What is a CT scan?

A CT scan is a painless diagnostic procedure that uses x-rays from a device that rotates around you, allowing the creation of 2D images through the body in any directional plane. 3D images can also be created to help demonstrate various aspects of your body.



Important information

Please notify one of our staff if there is a chance you could be pregnant. Most CT imaging tests will be delayed if you are pregnant. However if a CT is absolutely necessary, all possible precautions will be used to decrease the radiation dose to the foetus.


Please bring with you all your previous medical imaging results and images. This is very important as it allows our Radiologists to accurately report on the progress of your medical condition.



Preparation for a CT scan

The preparation for a CT exam depends on the type of exam that has been requested. Usually you will be required to remove all jewellery and some clothing from the area to be examined and you may need to wear a gown during the exam.


If your examination could possibly require an IV contrast injection, you will be asked to fast for 4 hours. You may also need to drink an oral contrast or water mixture for one hour prior to the exam if your study involves looking at your abdomen.


For your examination, one of our helpful staff members will discuss with you any specific instructions that is required.



During the CT exam

Most exams only take between 10-20mins. The Medical Imaging Technologist, will position you in a specific position but for most studies, it usually involves lying on one’s back with either head or feet towards the CT machine. You will need to stay completely still and may need to suspend breathing for a few seconds while the CT scan is performed.


If your examination requires an IV contrast injection, this usually will give you the feeling of a ‘warm flushing sensation’ that lasts for only a short amount of time. The iodinated contrast injection is used to make vessels and organs distinct from the surrounding tissue creating a more diagnostic image.



After the CT exam

The Radiologist, who is a specialist in interpreting medical images, will review the images taken and prepare a report for your Referring Doctor. Your Referring Doctor after reading the report will discuss with you the results of the imaging examination.