but the actual scan time is much shorter, approximately 5 minutes.

Tell your doctor and the CT technologists if you have had a previous ALLERGIC reaction to a CT contrast agent or medications. You may require pre-medication in such a case.

After the CT scan, you can resume your normal activities. To help flush the contrast medium from your body, drink plenty of decaffeinated or non-alcoholic fluids, such as water and juice.

How do I get the CT scan results?

Your exam will be interpreted by our radiologist and the results will be sent to your physician, typically within 48 hours. The results will also be released to your My Health portal.  Your physician will discuss the findings with you and any treatment options if warranted.

Planning Your CT Scan Visit

Approximately 48-72 hours before your exam, a member of the Atrius Health Imaging department will contact you to review pre-screening safety questions and prep instructions. It is extremely important we have these questions answered prior to your exam. Continue to take any medication prescribed by your doctor unless otherwise directed.

Please notify staff if your insurance information has recently changed and if you have had prior exams for the same body part being evaluated.

Any pre-approvals required by your insurance company will be obtained through your physician’s office before your scheduled exam.

If your examination will be performed with a contrast agent, blood work may be required prior to your exam if you:

  • Are 60 yrs of Age or Older
  • Have Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
  • Have Personal or Family history of Kidney Disease, Kidney tumor (cancer), Transplant or Solitary kidney
  • Have Diabetes

Important Note: If you are pregnant or think that you could be pregnant, you must notify your physician or the CT technologist in the Imaging Department prior to the procedure.

Upon Check In

You will be asked to complete and sign your prescreening paperwork. 

We suggest you wear comfortable clothing without metal snaps or zippers. You may be asked to change into a hospital gown for the exam. Lockers are available in changing areas for safekeeping of personal items.