CT Scan

What is a CT?

 
Computed tomography, called CT or CAT scanning is an x-ray system that produces detailed cross-sectional images of the head, spine, chest, pelvis, abdomen and other areas of the body. CT images show organs of interest at selected levels of the body. CT examinations produce detailed organ studies by stacking individual image slices. To produce the scans, you will be asked to lie on a table. The table slides into the doughnut-shaped ring in the center of the scanning machine. There the x-ray tube rotates around the area of interest. Sensors in the ring detect x-rays passing through the body. Information from the sensors is processed by a computer and displayed as an image on a video screen. A radiologist (specialized physician) interprets the digital images.
For more information about this and all radiology specialties, including information about radiation safety and concerns, please visit this website RadiologyInfo.org.
 

Preparation

 
Women should always inform their physician or technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.
 
Patient preparation for all CT Scans that are ordered WITH contrast consists of nothing to eat or drink for four to six hours prior to appointment unless otherwise instructed, i.e. medications. Any medication that is needed should be taken as prescribed with a small amount of water, unless otherwise instructed by the Radiology Department.
If your CT is ordered without contrast, you do not have to be NPO for the exam.
Comfortable, loose clothing should be worn, although in some cases a patient will be asked to change into a hospital gown for the examination. It is also important to remove any metal prior to the exam: jewelry, dentures, eyeglasses, belt buckles, and metal zippers and buttons can interfere with the images.
 
Please inform your referring physician if you have had a reaction to iodine or x-ray dye. They may need to prescribe medication to be taken prior your exam to prevent a reaction. You will also need to inform the CT Department or Radiologist if you have any known allergies to dye or iodine, as they need to be aware of the allergy and what type of reaction you have had.
 
For many CT examinations, a contrast agent (a liquid that enhances imaging of certain organs or blood vessels) will be administered. Depending on the type of examination, the contrast may be given orally, intravenously, or as an enema. If certain types of contrast will be used during an examination, the patient may be required to fast for several hours.
For exams requiring oral contrast, the patient will receive the contrast upon arrival to the radiology department. Depending on the type of exam ordered, the duration of the wait time after drinking may last from 30 minutes to 2½ hours to give the oral contrast to pass through the digestive system to the point where you can be scanned.

Did you know that The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and private insurers cover low-dose CT scans for lung cancer screening?  As of Jan. 1, 2015, The Affordable Care Act requires that private insurance plans cover the lung cancer screening. Some insurance plans require the screening to be preauthorized. Check your insurance plan about coverage requirements. CMS recently approved a decision to cover the cost of the CT lung cancer screening for Medicare recipients.
Medicare will cover annual CT scans for beneficiaries who:
•    Are between ages 55 and 77;
•    Currently smoke or have quit smoking within the past 15 years and have a smoking history of 30 "pack years" or more, meaning they averaged at least one pack daily for 30 years; and
•    Receive written orders from a provider.

Download the "Helping you decide about Lung Cancer screening" brochure, here.
 

Hours of Operation

 
Monday-Friday 7:00am-5:00pm
Saturday 8:00am-12:00pm
 

Location

 
We are located in the main Radiology department on the first floor of the hospital.
All Express Registered patients should report directly to the Radiology Department. 
All other patients should go to the main Admitting department on the first floor or to the Emergency Department on weekends.
 

Contact Us

 
For any questions or problems, please call CT at 251-460-5352 or the main Radiology department after hours at 251-460-5388.
 
To schedule an exam, please call Central Scheduling at 251-460-5362.

We look forward to the opportunity to provide you and your family with quality care and compassion!