Computed Tomography (CT)
A computed tomography (CT) scan produces incredibly detailed, cross-sectional images of your body for a more accurate assessment of your internal tissues and organs. The procedure uses computer processing to generate 3-D (three-dimensional) images from X-rays taken in a helical (spiral) fashion around your body. These individual cross-sectional images are often referred to as “slices” and are particularly useful when examining soft tissue and blood vessels. Occasionally, iodinated contrast (X-ray dye) is used to enhance image detail. Our radiologist will determine if the contrast is needed; if so, it will be injected intravenously through the arm.
A CT scan helps our radiologists diagnose a wide range of abnormalities. Insight Medical Imaging performs CT scans to study the abdomen, brain, spine, chest, pelvis, kidneys, lungs, bones, soft tissue, and more.
CT scans are an excellent option for patients who do not qualify for MRI scans as their pacemakers, aneurysm clips, or metal implant(s) may pose a threat to their general health and well-being under specific magnetic exposure.
Computed tomography is also used to assess cancer development. More specifically, computed tomography scans are frequently ordered to examine tumour shape, size, location, and nearby organs and to evaluate the impact of treatment methods such as chemotherapy.
Insight Medical Imaging also provides screening CT scans with our diagnostic imaging services at our West Edmonton Meadowlark Diagnostic Imaging Centre. These preventative imaging scans examine your heart, circulatory system, lungs, and colon for early detection of diseases such as cancer before they become clinically apparent.
What To Expect During A CT Scan
Before the exam, you may be given a gown or scrubs to change into, depending on the body part under examination. A technologist will take you into our CT room and position you on the bed for your scan.
Our 64-slice Canon scanner is very quick; most scans take less than 30 minutes. More complex exams, such as whole-body CTs, can take approximately 60 minutes.
If our radiologist decides contrast is required, it will be injected intravenously through your arm during the exam. You may feel a warming sensation from the contrast.
Very rarely, iodinated contrast can cause an allergic reaction, most commonly resulting in hives or a rash. Before your computed tomography exam, please let your technologist know if you have an iodine allergy.
Some of our screening scans, such as virtual colonoscopy, coronary calcium scoring, coronary CT angiography, and lung CT scans, will have slightly different procedures and preparation. If you have any questions about CT imaging, you can reach out to one of our patient care coordinators or contact our team today.
How Much Does a CT Cost?
The cost for a CT typically ranges from $250 to $975, but this price may vary if additional sequences are needed to provide a complete exam. Our exam prices are very competitive and we make every effort to provide you with an accurate cost estimate.
While community-based services such as private CT are not covered by Alberta Health Care, certain insurance or employer benefit plans with a health spending account may cover either a large portion or possibly the entire scan cost.
More specific information on CT pricing can be found below. Please note that contrast is included and that our pricing is subject to change without notice.
CT Price List
|Head (with contrast)||$500|
|Neck Soft Tissue||$500|
|CTA Head and Neck||$575|
|Chest (low dose, lung cancer screening)||$450|
|Chest (routine, non-contrast)||$500|
|Chest (with contrast)||$600|
|Chest (pulmonary embolism)||$600|
|CTA Chest/ Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm (gated)||$650|
|CTA Chest/Abdomen/Pelvis (dissection, non-gated)||$975|
|Cardiac Calcium Scoring||$400|
|Renal Colic (low-dose)||$400|
|Arthrogram (Private - injection paid by AHS)||$600|
|Arthrogram (Third Party)||$850|
For more information, speak to our Central Booking department at 780-669-2222.
Prices subject to change at any time without notice.
- It is crucial that you are not pregnant, as the scanner emits ionizing radiation.
- Please let our team know if you are breastfeeding, as this will influence the administration of contrast.
- At the time of booking, tell us if you are taking Glucophage (Metformin), are diabetic, or have experienced previous renal failure, myeloma, pheochromocytoma, or allergies to iodine compounds.
- Note that CT exams performed outside of the hospital are a private service and costs are not reimbursed by Alberta Health Services.
Computed Tomography FAQs
A computed tomography (CT) scan uses X-rays to produce incredibly detailed, cross-sectional images of your body for a more accurate assessment of your internal tissues and organs. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses radiology to form pictures of areas inside the body. CT is an excellent option for patients who do not qualify for MRI scans because they have certain pacemakers or aneurysm clips or a metal implant in their body that is not safe under specific magnetic exposure.
No, a CT scan does not hurt. If a dye is used, you may feel a quick sting or pinch when the IV is started. The dye may make you feel warm and flushed and give you a metallic taste in your mouth. The experts at Insight Medical Imaging work to make you feel as comfortable as possible throughout the procedure.
CT scans do not take very long and can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes. The time is dependent on the specific area of the body being scanned, and the type of dye used- it often takes more time to get one into position when constraint dye is used. Our specialists at Insight Medical Imaging walk you through the whole process.
Generally, you do not need to fast prior to a CT scan. Your doctor will provide you with any special instructions ahead of time so as to relieve any questions. Additionally, specific exam preparation instructions will be sent to you after booking our exam with Insight.
No, since CT uses x-rays to acquire the images, only the person having the exam is in the room during imaging. Any friends, family, or acquaintances are free to wait outside due to the restrictions put in place during the pandemic. Our technicians, however, will be close by.
Yes, you are free to talk during the course of the CT scan. If you have any questions, or simply wish to pass the time, our technicians will be right there. However, it is very important to stay very still so as to capture the image correctly.
Insight Medical Imaging works meticulously to ensure that the health and safety of all of our patients and staff are guaranteed during the imaging process. Generally speaking, should our radiologist deem a contrast injection to be necessary to take the best possible images for your diagnostic or medical scans, it will be injected intravenously through your arm during the exam.
To help the iodine-based contrast leave your body, we recommend that you increase your fluid intake after your exam.
For patients who require frequent imaging exams, Insight works diligently to ensure that radiation exposure is kept as low as reasonably achievable. To learn more about how we follow ALARA principles and what protective measures we have in place, please review our article on Protecting Patients Who Need Frequent Medical Imaging!
At Insight Medical Imaging, we are committed to ensuring that you are provided with the best medical diagnostic imaging services possible while in our care, and this includes looking out for your health and safety. We follow Health Canada’s guidelines for radiation safety and have policies in place to keep everyone safe during your exam. Some of the steps we take to protect you during your computed tomography include:
- Limiting the size of x-ray beams and restricting imaging to only the diagnostic area of interest
- Providing patients with protective shielding to limit bodily radiation exposure
- Specialized equipment for children to ensure their exposure is kept at a bare minimum
Planning your next appointment? Learn more about Computed Tomography exam preparation and get directions to our CT clinic.
Whole Body CT
Spine CT - Cervical, Lumbar, Thoracic
Coronary Calcium Score
Coronary Angiogram CT
Recent News & Daily Insights