CT scanning is a sensitive diagnostic tool that uses X-rays to take a series of two dimensional cross-sectional images (‘slices’) around an axis. Also known as a CAT scan, it is used to image many conditions and injuries. Visit our Scan Glossary for details of conditions scans are used for.
It’s important that you tell us before the scan if you:
Is my CT scan covered by my health insurance plan?
It is best to contact your insurer directly to find out if your CT scan is covered by your plan on any of our sites.
Does a CT scan hurt?
No, a CT scan is a painless examination.
Why do I need to drink contrast?
The oral contrast fills the colon and small-bowel for better visualisation of the images.
Why do I need the IV contrast?
The IV contrast enhances all of the vascular structures on the images (i.e. liver, pancreas, kidneys). It will also characterise potential pathology.
Could I have a reaction to the IV contrast?
Yes, but the chances are minimal. It is the same risk for a reaction as any medication dose, which is why we use contrast screening forms – to flag possible patients who are at risk of having a reaction to the contrast.
Why is a head CT scan done must frequently without IV?
Most pathology can be detected in the brain without IV contrast. If there is a suspicion, contrast may be given, or an MRI might be suggested for further evaluation.
Is it okay that I took my medications this morning before I came?
Yes. Any type of medication is fine to take the morning before your exam. For patients who are NPO, please do not take any medication two hours before your exam. If you take a certain kind of diabetic medication you may be asked to withhold for 48 hours after the exam.
What is the CT scan going to show?
A CT scan is good way to image and evaluate bones, internal organs, the brain and vascular structures within the neck, chest, abdomen, and pelvis.