A CT scan is a test that combines x-rays and computer scans to create a series of detailed images to assess your organs, blood vessels, abdomen and bones. The CT scan provides valuable information about the location, nature and extent of many different diseases or abnormalities. Some CT scans require contrast (a special dye that helps highlight your anatomy). This can be given orally, through an IV or both depending on the scan ordered.

For Patients

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Before Your Exam

  • If your exam requires contrast, we’ll discuss any special requirements with you.
  • Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had a reaction to contrast (x-ray dye). If you have had a reaction, you may need to take medication before your scan.
  • Be sure to tell us if you are pregnant or nursing, or if there is a chance you may be pregnant.
  • When you arrive, you will be led to a changing room and may be given a gown to wear for your exam. You will be given a locker to store your clothes, and anything else you may have with you during your exam.
  • Some CT scans require a special contrast that you have to drink prior to the scan.

During Your Scan

  • The technologist will help position you onto the scanner table. Your position and how much of your body will be inside the CT will depend upon the body part being scanned.
  • Depending on the part the body being scanned, an IV contrast may be needed. Contrast will be administered through an IV placed in your hand or arm before your exam.
  • The technologist will go out of the room to run the scanner from a computer located directly next to the scanner suite, visible through the viewing window.
  • The technologist may also ask you to hold your breath for a few seconds during your scan.

After the Scan

  • After the exam, your images will be sent electronically to a radiologist who will review the information and send a report to your referring provider, typically within one to two business days. You should follow up with your referring provider to discuss your results.
  • You can go back to your normal diet and activities right away. If you received contrast, it will pass naturally through your body within a day.

Advanced Technology Options

Throughout our hospitals, a full line of CT applications is offered (including neuro/brain/spine, full body, pulmonary, orthopedic, interventional, angiography). 3D imaging is completed on state-of-the-art post-processing workstations and images are stored in the Community Health Network PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System).

Community Hospital North - We offer two state-of-the-art 128-slice CT scanners, one with fluoroscopy capabilities that provides detailed real-time imaging during biopsies and drainages.

Community Heart and Vascular Hospital - We offer a state-of-the-art 256-slice CT scanner that offers a full line of applications, including cardiovascular angiography, body, pulmonary, vascular and angiography. 3D imaging is completed on state of the art post processing workstation. We perform high-quality coronary exams inclusive of calcium scores, coronary arteries, heart function, TAVR and genetic anomalies.