CT (Computed Tomography), also called a CAT scan, is a safe and painless exam that uses x-ray technology to obtain detailed, cross-sectional images of a patient’s body. CT is often the preferred technology for diagnosing cancer and for visualizing several types of tissue with great clarity, including organs such as the liver, spleen, pancreas and kidneys. Greater flexibility allows us to customize patient procedures and perform advanced patient exams, such as neurology, oncology, trauma and angiography.
Our state-of-the-art technology allows us to optimize every aspect of a patient’s CT experience. From shorter exam times and greater patient comfort, to superior image quality, which translates into a more accurate diagnosis.
THE CT PROCEDURE
Cross-sectional images are obtained by CT when a patient, who is lying on the comfortable exam table is moved through the center of the CT scanner. A quietly rotating gantry emits a small amount of x-ray that passes through the patient’s body. The result is a thin image or “slice” that is reconstructed on a computer along with other slices to view the anatomy.
To prepare for a CT exam, a patient should plan to wear loose, comfortable clothing. Depending on the type of CT study the patient’s physician has ordered, the patient may be instructed not to eat or drink anything for 4 hours prior to the exam. Some CT studies use either oral or IV contrast to obtain better images. If oral contrast has been ordered, the patient may be asked to drink a contrast medium that will highlight the digestive tract. Female patients should notify their physician and our staff prior to the exam, if they are pregnant.
FOLLOWING A CT EXAM
Once the CT study is complete, a patient can return to normal activity. Fluids are encouraged to help any contrast material that was used move through the body. One of Tower Imaging’s Radiologists will interpret the exam and report the findings to the patient’s physician.