Computerized Tomography (CT)
We are located on the first floor between the Emergency Department and Lab. Drive around past the ED entrance and turn Right into the Diagnostic Imaging parking lot. There is an Outpatient Diagnostic Imaging entrance that will bring you directly into the Registration area.
Hours of Operation
The CT department is open Monday through Friday from 7:00am to 4:00pm.
A physician's order is REQUIRED for your CT scan to be performed.
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Computerized Tomography (sometimes called CT scans or CAT scans) is a specialized form of Radiology. It uses radiation like regular X-rays to produce images of the body. These images show a cross-section of body tissues and organs.
Contrast materials are commonly used when performing CT scans. There are 2 types: Intravenous and Oral.
The oral contrast is used to enhance the visibility of the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine on the images. This contrast may be barium, iodine, or water. The patient must wait an hour after drinking the oral contrast before the scan is performed. This gives the contrast time to go through and coat the bowels in order to visualize them better on the scan.
Intravenous contrast is used to better visualize the blood vessels and organs. The technologist will screen you about certain medical conditions, allergies, and previous intravenous contrast problems. You may also be asked to have lab work done prior to having the IV contrast to check your kidney function. This is recommended on patients 50 years and older, or on patients with certain health problems.
If you have had any recent lab work done at your physician's office that included a Creatinine level, please bring a copy with you. If no contraindications exist, the tech will insert an IV catheter into a vein to administer the contrast. As the contrast goes through your veins, you may feel generalized warmth through the body or you may get a metallic taste in your mouth. These are normal experiences with the contrast. If you feel anything other than these two things, please tell the technologist right away.
It is possible to experience an allergic reaction to the IV contrast. The risk of allergic reaction is rare but may occur. Allergic reactions include: hives, itching, swelling of the throat, difficulty breathing, or death. The incidence of severe reaction is very low (4 in 10,000). Your doctor would have considered the benefit vs. risk ratio when they recommended this procedure.
If you are Diabetic and take Glucophage or any of the Metformin medications, you cannot resume taking these medications for 48 hours after the procedure. If you have any questions about your Diabetes medications, please ask the technologist.
Common CT Procedures and Preps
- Abdomen- Nothing to eat or drink after midnight.
- Abdomen and Pelvis- Nothing to eat or drink after midnight.
- Chest- Nothing to eat or drink after midnight.
- Brain (Head) - No Prep.
- Neck (Soft Tissue) - No Prep.
- Spine (Cervical, Thoracic, or Lumbar) - No Prep.
- Pelvis (Bone) - No Prep.
- Pelvis (Soft Tissue, Organs) - Nothing to eat or drink after midnight.
- Extremity- No Prep.
Certain insurances require preauthorization for CT scans. Please check with your insurance company to see if a preauthorization is required. If your insurance requires preauthorization and it was not given, you may be asked to sign an ABN stating that you are aware that your insurance will not pay and that you will be billed for the entire amount of the procedure. If you are scheduled for more than one body part, preauthorization must be obtained for each body part.
For example if you are scheduled for a CT of the Abdomen and Pelvis, two preauthorizations must be obtained, one for the Abdomen and one for the Pelvis since they are two separate body parts.
For additional information, please feel free to contact Diagnostic Imaging by phone or email.
Diagnostic Imaging/Radiology Services at TCRH