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CT - Procedures

  1. Patient will be asked to lie on the scanner table. The part of the body to be scanned will be positioned in the middle of the large ring-shaped machine. It is essential that the patient lie very still during the procedure to prevent motion blurring. Doctors may consider giving sedatives to patients who have difficulty lying still such as small children.
  2. The table moves slowly for each sectional image are made. A radiographer watches the procedure from a window and views the images on a computer screen. Generally, patients are alone during the procedure, though exceptions are sometimes made for pediatric patients. A parent will be required to wear a lead apron to prevent radiation exposure. Communication is possible via an intercom system.
  3. Patients will usually be given a hospital gown to wear during the procedure. All metal should be removed to avoid artifacts on the image. Depending on the type of study, patients may also be required to remove hairpins, jewelry, eyeglasses, hearing aids and dentures.
  4. The examination time will vary in length depending on the area being imaged. Average study times range from 15 to 30 minutes. Following the procedure, films of the images are usually printed for the radiologist and referring physician to review. A radiologist can also interpret CT exams on the computer screen.
  5. Immediately following the exam, a nurse will observe the patient for possible adverse contrast reactions for about 10 minutes before he can leave the department. Patients are instructed to advise the radiographer or nurse of any symptoms, particularly respiratory difficulty. The site of contrast injection may feel tender for a while following the exam.