How Do I Prepare For A CT Scan
If your doctor has ordered a CT scan, you may be feeling anxious or confused about what to expect. However, there is no need to worry. CT scans are a safe and non-invasive technique for doctors to get a detailed look inside your body. Let us go over what a CT scan is, why your doctor may order one, and how to properly prepare for your appointment to alleviate any worries you may have.
What Is A CT Scan?
A computed tomography (CT) scan is a medical imaging technique that uses a series of X-rays and computer-assisted technology to create multiple, detailed images of the tissues, organs, and bones inside the body. These images, also known as slices, are combined to create a three-dimensional (3D) view of the area being scanned. A CT scan can be conducted on many parts of the human body including the arm, abdomen, chest, heart, leg, and pelvis. CT scans are used to diagnose a wide variety of conditions including injuries, infections, and tumors.
Why Would My Doctor Order A CT Scan?
Your doctor may order a CT scan if he/she suspects you have a condition that requires more details than a conventional X-ray provides. CT scans can detect and diagnose the source of many short-term and long-term conditions including:
- Blood clots or infections.
- Delicate fractures in the hands, feet, and spine.
- Issues with brain function.
- Tissue function and structures in the abdomen, chest, or pelvis.
- Tumors in the abdomen, chest, or pelvis.
- Trauma-related injuries, such as a car accident or sports injury.
- Vascular structures, functions, and conditions that contribute to heart and brain health.
A doctor may also order a CT scan to monitor the progress of treatment or prepare for surgery. For example, CT scans are often used to help guide biopsies (the removal and analysis of tissues sample) to help plan for surgical procedures, and to conduct volumetric studies such as bone density.
How Do I Prepare For My Appointment?
The preparation for a CT scan is a very simple and straightforward process. Before your appointment, you will receive specific instructions from your doctor and our team of experts at Larchmont Medical Imaging based on the area being scanned. However, there are general guidelines that should be followed.
- Please arrive at your appointment 10 – 15 minutes prior to the scheduled time.
- Please bring your insurance card, photo ID, and your cost-share (estimated deductible, co-insurance, or co-pay.)
- Update your doctor with any medications you are taking and any medical conditions you may have. Some medications including blood thinners, may need to be adjusted leading up to your appointment.
- Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.
- Avoid wearing any metal accessories such as jewelry, zippers, buttons, or belts. These accessories can interfere with the results of the study.
What Happens During A CT Scan?
When you arrive for your appointment, you will be checked in by one of our patient service representatives, who will review your prescription and insurance information. Afterward, one of our highly trained, CT technologists will escort you to a room where an available CT scanner is located. Once you enter the room, the CT technologist will instruct you to lie on a table that slides into a large, donut-shaped machine that is completely open in the back. On average, a CT scan takes around 30 minutes to complete.
We may administer contrast material orally or intravenously in some cases to better highlight certain areas of your body during the CT scan. We will inform you in advance of your appointment if your CT scan requires contrast. If you are allergic to contrast dye or have kidney problems, please inform your referring doctor before the day of your appointment.
When Do I Recieve My Results?
After your CT scan, one of our board-certified, subspecialized radiologists will analyze your results and develop a report to send to your doctor. The time it takes for your doctor to receive the results will depend on a few different factors including the complexity of the scan. In general, you can expect your doctor to receive the results and report within 48 hours. Once received, your doctor will reach out to you to follow up with the next steps. We will upload your results to our patient portal following completion, in addition to providing the report to your doctor.
Why Should I Get A CT Scan At Larchmont?
Larchmont Medical Imaging is your trusted medical imaging partner in the South Jersey and Philadelphia area. Across our four convenient locations, we offer CT imaging studies at costs up to 60% less than hospital-based imaging centers and are in-network with 99% of health insurance providers. With same-day and next-day appointment options with early morning and evening hours available, getting the compassionate care you need has never been easier.
To schedule your CT scan appointment, fill out our request an appointment form or reach out to any of the following locations below:
- Medford Office – Medford, NJ
- Mount Laurel Office – Mount Laurel, NJ
- Moorestown Office – Moorestown, NJ
- Willingboro Office – Willingboro, NJ
Meet our board-certified, subspecialized radiologists who read and interpret our studies at Larchmont Medical Imaging here.
A CT scan, or computed tomography scan, is a medical imaging technique that uses X-rays and computer-assisted technology to create detailed images of tissues, organs, and bones inside the body. These images are combined to create a 3D view of the scanned area. CT scans can be performed on various parts of the body and are used to diagnose conditions such as injuries, infections, and tumors.
Your doctor may order a CT scan if they need more detailed information than a conventional X-ray can provide. CT scans can help detect and diagnose conditions such as blood clots, infections, fractures, issues with brain function, abnormalities in the abdomen, chest, or pelvis, tumors, trauma-related injuries, and vascular conditions related to heart and brain health. They can also be used to monitor treatment progress or prepare for surgery.
Follow the specific instructions provided by your doctor and our team of experts based on the area being scanned. Generally, you should arrive 10-15 minutes prior to your scheduled time, bring your insurance card, photo ID, and cost-share payment, inform your doctor about any medications or medical conditions, wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothing, and avoid wearing metal accessories that can interfere with the scan.
When you arrive for your appointment, you’ll be checked in and guided to a room with a CT scanner. You’ll lie on a table that slides into the machine, which is open in the back. The CT technologist will operate the scanner from another room. The scan typically takes around 30 minutes to complete. In some cases, contrast material may be administered orally or intravenously to enhance the visibility of certain areas. Inform your referring doctor if you have allergies or kidney problems.
After your CT scan, our board-certified, subspecialized radiologists will analyze the results and develop a report for your doctor. The time it takes to receive the results depends on the complexity of the scan, but generally, your doctor can expect to receive the results and report within 48 hours. The results will be uploaded to the patient portal, and your doctor will follow up with you regarding the next steps.
Larchmont Medical Imaging is a trusted medical imaging partner in the South Jersey and Philadelphia area. We offer CT imaging studies at costs up to 60% less than hospital-based imaging centers and accept 99% of health insurance providers. With convenient locations and same-day and next-day appointment options, they prioritize compassionate care.