CT or Computed Tomography, (sometimes also referred to as a CAT scan) is a fast and painless medical imaging technique which uses xrays to create images of your body.
CT or Computed Tomography is a fast and painless medical imaging technique which uses xrays to create images of your body.
Our modern SIemens CT scanner is fast and efficient and is capable of all types of CT imaging.
An appointment for a CT comes after a referral from your doctor. Either yourself or your health professional can book this through our simple online form.
You will be advised if there are any special pre-scan preparations you may need to carry out before you visit our radiology sites. These may include:
Depending on your exam you may be emailed a consent form to complete before your appointment, or your medical imaging technologist will guide you through the whole process once you arrive.
You are welcome to bring a support person, who, as well as providing moral support, may be useful in helping you move or undress.
Before the scan we will ask you to change into a gown in a private area and the provide you with somewhere safe for your belongings.
Our technician will position you on the CT bed, and attempt to provide a pleasant experience throughout the scan. They need to leave the room briefly while the scan is in progress, but you always have immediate contact with them through an intercom and viewing window.
Keeping still is important to optimise image clarity. Any difficulties in lying flat, in controlling pain or avoiding claustrophobia should be discussed before the CT scan is carried out.
Our CT scanner is a circular donut shape with a round, large middle opening. Some people even call them "the donut of truth!"
Once you are settled, often with the aid of comfortable body-holding wedges, the scanner bed itself moves so the part of your body to be imaged is in position.
You can lie back and relax. Each scan takes a few seconds, and the table then moves into position for the next picture. You will need to keep still while each image is taken, and if you’re cold please ask us for a blanket. This can help you remain stationary as it may enable you to be more comfortable.
The length of time required for your scan depends on the type of images required, but most take 10 - 30 minutes.
Sometimes too a colourless dye known as a contrast agent will be used to aid in obtaining a clearer picture. If so, this is given through a small needle usually placed in your arm vein. The contrast injection may provide a brief sensation of warmth throughout your body and perhaps a metallic taste in your mouth. This is completely normal and of no cause for concern. If you are having contrast our team will be in touch to discuss your medical history and explain the procedure further.
We also need to know if you are, or think you could be pregnant.
If contrast has been used as part of your imaging you may be asked to wait for up to 20 minutes after your CT scan.
There shouldn’t be any after-effects from the scan, but if a contrast agent has been given we recommend drinking plenty of water to flush it from your system. Otherwise after the scan you can resume normal activities including eating if you were asked to fast before the examination.
Your images are interpreted by our team of expert radiologists, and we send a detailed report to your doctors as soon as possible. The findings and next steps in your diagnosis and treatment then take place following a discussion with your doctor.
If you would like a copy of your CT images, please ask our Reception team before you leave.
Learn more about CT scans below.
CT Pricing Sample
Unlike a conventional X-ray with a fixed tube, CT (computed tomography) uses a rotating motorised X-ray source. It is also capable of producing a more detailed final picture than an X-ray image.
A narrow beam of X-rays is aimed at a person, and quickly rotates around a body. The signals produced are processed by the machine’s computer to generate cross-sectional images, or ‘slices’.
In a general sense a CT image is the result of breaking apart a 3-dimensional structure (inside your body), mathematically putting it back together again, and displaying an organ as a 2-dimensional image on a television screen.
The slices can be displayed individually or stacked to generate a 3-D image.
CT can be compared to looking at one slice of bread within a whole loaf.
It can show the skeleton, organs and tissues as well as any abnormalities a doctor is trying to identify.
A major advantage of CT is the ability to rotate the 3-D image in space, or viewed as slices in succession. This can make it much easier to exactly find a problem’s location.
A head CT can locate injuries, tumours, clots leading to stroke, bleeding and other conditions.
It is particularly useful for imaging complex one fractures, severely eroded joints, or bone tumours since it usually produces more detail than would be possible with a conventional X-ray.
CT is useful for obtaining images of:
It is often a preferred way of diagnosing many cancers such as liver, lung and pancreatic. The images produced enable confirmation of the presence and location of a tumour, its size and how much it has affected nearby tissue.
You will need a referral from your GP or Specialist for this service.
Please call us on 04 978 8600 if you have any questions.