Computerized Axial Technologies (CAT scanning) are available Monday thru Thursday 7am-5pm and Friday 7am to 1pm. This department is also staffed on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week for emergency needs.
CT scans produce detailed images of internal organs by using a type of sophisticated x-ray device. The CT scan can show details of organs that are not seen in traditional x-rays. This aids physicians in diagnosing disease, viewing internal abnormalities, and assessing the extent of trauma.
CT scans are painless and, with newer machines, take only a few minutes. Typically, the whole procedure takes about 30 minutes. Radiation from a CT scan is much higher than a traditional x-ray, but the information gained is also much greater.
During the CT scan
CT scanners are shaped like a large doughnut standing on its side. You lie on a narrow, motorized table that slides through the opening. Straps and pillows may be used to hep you stay in position. During a head scan, the table may be fitted with a special cradel that holds your head still.
While the table moves you into the scanner, detectros and the x-ray tube rotate around you. Each rotation yields several images of thing slices of your body. You may hear buzzing, clicking and whirring noises.
A technologist in a separate room can see and hear you. You will be able to communicate with the technologist via intercom. The technologist may ask you to hold your breath at certain points to avoid blurring the images.
A special dye called a contrast material is needed for some CT scans, to help highlight the areas of your body being examined. The contrast material blocks x-rays and appears white on images, which can help emphasize blood vessels, intestines or other structures.
Contrast material might be given to you:
By mouth: if your esophagus or stomach is being scanned, you may need to swallow a liquid that contains contrast material. This drink may taste slightly unpleasant.
By injection: contrast agesnts can be injected through a vein in your arm to help your gallbladder, urinary tract, liver or blood vessels stand out on the images. You may experience a feeling of warmth during the injection or a metallic taste in your mouth.
How to Prepare
Depending on the location being scanned, patients maybe asked to remove some or all clothing and wear a hospital gown as well as remove all metal objects, ie: a belt, eyeglasses, jewelry, or detures. It is also recommended that you do not eat or drink for a few hours before most scans.
After the CT Scan
After the scan you can return to your normal routine. You'll likely be told to drink lots of fluid to help your kidneys remove the contrast material from your body if it was necessary.
CT images are stored as electronic data files and are reviewed on a computer screen. A radiologist interprets these images and sends a written report to your doctor.
ALL EXAMS REQUIRE A WRITTEN ORDER FROM A PHYSICIAN. WE WILL ACCEPT ORDERS FROM PHYSICIANS IN GOOD STANDING AND LICENSED TO PRACTICE MEDICINE IN THE STATES OF KANSAS AND OKLAHOMA.