CT scan (computerized tomography)
During this test, the patient lies in a doughnut-shaped machine that takes pictures of the body. The scanner is used in combination with a digital computer to create "slices" of different organs of the body, making it possible to detect diseases sooner than with a regular X-ray.
To prepare for a CT scan
Wear loose, comfortable clothing free of metal snaps and zippers, if possible. When you arrive, your child will be asked to remove metallic jewelry, watches, hair pins, hearing aids, removable dental work and glasses if they are in the area being scanned.
If your child is having a CT scan of the abdominal area, they may need to drink a liquid contrast. This will be given to them, with instructions, in advance. Your child may be asked to not eat or drink anything for four hours before their scan. Your child's health care provider will instruct you which medications, if any, cannot be taken.
The scan typically takes 30 minutes or less. Your child will be asked to hold very still in specific positions as instructed by a technologist. Your child may be asked to hold their breath during some scans to reduce blurring on the images. If the scan requires the use of a contrast, your child may be given another contrast material during the scan by IV injection. This may make your child feel warm inside, but the sensation only lasts a few moments and is not painful. After the scan, your child will be asked to drink plenty of fluids.
The CT scanner at HSHS St. Vincent Hospital is American College of Radiology (ACR) accredited.