Imaging Associates features the latest CT technology. Our 64- and 40-slice CT scanners have multiple dose protection features that enable us to produce accurate, high-quality images with less exposure and shorter examination times.
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For more details, check out our individual procedure and information pages:
What You Should Know
What is Computed Tomography?
Computed Tomography (CT), also known as computerized tomography or computed axial tomography (CAT), is an advanced X-ray technology that produces a sequence of detailed cross-sectional images of the interior of the head, spine, chest, abdomen or other areas of the body. The complex images are produced by rotating a focused X-ray beam around the patient and taking these X-ray images from numerous angles, guided by a computer. CT examinations produce detailed organ studies by capturing multiple individual image “slices.”
How do I prepare for my CT scan?
Depending on the type of CT that you’ll be having, you may need to avoid food or drink. If we are scanning your abdomen or pelvis area, you may also need to drink a contrast agent to help us get a better image. Instructions for this will be provided to you in advance, but usually it involves drinking a small bottle of the oral contrast agent the night before, then 2/3 of a bottle an hour before your exam and the last portion as you are instructed after your arrival. If you have not received instructions from your doctor or our office prior to your exam, be sure to call us. You should continue medications as prescribed by your doctor unless informed otherwise. Diabetic patients may need to delay their medication until after they have eaten in order to avoid an insulin reaction.
What should I expect during my CT?
You may be asked to wear a hospital gown or scrubs and may have to remove items such as glasses, jewelry, dentures, hearing aids, etc. Women should always inform their technologist if there is any possibility of pregnancy.
During the exam you will lie on a table that will move you into the doughnut-shaped scanner. For most CT exams, the scan itself takes less than 20 seconds. Time in the tube is minimal. Your technologist will watch you through an observation window and will be able to communicate with you at all times. You may hear humming, buzzing, or clicking sounds as the CT machine rotates around the table you’re lying on, gathering its data. Your technologist may also reposition you for additional images.
CT scans are painless, but some exams require injection of a contrast agent through an IV. Remaining still is very important in order to obtain the best images possible.
When scanning is complete, the technologist will return to help you from the table. You may resume your normal diet unless otherwise instructed by your doctor or if you have other exams to follow. To help eliminate contrast agents from the body, it is best to drink plenty of fluids following the exam. Your exam will take about 30 minutes, after which you will be able to return to your normal activities (while adhering to any instructions your doctor may have given you).
What about contrast injections?
CT contrast is an organically bound iodine material that is used to make some abnormalities easier to see. Imaging Associates uses only non-ionic contrast (the safest kind). As with all contrast agents, there is a potential for an allergic reaction, so be sure to tell your technologist if you’ve had a reaction to contrast in the past or if you are particularly sensitive to medications. If you take Glucophage, Glucovance, or any other type of metformin medication to regulate your diabetes, you will need to stop taking it for 48 hours after your exam. (Check with your doctor.)
How do I get the results?
A final report, produced by one of Alaska Radiology Associate’s local specialized radiologists, will be available for most exams within two hours. Questions about your results should be directed to your referring health care provider. For any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us directly.
Who do I contact with questions?
Questions about the results of your exam should be directed to your primary health care provider. For any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us directly.