The CT technologist has completed a rigorous course of education and training, and works under close supervision of the radiologist to assure the most accurate results.
Prior to your CT scan, the technologist will explain the procedure to you. It is important you understand your procedure in order to help put your mind as ease regarding what is taking place. If you understand what is taking place, it is easier to relax and cooperate during the scan.
Patients are gently positioned and secured on the table. The reason patients are secured to the table is to ensure high quality images. Even the slightest movement during the split seconds of imaging can blur the picture. Once you are secured on the table, you will be moved into a donut shaped opening in the scanner. The technologist will have you in full view at all times and will be in constant communication via a two-way microphone. During the brief time on the table you may hear the whirling of the equipment as it produces the images. You may also feel slight movement of the table as it prepares for the next scan. These noises and movements are all normal.
Contrast Material may be used for your exam. Contrast is a special dye which is needed for some CT scans to help highlight the areas of your body being examined. The contrast material blocks X-rays and appears white on images, which can help emphasize blood vessels, intestines, or other structures.
Contrast material might be given to you:
- By mouth. If your esophagus or stomach is being scanned, you may need to swallow a liquid that contains contrast material. This drink may taste unpleasant but is sometimes necessary for an optimal exam.
- By injection. Contrast agents can be injected through a vein in your arm to help your gallbladder, urinary tract, liver or blood vessels stand out on the images. You may experience a feeling of warmth during the injection or a metallic taste in your mouth. Again, this is normal.
- By enema. A contrast material may be inserted in your rectum to help visualize your intestines. This procedure can make you feel bloated and uncomfortable.
How do I prepare for a CT scan?
Depending on which part of your body is being scanned, you may be asked to:
- Refrain from eating or drinking for a certain time period prior to your exam
- You may be asked to change into a patient gown. A gown will be provided for you. Lockers are provided to secure your personal belongings. Please remove all piercings and leave all jewelry and valuables at home
- Remove metal objects, such as a belt, jewelry, dentures and eyeglasses, which might interfere with image results