What is a CT Scan?

Computerized Tomography (CT) is an x-ray examination performed with a computerized x-ray scanning machine. The CT scan looks at the body in cross section. Using x-rays with an array of sensitive detectors the signals are channeled to a powerful computer within the scanner to build a detailed 2D and 3D image of a specific area of your body.

The CT machine is positioned around a table. The table moves through the circular hole in the center of the scanner. The CT machine is open at both ends so patients who are claustrophobic often have little difficulty with this test.


Things to Know

You may be asked to fast before the examination.

Please continue to take your regular medication unless otherwise advised. When you arrive, you may be asked to drink fluids for around 20 minutes before your scan.

A doctor’s referral is required in order to make a CT appointment. Please ensure you bring this with you to you on the day of your examination.

A radiographer will conduct your scan. You will be asked to lie very still for the examination, and you may be asked to hold your breath for a short time which stops the images from blurring. Most CT scans take from 5 to 20 minutes.

An injection of intravenous contrast may be given to you by the radiographer. This is used to provide more information when relevant.

You can eat and drink normally after your CT scan is finished.