What is a CT scan?
CT (computerised tomography) is a scanning technique that uses X-rays to produce cross sectional images. CT equipment has sophisticated electronic detectors and computer analysis that produces images which show a much greater array of tissue densities that conventional x-ray. This allows improved differentiation of organs from each other and of pathological processes such as tumour or fluid collection.
What happens during a CT scan?
During a CT scan the patient lies on a table that is moved into the centre of the scanner gantry which looks like a giant polo. Inside the scanner gantry the x-ray tube and detector spin around very fast acquiring data from every angle which is combined by computer to produce slice images.
CT scans are quite fast and it is important to lie very still during the process. At certain points in the scan, you may be asked to hold your breath. The procedure can take from 5 to 20 minutes depending on the type of examination needed. During the scan the radiographers looking after you will ensure that you are as comfortable as possible.
It is very common for a contrast agent (dye) to be used during a CT scan. It is used to enhance the images and make certain things show up more clearly. The contrast is usually given as an injection into a vein in the arm or hand and will be passed out naturally in the urine.
Preparing for a CT scan
Before having your scan, you will be asked some screening questions about your health. This helps ensure that it is safe for you to have a CT scan.
If you normally take medication, continue to take this as usual, unless you doctor tells you not to.
You may be asked to follow special fasting and drinking instructions before your CT scan. Your appointment letter will explain how you need to prepare. If you have any concerns or questions contact one of the radiographers in the diagnostic imaging department
The Montefiore Hospital has invested in a Siemens SOMATOM CT scanner which provides a combination of high-end imaging and patient comfort. CT scans are safe and painless but involve exposure to ionising X-ray radiation.
Siemens has led the way in developing technology to reduce the dose without compromising the image quality. The SOMATOM has a range of features that actively reduces the dose according to patient size and needs.
Having a CT scan at The Montefiore Hospital
At The Montefiore Hospital you can be treated even if you don't have private medical insurance. With a fixed price agreed in advance you can pay for one-off private treatment when you need it. Please note; a referral from your consultant is required before we can book a CT scan.
For more information or to book an appointment, please call our diagnostics team on 01273 828 088.
Cardiac CT scanning
The Montefiore Hospital also offer specialist cardiac CT scans for patients. Find out more about Cardiac CT by clicking here.