How does the CT machine operate?
Computed tomography (CT) scanning is an imaging method that uses x-rays to create pictures of cross-sections of the body. Images are formed as your body passes through the scanner. Once inside the scanner, an x-ray beam rotates around you. Small detectors inside the scanner measure the amount of x-rays that make it through the part of the body being studied. The measurements are charted by a computer, and correspond to a shade of black, white, or gray. The computer arranges the numbers to create separate images of the body area, called slices. These images can be stored, viewed on a monitor, or printed on film. Three-dimensional models of the body area can be created by stacking the slices together.
A typical procedure averages around 15 minutes or longer, depending on the type of information required by your physician. You can help to make your images as clean as possible by relaxing and remaining still during the exam.
What do I need to do to prepare for a CT scan?
In order to provide you with a positive experience, and to expedite getting results, we ask that you read and follow the steps listed below.
• If you are pregnant, or think you may be, tell the x-ray technologist before having a CT scan taken.
• Provide any previous imaging such as x-ray, CT, and MRI exams that have been taken of the area that we will be imaging. If your images were taken at Iowa Ortho, the CT department already has access to them.
• Provide any previous medical records for past treatment and or surgery, especially operative notes. If you have only been seen by Iowa Ortho physicians, the CT department has access to all of your medical records.
• Please fill out a medical release so we may obtain any records that you do not have access to. Getting the results of your CT scan may be delayed if we cannot obtain these records.
• Bring your insurance card and photo ID along with any copayments or account balances. We will collect monies due at this time.
• Leave all valuables at home.
• You may be asked to remove clothing that surrounds the area of imaging. Gowns and shorts will be provided if needed.
• Take your medicine as prescribed by your physician.