Computer Tomography (CT) machines take a series of images of the body to build a 3-D internal image.
The CT scanner consists of a “doughnut” shaped structure called the gantry. The gantry contains an x-ray tube and detectors, as well as a table on which you will lie. During the scan the table will move automatically through the gantry. You may hear the movement of the x-ray tubes as they rotate around the part of your body to be examined, but it will not touch you. You will be monitored at all times. You may be asked to hold your breath during the scan. After the scan you can relax and breathe normally, but it is important to remain in the same position and not to move about.
The time for your scan is usually less than 30 seconds and the length of the entire examination varies but is usually completed within 10 – 15 minutes to allow time for our medical technolgists to discuss the procedure with you.
Usually there is not much preparation involved. Our staff will advise you when you make your appointment.
Intravenous (IV) contrast is used in some CT examinations to allow further clarification of structures and tissues to allow for an accurate diagnosis. At Nepean Radiology we use the most advanced form of contrast available called “non-ionic” contrast which has far fewer side effects and reactions.
Our medical technologist will discuss this with you before your examination. You may also be asked to fast for a short period of time before your scan.
If you are allergic to iodine you should inform the staff, as you will not be given contrast.
Please inform our staff if you think you might be pregnant before your scan.
You will be advised by our reception staff if you require any special preparation when you make your appointment.
Side effects from having a CT scan are very rare. If you need to have an injection of contrast medium it is quite normal to experience a warm flush or a metallic taste in your mouth, this is usually transient last less than a minute. Most people experience nothing at all.
If you have an allergy to Iodine based IV contrast, you must inform our medical imaging technolgists as reactions can vary from mild to severe.
Allergies to IV contrast can sometimes occur the first time you are having your injection but are very rare. Our staff are well trained in managing this.
People can be allergic to almost anything, including dust mites, bee stings, grass, pollens, antibiotics or even chocolate. Allergies to IV contrast are rare the most common form of allergy is a transient itchy rash. Sometimes people feel breathless. Very rarely a worse allergy can result called anaphylaxis, this is a dangerous condition. All these conditions can be treated immediately. At Nepean Radiology, there are always experienced medical staff available to manage adverse effects.
Again, it is important to stress that these reactions are rare. Serious reactions occur in the order of 1 in 100,000 injections.
Please remember to bring all previous x-rays and imaging investigations with you to your appointment