CT scan

CT stands for computed tomography. It is really a more detailed and specialist type of X-ray. The CT unit is linked to a sophisticated computer that builds up lots of very detailed images from inside your body. Having a CT scan is completely painless. There are only a certain number of appointments for CT scans, so it is very important that you do not miss your appointment. Also, please remember that you will not be able to have a scan unless you have an appointment.

What will happen?
Preparation for a CT scan can vary from patient to patient. The X-ray department will tell you what you need to do before you come for your scan.

Please let your doctor or nurse know if you:

  • have any allergies;
  • have asthma;
  • have diabetes;
  • have kidney problems;
  • are taking any medication;
  • are pregnant;
  • are unusually afraid of needles; or
  • have had any problems before with any type of X-ray or radiology examination.

In the X-ray department, depending on the area to be scanned, you might be asked to drink and/or have an injection of dye. This allows the doctor to see the area being scanned more clearly.

The scanner is shaped like a doughnut. It is about three feet wide and eight feet wide, open at both ends. All you need to do is lie still on a table, which slides into the scanner. If necessary, your head and neck will be supported. The scan usually lasts from 15 to 20 minutes, but it depends on the area to be examined. If you need a CT scan, your local scanning department will offer you more detailed written information.

When you come for your scan the radiographers will do their best to help you relax. Remember – you will not be enclosed in any way, and most people do not find having a CT scan a problem.

When will I get the result?
It can take some time before a full report is available to your consultant. Make sure you have an appointment to get the result. Occasionally, more information might be required or, for some reason, the scan may not be as clear as it should be. If this is the case, you will be asked to return for a repeat scan.