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Diagnostic Services

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CT Scan

What is a CT Scan?

A CT Scan, also known as a Computerized Assisted Tomography (CAT) Scan is a detailed, fast and non-invasive diagnostic medical test that can play an important role in helping your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

MD (multi-detector) CT imaging combines the use of a rotating x-ray tube, multiple rows of image detectors, a moving scanning bed and computers to obtain cross-sectional images, or “slices,” of an area of the body. From these images the CT computer can create multi-dimensional views of the area scanned. Our 3-D computer can provide additional in-depth clinical evaluations, when needed.

It should be noted that our Radiologists and technologists are Board Certified and trained in CT scanning to use the least amount of x-rays (radiation) to obtain the best diagnostic images.

What to Expect During Your CT Scan

CT scans take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. A CT technologist will bring you into the room and ask a few questions regarding your medical history, explain your CT procedure and answer any questions you may have.

Depending on the type of CT scan your doctor has ordered you may receive an injection of intravenous iodinated contrast material inserted through a vein in your arm. This contrast agent can provide a more detailed view of certain areas of the body. It is common to feel a warm flush throughout the body and a slight metallic taste during the injection.

During the scan you will lie down on a cushioned CT scanning bed which moves in and out of the donut shaped scanner. You will be asked to hold still during the study, and may even be asked to hold your breath during certain scans.

Although the technologist will be monitoring from outside the room during the scan, they will be speaking to you throughout the procedure, and can see and hear you at all times.

After the test, you may resume your normal diet and activities.

The CT scan will be read by our Radiologists, and their report will go to your doctor so the results can be discussed with you. A CD or films of your scan will be given to you upon your doctor’s request.

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Preparing for Your Visit

General Instructions:
Patients should plan to arrive 15 minutes before their scheduled appointment.

Please bring a form of photo identification, any prescriptions from your physician, referrals, insurance information, and any medical records that have been requested. Before scheduling your appointment please contact your healthcare insurance carrier for preauthorization if needed.

Below are some general guidelines to help patients prepare for their exam. Many procedures require patients to follow specific instructions beforehand. Those instructions are given to each patient and confirmed via phone by one of our staff members before their appointment.

Always follow the instructions provided specifically for you.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your procedure and how to prepare for it, please call our office at 610-691-8931.

Preparing for Your Exam:
We recommend wearing comfortable clothing, free of metal in the area being scanned. The day of the scan, patient scrub tops and pants will be provided to you if needed.

Most CT scans will require you to avoid eating solid foods for 3 hours prior to your appointment.

Depending on the type of scan you are having done, you may be asked to drink an oral contrast liquid (CT barium) 3 hours and 1 hour prior to the exam, with water to follow the barium. The oral contrast (CT barium) may be provided by your doctor’s office or may be picked up at our office prior to your appointment.

The oral contrast (CT barium and water) is used in a CT scan to outline the stomach and intestines.

  • An injected iodinated contrast material may be administered depending on the CT scan. This outlines the blood vessels and organs. We may need blood work results if the injected contrast material is being used, specifically Bun and Creatinine levels (kidney function tests) on patients who meet one or more of the following criteria:
  • » Patient is 70 + years old.
  • » Patient is diabetic.
  • » Patient is hypertensive (high blood pressure).
  • » Patient is in kidney failure or has known kidney function disease.
  • » Patient is in congestive heart failure.

We require Bun and Creatinine labs that are 6 months old or less.

Diabetic patients taking specific oral anti-diabetic medications will be given a list of these meds by the CT technologist along with post-CT instructions, if an injection of contrast is used.

If you know of a prior allergy to the iodinated contrast material, please inform your doctor or our schedulers prior to your CT appointment so that proper pre-medication can be prescribed to be taken 24 hours before the scan, if needed. The CT technologist will always ask for allergy information at the time of your scan. If you are pregnant, or a nursing mother please inform the schedulers when making your appointment.

Specific written instructions are given to each patient and confirmed via phone by one of the CT technologists the day before the scan is to be done.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your CT Scan, please feel free to call our office at 610-691-8931 and discuss your concerns with our technologist.

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