2356 N 400 E Bldg B, Ste 103

Tooele, UT 84074

(435) 882-1674

About Computed Tomography (CT)

What Is A CT Scan?
Why CT?
How Should I Prepare For The CT Scan?
What Happens During The CT Sscan?
Contrast Medium – Why?
A Few General Tips
What You Should Know About Radiation Exposure
What Should I Expect Afterwards?
Accreditation Frequently Asked Questions

 

What Is A CT Scan?

You have been given an appointment for a computed tomography (CT) scan. If this is your first CT scan, you will, of course, have many questions on your mind: “What can I expect before, during and after such a procedure?”

Your doctor will also be glad to inform you about the procedure. But first of all, one thing is certain: a CT examination is fast, straightforward and painless. So there is no need to worry about your CT appointment. CT is a radiological method which has been used since 1974 to visualize certain regions of your body slice by slice. Today, CT technology is an indispensable tool in medicine. It is used for routine examinations of the entire body.

 

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Why CT?

CT can assist in:

Detecting strokes, head injuries, herniated discs, abscesses

Locating fractures

Determining the extent of bone and soft tissue damage in trauma patients; in such cases it is especially helpful to have an imaging procedure which allows a fast first diagnosis

Diagnosing changes in various organs

Examination of the heart and of the coronary vessels

Early Diagnosing of lung and intestinal cancer

 

Important advantages of CT:

With the aid of computed tomography, physicians are now able to look into the coronary arteries without having to introduce a catheter

CT allows true-to-detail three dimensional images of the inside of the heart and other parts of the body

Virtual endoscopy enables a computer-aided flight through blood vessels and cavities in the body. The physician can for example examine the condition of the intestinal walls – non-invasively.

 

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How Should I Prepare For The CT Scan?

To ensure that optimal results are obtained, your cooperation is required. Please talk to your referring physician about the scan. He will give you detailed information on how to prepare yourself for the examination. Be sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant. Like other x-ray examinations, CT scans should not be performed during pregnancy because of the exposure to radiation.

 

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What Happens During The CT Scan?

During the examination you will be lying on a comfortable patient table (usually on your back). This table will then slowly move you through the opening of the examination unit called the gantry. All you need to do now is pay attention to the instructions of the radiology technician who may, for example, ask you to briefly hold your breath or not to move certain regions of your body.

As with conventional x-ray examinations, you will not feel the acquisition of CT images at all; you will only hear a low whirring noise. The patient table will move slightly during the entire examination. While you are in the gantry, the x-ray system is taking extremely detailed cross-sectional images of your body. Based on the data acquired, the computer then generates the so-called result images. This way it aids your physician in reliably and precisely visualizing and then diagnosing the presence or absence of disease inside your body.

The duration of a CT examination depends on which body regions are scanned. Although with a modern spiral CT scanner the actual images are produced within a few seconds, you should expect the examination to last approximately 15 to 30 minutes. If a contrast medium is used, the examination will take longer. You may also have to drink a contrast medium that will coat the gastrointestinal tract approximately one hour before the CT scan takes place.

The CT examination is called “scanning” by the experts, and not image acquisition. Scanning is a computer controlled electronic procedure comparable to digital photography. Whether you call it a scan or an image, after the examination you and your physician will be able to look at an extraordinarily precise image of the inside of your body. And this is what counts!

 

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Contrast Medium – Why?

Depending on the examination, a contrast medium may be administered to aid in strengthening the resulting diagnosis. Most people tolerate the contrast medium without any problems and merely feel flushed for a moment.

Since the contrast medium contains iodine which may cause an allergic reaction in some people, you should consult with your physician regarding any existing allergies prior to the examination. Should you feel any discomfort during the examination, you can communicate this to the CT technician at any time. Modern scanners are equipped with an intercom system for this purpose.

These images depict a scan without the use of a medium on the left, and with the use of one on the right.

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A Few General Tips:

If you have images from previous examinations (including x-rays), please bring them with you.

For head and neck examinations: please remove all jewelry, hairpins, eyeglasses, hearing aids and dentures or leave them at home.

For abdominal examinations: please ask your physician how many hours prior to the examination you should refrain from eating or drinking.

For use of a contrast medium: drink a sufficient amount of fluid one to two hours before and after the examination.

It is very important to let your physician know if you have had previous allergic reactions to a contrast medium, iodine or shellfish, or if you have asthma.

If you have diabetes or take medication: Please inform the radiology technician as soon as possible do not swallow during neck examinations.

For abdominal and chest examination: please follow the directive “Please hold breath for 15 to 20 seconds." If not the pictures could be blurred.

 

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What You Should Know About Radiation Exposure:

CT scanners use x-rays. Your radiation exposure is kept to a minimum. The competent and experienced CT staff nowadays has a whole series of dose saving functions at their disposal. Modern CT scanners are designed to ensure the consistent reduction of radiation exposure to patients and staff.

 

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What Should I Expect Afterwards?

The board-certified radiologist analyzes the images and sends a report of the diagnosis to your physician, who will then discuss the results of the CT examination with you.

 

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Accreditation Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I have my imaging exam done at an accredited facility?

When you see the gold seals of accreditation prominently displayed in our imaging facility, you can be sure that you are in a facility that meets standards for imaging quality and safety. Look for the ACR Gold Seals of Accreditation.

To achieve the ACR Gold Standard of Accreditation, our facility's personnel qualifications, equipment requirements, quality assurance, and quality control procedures have gone through a rigorous review process and have met specific qualifications. It's important for patients to know that every aspect of the ACR accreditation process is overseen by board-certified, expert radiologists and medical physicists in advanced diagnostic imaging.

What does ACR accreditation mean?

Our facility has voluntarily gone through a vigorous review process to ensure that we meet nationally-accepted standards of care.

Our personnel are well qualified, through education and certification, to perform mdical imaging, interpret your images, and administer your radiation therapy treatments.

Our equipment is appropriate for the test or treatment you will receive, and our facility meets or exceeds quality assurance and safety guidelines.

What does the gold seal mean?

When you see the ACR gold seal, you can rest assured that your prescribed imaging test will be done at a facility that has met the highest level of imaging quality and radiation safety. The facility and its personnel have gone through a comprehensive review to earn accreditation status by the American College of Radiology (ACR), the largest and oldest imaging accrediting body in the U.S. and a professional organization of 34,000 physicians.

 

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