WHAT IS COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY?
Computed Tomography (CT/CAT Scan) Combines special X-ray equipment with sophisticated computers to produce multiple cross sectional detailed images of the inside of the body.
- CT equipment uses radiation and a computer to generate detailed images of structures inside your body to identify injuries or diseases present in your body.
- Organs, bone, soft tissues, and blood vessels can be visualized.
- Reconstructions can be done to view body structures in different planes. (top to bottom, front to back, side to side)
- Images are obtained in various thickness slices to be viewed individually, like taking a loaf of bread and dividing into slices.
HOW TO PREPARE
- You will need a referral note from a specialist for a CT procedure.
- CT examinations require authorisation from your medical aid which our Practice will obtain. You remain responsible for any shortfall or non-payment by the medical aid.
- Private patients are expected to pay for the procedure on the day of the procedure.
- This procedure uses radiation and therefore should not be done on pregnant women unless essential for treatment.
- Some of the CT procedure may require an injection for contrast or oral contrast to be taken before the scan can be done.
- Please indicate any allergies and impaired renal function to the radiographer. Also indicate to the radiographer if you previously had a reaction to contrast, in which case you may receive treatment to minimise your chance of an allergic reaction.
- You may be asked to complete a questionnaire relevant to your procedure. Please do so honestly.
WHAT TO EXPECT
- The procedure will take between 10 and 30 minutes depending on the type of procedure
- You may be asked to change into a procedure gown for the examination.
- You will be placed on the bed that will move through the CT scanner. The Scanner is shaped like a donut and open on both ends.
- You must lie very still while the bed moves through the CT Scanner. You may be given breathing instructions during the scan.
- It is not a painful procedure.
- If your procedure requires contrast, a needle will be placed into a vein through which the contrast will be injected. When the contrast is injected it will create a metal taste under your tongue and warm sensations over your body. You may also feel the urge to empty your bladder, but it is only a sensation and will pass after a few seconds.
- In some procedures a catheter may be required to be placed in your bladder or rectum for contrast to be filling your rectum or bladder. (CT Colonoscopy and CT Post Brachy therapy). The placement of the catheter will be done by a trained nurse or the radiologist and with much discretion as possible.
- The results following your CT examination should be ready within 1½ hours of the procedure being completed. Your doctor will discuss the results with you.
- You may resume normally following the procedure.