CT Scan

We Deliver Diagnostic Solutions

A Computed Tomography (CT) scan is a test that uses x-rays and a computer to create detailed pictures of the inside of your body. They can also be referred to as CAT scans. A CT scan produces images of muscles, organs, large blood vessels, the brain, nerves and bones. They can be used to:

  • Diagnose conditions such as; bone damage, internal organ injuries, strokes, cancer, and blood flow issues
  • Guide further testing and/or treatments
  • Effectively monitor current health conditions

What happens during a CT Scan?

Ahead of the scan you will be asked to complete a safety questionnaire and be guided through a safety presentation by your Radiographer. CT scans are painless and with the new technology available today, the scan itself takes a few minutes, the whole process normally takes between 15 and 30 minutes.

In some cases, depending on the area which needs to be scanned, you will be asked to change into a gown, which we provide, and remove any metal objects such as jewellery, belts or glasses. This is because metal interferes with the images produced by the scanner.

The scan is done lying down on a bed that slowly passes up and down through the doughnut shaped CT scanner. CT scanners are open on either side. Your Radiographer will operate the machine from another room and you will be able to communicate with them via intercom, if needed. Due to the nature of the scan, anyone who accompanies you to your appointment will be required to wait in the waiting room.

If you are pregnant please advise your doctor and let us know as we do not recommend CT for pregnant women unless it is an emergency.

What happens if I need contrast dye?

Some scans will require you to have a drink or an injection of contrast medium. This is a dye that shows up body tissues more clearly on the scan. For the injection, you will have a small thin tube (cannula) in your arm, which is left in place until after your scan.

The dye is temporary and naturally passes out of the body through urine. While many patients have the dye without any side effects it may temporarily give you:

  • Metallic taste in your mouth
  • Hot flush
  • Nausea or a rash

While these side effects may be mildly uncomfortable, they will pass within a few minutes.

What preparation is required for a CT scan?

You may be asked to avoid eating or drinking for several hours beforehand. This allows for clear images to be taken, avoiding the possibility of a re-scan.

We will ask you to make us aware of any allergies, asthma, kidney problems or if you take medication for diabetes as special preparations will need to be made. Please also inform us if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What happens after the CT scan?

If you had the contrast dye you will need to stay in the department for about 15 to 30 minutes to ensure you have no side effects, which is very rare. You are able to resume all normal activities after the scan.

Once the scan is complete a Consultant Radiologist reviews the results of your CT scan, will write a report and send it to your referring doctor so you can discuss the results. This process can take up to 10 working days.