Frequently Asked Questions

CT Scan

What does a CT scanner look like?

The CT scanner looks like a large doughnut with a narrow table. The patient lies on the table, which moves through the center of the machine. The technologist is in the next room and observes the patient through a large window.

Do I have to do anything special before having a CT scan?

Some scans (abdomen and pelvis) require the patient to drink about a quart of liquid prior to the scan. For certain exams, x-ray contrast also may be injected into a vein during the scan. If you are scheduled to have a test with intravenous contrast, you should not eat for four hours before the exam. You should however take all your medications with a sip of water at the regular time. 
More about preparing for the exam.

How long does a CT scan take?

The entire procedure takes 20 to 60 minutes, depending on what part of the body is being scanned.

Will it hurt?

No. The scanner uses x-rays to see inside your body.

What should I expect after the CT scan is completed?

As soon as the exam is over, you can resume normal activity and diet.

How will I get the results of the CT scan?

After the scan is finished, one of our board-certified radiologists will interpret the study and send a report to your doctor within 24 hours. Results will also be available on MyLifespan.

Is CT Imaging Safe?

Yes. A CT scan is considered a safe examination. They are directly linked to a greater life expectancy and a declining cancer death rate.

CT guided procedure

What is a CT guided procedure?

A CT guided procedure may consist of a biopsy, in which a small sample of tissue from inside your body is obtained using the CT machine for guidance. This technique will often save you from having to have an operation to get the same piece of tissue.

Why is this being done?

A biopsy is performed because a previous radiology test showed an abnormality. It is not clear what the abnormal tissue is, and a small sample of tissue is required to find out.

Does it hurt?

We use local anesthesia (like Novocaine at the dentist) for all biopsies. In certain situations we will administer sedation to make you sleepy during the test. You will not be completely asleep for this test.

How long does a CT guided procedure take?

The actual procedure is approximately one hour. You will be observed in our recovery area by qualified nurses for approximately three hours after the procedure.

Do I have to do anything special before having a CT procedure?

Special preparations are required of patients up to one week before the procedure.

How will I get the results of the biopsy?

The specimen obtained from the procedure will be delivered to pathology where specialized doctors will look at the tissue under a microscope. They will send the results to your doctor in approximately three to five days