What Is Computed Tomography?
CT SCAN Computed Tomography scans (also known as CT or CAT scans) use special x-ray equipment to obtain information from different angles around the body. Computers are then used to process the information and create cross-sectional images that appear as “slices” of the body and organs. X-Ray Associates has a state-of-the-art Phillips 64 slice multi-detector CT scanner and a GE Discovery LS multi-slice CT scanner. These multi-detector scanners rapidly acquire high-resolution images decreasing patients’ scan time.
What Should I Expect?
During the CT SCAN exam you will lie on a table that will move you into the doughnut-shaped scanner. Your technologist will watch you through an observation window and will be able to communicate with you at all times. You may hear humming, buzzing, or clicking sounds as the CT machine moves to reposition you for additional images. CT scans are painless, but some exams require injection of a contrast agent. Remaining still is very important in order to obtain clear images. When scanning is complete, the technologist will return to help you from the table. You may eat normal meals unless other tests are scheduled. To help eliminate contrast agents from the body, it is best to drink plenty of fluids following the exam. Your exam will take about 30 minutes, after which you will be able to return to your normal activities.
How Should I Prepare?
Before some exams, you may be asked to avoid normal eating or drinking for a period of time. You should continue medications prescribed by your doctor unless informed otherwise. Diabetic patients may need to delay their medication until after they have eaten in order to avoid an insulin reaction. You may be asked to wear a gown and may have to remove items such as glasses, jewelry, dentures, hearing aids, etc. Women should always inform their technologist if there is any possibility of pregnancy.
What if I Need a Contrast Injection?
CT contrast is an organically bound iodine material that is used to make some abnormalities easier to see. X-Ray Associates of New Mexico uses only non-ionic contrast (the safest kind), but with all contrast agents there is some potential for allergic reaction. Be sure to tell your technologist if you’ve had a reaction to contrast in the past or if you are particularly sensitive to medications. If you take Glucophage, Glucovance or Metformin medication to regulate your diabetes, you will need to stop taking the medication the day of and 48 hours after your exam.
How Do I Get The Results?
After your study is over, the images will be evaluated by one of our board-certified Radiologists with expertise in CT Imaging. A final report will be sent to your doctor, who can then discuss the results with you in detail.
CT SCAN Computed Tomography Scans are available at our locations throughout New Mexico, Alamogordo Imaging Center, El Camino Imaging Center, Northwest Imaging Center, X-Ray Associates at Farmington, and X-Ray Associates at Santa Fe.