What is a CT scan?
CT stands for Computerised Tomography.
A CT scan takes a series of pictures of your body using x-rays. The pictures show cross-sections or slices of your body. They are put together by a computer and can be viewed on a screen. The scan shows a very detailed image of the inside of your body
Is it safe ?
You will receive a small amount of radiation during your CT scan. The amount of radiation you receive depends on which area of the body you are having scanned. The radiation related risks are very small compared to the risk of missing a serious problem if you choose not to have the CT scan.
Can I bring a friend or relative with me ?
Yes, but for safety reasons they will only be allowed into the scan room in special circumstances.
Please note – Children will not be allowed in the scan room whilst you are having the examination, so you will need to make childcare arrangements for them before you come for your appointment.
Do I need an injection ?
CT Scans frequently involve an injection of an x-ray dye (contrast agent). If you require an injection of contrast, one of the CT staff will give you this using a small needle (known as a cannula) inserted into a vein in your arm or the back of your hand.
If you do receive the x-ray dye it may give you a metallic taste in your mouth and a ‘hot flush.’ Some people feel as though they want to pass water (wet themselves) – don’t worry, you won’t, it just gives you that feeling. All these sensations pass within a couple of minutes.
The contrast dye that is used contains iodine, which some people are allergic to. We will check whether you have had any allergies in the past before your scan.
Occasionally if you are having a contrast enhanced CT, there is a small risk that the injection of contrast can leak out under the skin instead of in the vein. This is known as extravasation.
If this does happen then further advice will be given to you by the CT Radiographer at the time of the CT.
What do I need to do before my CT Scan?
You do not need to prepare specifically for scans of the Brain or Limbs: however, we may ask you to drink a certain amount of fluid or a special drink before having a scan of the Abdomen and/or Pelvis.
If any preparation is necessary, you will be informed of these steps when you book your appointment.
Please contact us before your CT Scan appointment if you:
What happens during my appointment ?
When you arrive at CMC, please go to the main reception desk on the ground floor where you will be registered, and insurance or payment details taken. If you are covered by insurance, please bring your insurance membership number and authorisation code with you. Once complete, you will be directed to the Imaging Department reception, located on the Ground Floor.
If you are given fluid to drink when you arrive in the Imaging Department, you may have to wait up to an hour before you have your scan.
Typically, a CT Scan takes between 15 and 30 minutes, however including the preparation that may be needed, you should plan to be in the CT Department for up to two hours
If you have any previous imaging, which is relevant to your examination, then please bring the reports and CT copies if available.
A Radiographer will go through a CT safety questionnaire and thoroughly explain the procedure to you, giving you the chance to ask questions.
Depending on which area you are having scanned, you may be required to change into a hospital gown. Secure facilities will be provided for your belongings during the procedure
Will I be comfortable ?
We will make you as comfortable as possible . You will need to lie very still during the scan to avoid blurring the images.
Straps and pillows may be used to help maintain the correct position and to keep you still during the examination will not feel any pain and apart from having to stay still for a short while during the examination you will not experience any discomfort.