A CT (Computed Tomography) is a type of imaging that uses x-rays to takes pictures of your body. It can be used to study all parts of the body, including extremities, organs, blood vessels, and bones. CT scans are fast, painless, noninvasive and accurate. With each rotation of the gantry (x-ray source), a thin image of your child is created similar, to slices of bread. These images can be reformatted to view the area at different angles, and can even generate 3D images.
Why is a CT Scan Used?
Since CT scans are so accurate and fast, CT is the preferred methods of imaging patients with sudden symptoms and trauma. CT is often used to detecting and staging different cancers and vascular diseases.
What can I Expect Before a CT Scan?
There are no special preparations for a CT scan. Depending on the body part, you may be given an oral contrast to drink. The contrasts allow for certain areas of the body to show better on the images.
This contrast can be mixed with the beverage of his/her choice. Depending on the reason for the CT scan, an IV contrast may be required.
What can I Expect During the Exam?
The CT scanner is shaped like a large donut machine. It is a large circle with a bed that rides in and out of it. You will lie on your back. Straps and pillows may be used to help you maintain still and in the correct position. If IV contrast is needed, a small needle still will occur in order to do the injection of contrast. The scanner moves in and out of the scanner in order to take images.
What can I Expect After a CT Scan?
The technologist will give you specific home instructions for your child.
A report of the CT scan will be sent to your child’s doctor within 48 hours. The doctor will explain the test results and the plan for medical care.
If you have any questions, be sure to ask your doctor or nurse, or call the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Imaging Department at (614) 722-2645.