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What to Expect During a CT Scan

Most CT Scans are painless, fast and easy. Though the scanning itself causes no pain, there may be some discomfort from having to remain still for several minutes. If you have a hard time staying still, are claustrophobic or have chronic pain, you may find the CT Scan a little stressful. Our technologists are here to help accommodate your concerns.

 

The CT scan obtains multiple cross-sectional images of your body using special x-rays and computer enhancement, creating an image many times clearer than a traditional x-ray.

 

CT scanners are shaped like a large doughnut standing on its side. You lie on a narrow table that slides into the "doughnut hole," which is called a gantry. Straps and pillows may help you stay in position. During a CT scan of the head, the table may be fitted with a special cradle that holds your head still.

 

The table will move slowly through the gantry during the CT scan, as the gantry rotates in a circle around you. Each rotation yields several images of thin slices of your body. You may hear buzzing, clicking and whirring noises.

 

A technologist will be nearby, in a separate area. You will be able to communicate with the technologist via intercom. The technologist may ask you to hold your breath at certain points to avoid blurring the images. When the scan is finished, you may be asked to remain on the exam table while a Radiologist reviews the images to determine if additional images are needed.

 

After the scan is complete, the images will be sent to the Radiologist for interpretation, at which time he will analyze the CT images and compare all your imaging and send the report to your doctor.

 

The technologists are restricted from discussing images with you. While we understand your curiosity and anxiousness, it is in your best interest to discuss the results of your examination with your doctor.