CT Scan (Computed Tomography)

Before the Test

For women. If there is a chance you are pregnant, please tell your doctor, radiologist or the technologist doing the scan.

You should have only liquids for the meal before the scan is scheduled. You may, however, take prescription medicine if you have it. If you are diabetic, follow your doctor's instructions about eating before the scan.

Some abdominal CT scans require you to drink a contrast material (flavored liquid) before your exam. The liquid outlines the stomach and intestines assuring positive identification of these organs. You may arrange to pick up this liquid before your appointment.

The Day of the Test

Please report 15 minutes before your scheduled drink and/or scan time. If you are scheduled at The Williamsport Hospital, report directly to the CT Scan department. If you are scheduled at Muncy Valley Hospital, report to the central registration desk. For appointments at Divine Providence Hospital, report to the registration office in X-ray.

For a head CT you must remove any metal objects such as glasses, earrings, hairpins, barrettes and hearing aids.

For sinus, facial or neck CT scans you must remove dentures, if you wear them.

For body and spine studies you will be asked to remove your clothing and wear a hospital gown.

During the Test

For this painless procedure, a technologist helps you onto an examination table in a position that is as comfortable as possible. You are then secured to the table, instructed not to move during the procedure and moved into the scanner. Your technologist will be in an adjacent room where he or she can control the procedure and see and hear you. For chest and abdomen CT scans, you may be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds. Depending on the part of the body to be scanned, it may take from 15 minutes to one hour.

The sounds you hear are the motor and the movement of the table.

During the exam you may be injected with a contrast material or "dye" before the next scan to increase the amount of information available from the scans.

After the Test

The films are developed and checked. You are then able to leave. The scan results are read by the radiologist and reported to your doctor.

You may return to your normal diet following the scan unless your doctor has told you otherwise. If you were injected with dye for the scan, drink plenty of fluids afterwards.