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 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.
This form of diagnostic imaging is also used to assess cancer development. More specifically, CT scans are frequently ordered to examine tumor 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 in addition to our diagnostic scans. 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 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.
- 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.
Planning your next appointment? Learn more about Computed Tomography exam preparation and get directions to our CT clinic.