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St. Mark's Hospital
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Taylorsville Emergency Center
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What is a CT Exam?

A CT or a CAT scan combines X-ray equipment with computers to produce multiple images of the inside of your body. CT exams produce detailed organ studies by stacking individual image slices.

What can I expect?

You will be asked to lie down on the table while the CT technologist positions the study area. While the images are being acquired, the table will move through the large opening of the scanner. The x-ray tube will rotate around you taking several images of your body. It is important to hold still in order to obtain clear diagnostic images.

It is common for CT exams to be ordered with contrast. Contrast material improves the examined organ's visibility. Contrast material is injected into the veins and sometimes makes patients feel warm or flush for a short period of time; contrast can also be taken orally before the exam begins.

How long does the exam take?

Most exams take 15-20 minutes to complete.

What should I do before the exam?

Preparations are minimal, you may be asked not to eat or drink for four to six hours prior to the exam. Every exam is different, each patient will receive specific instructions prior to the examination.

After the exam

The radiologist will send a report to your doctor after the images have been studied. Your doctor will then explain any results found.