ImageCare Latham performs CT scans on a 128 slice Siemens Definition AS system capable of scanning the patient’s heart in 4 seconds or the patient’s whole body in under 10 seconds.
When it comes to using x-ray, ImageCare is dedicated to the concept of A.L.A.R.A. (As Low As Reasonably Achievable.) Radiation dose is decreased utilizing patient specific dose reduction techniques on all possible exams. Both machines are accredited by the ACR (American College of Radiology).
For most CT scans there is no preparation. You should wear loose comfortable clothing, although for some exams you may still need to change into a gown.
- For exams that require a contrast injection you should not eat 6 hours prior to your exam time.
- For patients who are diabetic on Glucophage or Metformin they will need to stop taking their medications on the day of the exam. The patient will also need to have a prescription for blood work (Bun/Creat) to be drawn 48 hours following the exam to assure renal function is normal before resuming diabetic medications.
- If you are having a CT exam such as an abdominal or pelvic scan, you may be required to drink an oral contrast. You will need to begin drinking this contrast at least an hour before your scan time to ensure that your digestive tract is properly prepared for the exam.
This patient came to ImageCare to have a CT of the abdomen and pelvis. The images here show the patient’s kidneys after they had an injection of the IV contrast that is administered.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will the CT exam take?
Since there is such a wide variety of computed tomography procedures performed, the length of time varies. A typical exam will take between 10 to 15 minutes. More involved exams can take longer than 30 minutes.
Is there any preparation for my CT exam?
On the day of your exam, you should arrive at least 20 minutes before your scheduled appointment. If your exam requires an oral contrast, such as an abdominal scan, you will need to drink it a minimum of 1 hour prior to the start of the exam. This will allow the contrast to coat your stomach and small intestine. You may arrive early or pick up the contrast here at your convenience.
Can I bring someone into the CT room with me?
No. Because CT uses x-ray to acquire the images, only the person having the exam should be in the room during the imaging. Friends or family can wait in our imaging suite while the scan is being performed.
Can I have a CT exam if I am pregnant?
If you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant you should NOT have a CT examination or any form of exam that involves x-ray. Pregnant women or those who think they may be pregnant should immediately inform the technologist.
Do I need a contrast injection for the CT exam?
Not everyone needs an injection of contrast for their exam. The injection is given when the radiologist and/or the referring physician determines that it is necessary. The decision to use contrast is based on the patient’s history and the type of study to be performed.
Can I have a CT exam if I have a pacemaker?
Yes. Since CT uses x-ray to acquire its images, it is safe for a person with a pacemaker to have a scan without complications. MRI, which uses a strong magnetic field to acquire images, could interfere with a pacemaker. If you have a pacemaker you should NOT go near the MRI machine.
Is the radiation from the CT exam dangerous?
The radiation received from a typical CT scan is about four times the natural radiation level received annually. We have the latest generation scanners which use a fraction of the radiation dose of older machines.
Can I talk during the exam?
You may speak to the technologist in between scans. It is very important that you remain still during the exam. If you have any concerns, the technologist or nurse will be on hand to answer all of your questions.
Are there any restrictions after the exam?
After the CT exam is completed and the technologist is sure enough information has been obtained, you may leave and go about your normal routines with no restrictions. If you have received contrast for your exam, you should drink plenty of liquids for the next 24 hours.