CT (CAT scan)

What is a CT (or “Cat Scan”)?

CT stands for Computed Tomography (CT). Commonly known as a “Cat Scan”, CT is a non-invasive medical test used to look inside your body using cross-sectional images. The CT scanner has a large ring and the x-ray tube rotates around you 360 degrees, taking a picture or “slice”. The computer then creates this picture onto a computer screen and “hard copy” photographs are taken to record findings.

What kind of CT scanners does EGR offer?

All of CT scanners used by East Georgia Radiology are helical CT’s. With helical CT, the quality of the image is greatly enhanced, providing a faster, higher quality image with less radiation exposure. With conventional CT, small lesions may frequently go undetected. The speed of helical scanning increases the rate of lesion detection.

At EGRMC, we have both a 64-slice and 16-slice CT scanner.  At all other locations, we use the 16-slice scanner.   To assist in this process, a contrast agent is often used. By injecting this solution into the body, we can better visualize organs and structures that might not be seen otherwise. Contrast may or may not be needed in your particular case.

What does CT provide that other imaging procedures don’t?

Unlike other imaging methods, CT scanning offers detailed views of many types of tissue, including the lungs, bones, soft tissues and blood vessels.

What to Expect

During the exam, you will lie on a table, and it will slowly move in order for the x-ray to image the entire area. You will be asked not to move, and to hold your breath while each x-ray picture is taken. CT scanning causes no pain, and with the helical CT, the need to lie still for any length of time is reduced.

Patient Preparation

CT’s of the abdomen and pelvis usually require a 24 hour prep. You may be asked not to eat or drink anything for one or more hours before your exam. Please call the location you are scheduled at for more details.