Computed Tomography Scans
A CT (Computed Tomography) scan is an X-ray examination, which is performed by a special scanner that can look at any part of the body in cross sections. The X-ray tube rotates around the area being examined taking X-rays of the body in multiple slices. The data is then fed back into a computer that combines all the information collected and produces images (pictures) that are reported on by our Radiologist to your doctor.
Madelia Community Hospital has a Siemens 16-slice SOMATOM Emotion Scanner. The 16-slice scanner offers innovative technology in a compact size and routinely obtains the finest diagnostic details and excellent image quality with thin-slice protocols.
It is important for you to bring a list of your current medications with you, so we will know what you may have taken prior to your exam.
If you are diabetic and take diabetic medications, you should take your prescribed dose as normal the day of the exam, but discontinue the next doses for 48 hours after the CT scan.
Food and Drink
For most CT scans there are no restrictions on what you may eat or drink. For the exceptions, instructions will be given at the time your appointment is scheduled.
You may be asked to arrive 45 minutes to an hour early and given an oral contrast agent to drink before the procedure. This helps to enhance pictures of the stomach, small intestines and bowel. In some cases, the contrast agent is administered as an enema. If this is the case, you will be informed of this prior to your appointment.
Wear comfortable clothing, preferably clothes with no zipper, buttons or snaps, such as a sweat suit. You will also need to remove jewelry, eyeglasses, and anything else with metal, especially if it's near the area being scanned. Gowns are available if needed. TOP
Contrast agents are often administered prior to CT scans for more detailed test results. The method of administering the agents varies depending on the area of the body that is being scanned:
- You may have an IV started if you are scheduled to receive intravenous contrast material. This contrast material may make you have a warm, flushed sensation during the injection and a metallic taste in your mouth that lasts for a few minutes.
- If you are receiving contrast material orally, you may find the taste mildly unpleasant; however, most patients can easily tolerate it. Expect to experience a sense of abdominal fullness.
- If the contrast material is given by enema, expect an increasing need to expel the liquid. This mild sensation will not last long.
- Scans of certain body organs may require an injection into a vein (usually in the arm). We will check if you have any allergies before this is given.
Your technologist will have you lie on the scanning table, sometimes using straps and foam pillows to position your body. The radiographer is required to leave the room during the exam, but can hear you and talk to you through a microphone at all times.
The scan table will move through the scanner as needed to obtain the images requested by your doctor. It is very important that you lie very still. Movement may make your pictures look blurry. The equipment makes noises such as clicks and buzzes while taking the images. Please don’t be alarmed – this is normal. Depending on the type of CT scan your doctor ordered, it may take anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour or more to complete. TOP
After a CT exam, you can return to your normal activities. If you received contrast material, you may be given special instructions.
Drinks lots of liquids for 24 hours after the scan to help flush the contrast agents out of your body. TOP
The scan usually takes 5 - 20 minutes and afterwards the images obtained by your CT scan are studied by the Radiologist who prepares a report on the findings, which are sent directly to your doctor. TOP