A CT scanner utilizes x-rays in a 360-degree rotation and then applies a computer algorithm to create a representation of the body part in question. At St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, we use state-of-the-art computed tomography (CT) dose reduction software with the latest reconstruction techniques to analyze images in multiple planes and formats including 3D reconstruction to optimize the accuracy of each diagnosis.
A CT scan uses x-ray images with the aid of a computer to generate cross-sectional and, in some cases, 3-D views of the body. Think of the CT images as viewing a loaf of bread. With all the slices together, you can see the entire loaf. However, if you want to look at each slice, you have the ability to see what is inside the loaf. When all the slices are added together again, you have that 3-D view.
Occasionally, contrast may be given to further enhance the scan and various structural relationships. This is usually painless and may involve drinking a solution before your CT scan. You may also require intravenous (IV) contrast for your exam. In this case you will be given an IV before your exam for the contrast to be administered. When the IV contrast is administered, it is very common to feel a warm rush throughout your body.
Most procedures take 5 to 15 minutes and are relatively painless. Your technologist will make you as comfortable as possible.