Cat Scans

Cat Scan Wrap

Computed Axial Tomography (CAT Scan) a method of body imaging in which a thin x-ray beam rotates around the patient. Small detectors measure the amount of x-rays that make it through the patient or particular area of interest. A computer analyzes the data to construct a 2-D cross-sectional image. In Addition, 2-D images can be reconstructed to form 3-D images for better visualization and interpretation. These images can be printed on film, saved to a CD, or stored on our on site storage in case of future needs.

How the test is performed:

  • You will be asked to lie on a table that slides into the center of the scanner. Depending on the study being performed, you may need to lie on your stomach, back, or side. If contrast dye is to be administered, an IV will be placed in a small vein of a hand or arm.
  • Much like standard photographic cameras, any motion you make causes blurred images in CT. Therefore, the CT technologist will give you instructions through an intercom on when to hold your breath and not move.
  • As the exam takes place, the table will advance small intervals through the scanner. Modern “spiral” scanners can perform the exam in one continuous motion. Generally, complete scans will only take a few minutes. However, additional contrast-enhanced or higher-resolution scans will add to the scan time.

How to prepare for the test:

  • You may be asked to drink contrast before the CT scan depending on which exam your doctor has prescribed. Our scheduling department will give you specific instructions if this is the case.
  • Since x-rays have difficulty passing through metal, the patient will be asked to remove jewelry and change into our comfortable scrubs during the study.

Why the test is performed:

  • CT provides rapid, detailed cross-sectional imaging of the patient which can then be reconstructed into three-dimensional models, as needed. Intravenous contrast enhanced scans allow for evaluation of vascular structures and further evaluation of masses and tumors.
  • CT is often utilized in the trauma setting to evaluate the brain, chest, and abdomen. As well, CT can be used to guide interventional procedures, such as biopsies and placement of drainage tubes.

Cat Scan Viewbox