Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

A Computed tomography (CT) scan – also known as Computed Axial Tomography or a CAT scan – combines special X-ray equipment with sophisticated computers to produce high-resolution, cross-sectional images of the body. It is also possible to create three-dimensional images.

CT technology is used to diagnose abnormalities and pathology in almost any body part and tissue, including your brain, spine, musculoskeletal, lung, abdomen, pelvis and blood vessels. Your test may require an oral or intravenous contrast medium (dye) to be used to enhance images of organs and blood vessels within the body.

The exam is performed by an x-ray technologist, who has had special training in CT scanning, and the images are analyzed and reported on by a radiologist.

What We Offer

  • Imaging of internal body parts and organs
  • Guided biopsies and other procedures (abscess drainages and/or minimally invasive tumours)
  • Determining results from surgery (organ transplants and/or gastric bypasses)

Patient preparation

  • Bring all previous films done outside our facility.
  • CT scans may include the use of X-ray contrast, or a contrast drink.
  • If you have a known allergy to X-ray contrast dye please notify your physician.
  • Arrive wearing comfortable clothing and no jewelry.
  • Refer to the back of your requisition or ask your physician if there are any other specific preparations required for your procedure.

Specific Preparations

Head, Neck and Chest

Preparation

  • Do not eat solids four hours before your CT scan
  • You may have clear fluids such as coffee, tea, water or apple juice up to two hours before your scan
  • You must arrive 30 minutes before your appointment to register
  • Medications should be taken as prescribed, unless otherwise instructed by the Diagnostic Imaging Department
  • If you are diabetic or taking Metformin or Glucophage, and will be receiving intravenous x-ray dye, consult your attending physician as the medication should be withheld for 48 hours following the exam

Post-Exam Care

  • If intravenous dye was not required for your exam, you will be discharged immediately
  • If intravenous dye was used, you will remain in the CT area for 15 minutes for post-injection monitoring. After discharge, you are encouraged to drink plenty of fluids, but otherwise able to resume normal activities.

Abdomen/Pelvis

Preparation

  • Do not eat solids for four hours before your CT scan
  • You may have clear fluids such as coffee, tea, water or apple juice up to two hours before your scan
  • You may be required to arrive 90 minutes before your appointment for preparation, which may include oral contrast to coat your bowel loops
  • Medications should be taken as prescribed, unless otherwise instructed by the Diagnostic Imaging Department
  • If you are diabetic or taking Metformin or Glucophage, and will be receiving intravenous x-ray dye, consult your attending physician as the medication should be withheld for 48 hours following the exam

Post-Exam Care

  • If intravenous dye was not required for your exam, you will be discharged immediately
  • If intravenous dye was used, you will remain in the CT area for 15 minutes for post-injection monitoring. After discharge, you are encouraged to drink plenty of fluids, but otherwise able to resume normal activities.

CT Renal Colic Scan, Spine and Extremities

Preparation

  • You must arrive 15 minutes before your appointment to register
  • No other preparation is required

Resources

Where to Find Us

Birchmount hospital
Main Floor
416-495-2480
Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Centenary hospital
Main Floor, Diagnostic Imaging
416-284-8131 ext. 4135

General hospital
East Wing, First Floor
416-431-8107 ext. 6704
Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.