Computed Tomography (CT)

What is CT?

Sioux Center Health offers a 32-slice GE scanner.

CT is an imaging test that uses X-rays and a computer to make detailed cross-sectional images of the body. A CT scan shows information about injuries, diseases, or abnormalities of bones, muscles, fat, and organs. In an emergency, CT can be used to evaluate internal injuries and bleeding quickly.

CT may be done with or without contrast. Contrast may either be taken by mouth or injected through an IV line. Contrast is beneficial for highlighting organs/tissues during the study, showing abnormalities in organs, or following the function of organs as contrast filters through them.

Why would I need a CT?

CT can be utilized for multiple reasons. A CT scan may be done when an exam (such as an X-ray) does not give enough information to your doctor. CT may also be ordered to look for bony damage, lesions, fractures, abdominal abnormalities, or other problems.

How do you prepare for your CT?

Your healthcare provider will explain the procedure to you and give you a chance to ask any questions.

Depending on the exam, you might need to fast and drink oral contrast the night before the exam. Your healthcare provider will give you special instructions ahead of time if contrast is to be used and if you will need to withhold food/drink.

Inform the technologist if you are pregnant or if you think you may be.

What happens during my CT?

You will be asked to remove any clothing, jewelry, or other objects that may interfere with the scan, depending on which body part is being imaged. We will provide a gown if you need to change.

We will have you lie on a narrow scan table for the exam and the table will move in and out of the CT gantry during the scan. You may hear clicking or whirring noises, which are normal. You may also be given breathing instructions during the exam.

If you will need to have intravenous contrast, an IV will be started in your hand or arm. When it is time to use the contrast, a technologist will be in the room with you. You may feel a warm flushing sensation, a salty metallic taste in the mouth, or nausea. These effects usually last a few moments, or not at all.

Inform the technologist if you have trouble breathing or experience sweating or a racing heart.

If you have any questions please inform the technologist.