CT Scan (Computed Tomography Scan)

What is a CT scan?

A computerized tomography (CT) scan is a special kind of X-ray that can produce 3-D pictures of a cross section of the body. CT scans are also called "CAT" scans, which stands for "computerized axial tomography."

Why are CT scans used?

CT scans are used for many diagnostic procedures. CT head scans may detect or rule out tumors, blood clots, enlarged ventricles and other disorders. CT body scans can diagnose enlarged lymph nodes, pancreatic disease, back problems and lung cancer.

How do I prepare for my CT scan?

Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Jewelry and eyeglasses must be removed before a head scan. You may be told to avoid food or fluids before the test. Your doctor or the UNC REX CT staff will provide you with more complete instructions.

What can I expect during my CT scan?

You may be asked to change into a smock or hospital gown.
A technologist will help position you on the examination table.

You will be moved into the scanner. The technologist will leave the room but still be able to see you through a window. You will hear the equipment whirring as the scan begins.

What happens after my exam?

The results of your CT will be interpreted by a radiologist and given to your physician. Your physician will share the results with you.

If I'm pregnant, should I have a CT scan?

Be sure you let your physician know that you are pregnant. He or she will decide whether you should have the scan.

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