Department of Radiology: CT Scan FAQ
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What is a CT Scan?
A. A CT (or computerized tomography) Scan is a valuable diagnostic tool that combines
computerized technology with a focused X-ray beam that passes through the body at various
angles, producing clear, cross-sectional images of the part of the body being examined. It is
safe, fast and painless, and produces precise and accurate images of the body.
Q. Why have a CT Scan?
A. CT Scan is one of a physician's most important tools for examining the bones and internal
organs. CT Scans are able to detect many conditions that conventional X-rays cannot. CT
scans can often take the place of other more invasive diagnostic techniques, such as
exploratory surgery, saving the patient discomfort, cost and inconvenience.
The scans are also useful for monitoring a patient's progress during or after treatment. CT
scanning is considered a critical component of any evaluation of brain injuries or function. CT
scans of the head may also be used to detect or rule out tumors, blood clots, and other
disorders. CT Scans can also be especially important in diagnosing enlarged lymph nodes,
pancreatic disease, back problems or lung cancer.
Q. Why come to the Medical Center for a CT Scan?
A. Englewood Hospital and Medical Center's state-of-the-art, high-speed spiral CT scanners
perform faster scans and decrease the time required in getting your doctor a report.
Englewood Hospital and Medical Center also utilizes a highly sophisticated technology in
Nuclear Cardiology called Attenuation Correction. Our CT Scanner also helps those patients
who have difficulty staying still or holding their breath (e.g. accident victims, critically ill, and
The Medical Center offers the latest diagnostic facilities and a highly trained and specialized
staff, including Board Certified and Fellowship trained radiologists who interpret the studies.
Our caring staff understands patient anxieties and goes the extra mile to make the procedure
as comfortable as possible. The CT Department is recognized as an accredited site by the
American College of Radiology.
Q. What can I expect during the procedure?
A. The procedure is fast and painless. Patients will be asked to lie on a table that will move
through the scanner opening, taking images of the body. Patients may be asked to remain
very still and hold their breath while the actual images are being made. Each scan usually
takes no more than 20 seconds. The whole procedure usually lasts 30 minutes, depending
upon the type of test being performed.
Q. How do I prepare for a CT Scan?
A. Doctors will provide detailed information on preparing for the scan. Patients may be told to
avoid food or drink for around 4 hours before the test, especially if an intravenous contrast
injection is to be used. An oral contrast medium is often given, as well as a contrast enema.
These techniques are used to highlight certain structures, including the stomach and bowel,
making the images more diagnostic. Some people are allergic to certain contrast media.
Patients with allergies, particularly to iodine, should inform their doctor and the Medical
Center staff ahead of time. Patients who are pregnant must alert their doctor, who will decide
whether it is safe to have a CT Scan.
• Wear comfortable clothing
• Leave jewelry, including your watch at home
• Bring along reading material for the waiting room
• Jewelry hairpins, eyeglasses and dentures must be removed when having a head scan
Q. What if I still have questions about a CT Scan?
A. For more information, call the Department of Radiology at 201-894-3400.