WHAT IS COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY (CT) SCANNING?

Also known as CAT scan (computerized axial tomography), CT scanning provides cross-sectional imaging of the body. The origin of the word "tomography" is the Greek word "tomos" meaning "slice". A CT scan produces cross-sectional images or "slices" of a patient's anatomy. The cross-sectional images are used for a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.


"North Fork Radiology has pledged to minimize radiation dose whenever possible, through this joint campaign formed by The American College of Radiology and the Radiological Society of North America, which addresses concerns about the surge of public exposure to ionizing radiation from medical imaging".

HOW IS A CT SCANNING EXAMINATION PerFORMEd?

A motorized table moves the patient through a circular, doughnut shaped opening in the machine. As the patient passes through the imaging system, an xray source rotates around the inside of the circular opening and all data is sent directly to a computer to reconstruct the individual "snapshots" of the internal organs and tissues.

Some examinations require the patient to receive an intravenous injection of "contrast material" to facilitate visualization of certain structures. The examination is completely painless and normally takes between 15-20 minutes to complete, dependent on the actual exam that is performed.

WHAT IS THE PREP FOR A CT SCAN?

If you are having a CT of the abdomen or pelvis, you will be required to fast for 4 hours prior to the examination and you will need to drink water or sometimes barium sulfate at the office prior to the exam. If your physician ordered your CT scan examination with intravenous contrast injection, and you haven't had blood-work (to include BUN and Creatinine levels) performed within the last three months, it will be necessary to do so before the CT examination can be performed. Confirming a normal BUN and Creatinine level indicates your kidneys function sufficiently to properly flush the contrast material from your system.

If you wear comfortable clothing that does not contain any metals, bra underwire, snaps or zippers you will be permitted to keep your clothing on for the examination.

PLEASE BRING ANY PRIOR CT or MRI (CD or Film) with you for comparison purposes, if they were not performed at North Fork Radiology, or one of our other locations page.

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