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Computed tomography (CT) scan

A computed tomography or CT scan uses X-ray beams, emitted by one or two tubes, which rotate around the body, combined with high-performance IT systems to generate increasingly detailed and highly-accurate images.

What is a CT scan?

This technology uses X-ray beams and a computer to generate cross-sectional images or slices of the inside of the body and then reconstruct them to build a detailed 3D model of the scanned area. In order to improve the quality of the images, you may be given a special dye (contrast medium) containing iodine before the examination. This technique is used in a wide range of fields, including oncology, vascular care and infectious diseases.

Radiation

CT scans are safe for the body due to the low dose of radiation used and the special precautions taken during the examination. Moreover, we are proud to offer the latest generation of CT scanners, which means that we can significantly reduce the amount of radiation our patients receive.

How do I prepare for the examination?

Before the examination, you will be asked to:

  • go to the changing rooms and change into the gown you have been given
  • remove any metal objects from your body (clothing with metal zips or fasteners, jewellery, etc.)
  • inform our staff if you suffer from any allergies

A member of our team will also let you know in advance if you need to follow specific instructions during the examination.

Iodine contrast medium

In order to improve the quality of the images, you may need to use an iodine contrast medium. This can be administered in two ways:

  • in the form of an intravenous injection at the elbow (most common route)
  • in the form of a drink

 

The contrast medium is usually well tolerated. You may experience a hot sensation throughout your body but this will quickly disappear. However, it is very important to drink plenty of clear fluids before the examination as this will help you to tolerate the contrast medium.

If you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant

A CT scan may be contraindicated in pregnancy and special precautions are required if the examination is performed. Therefore, if you are pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, please let our staff know as soon as possible.

What will happen during the examination?

A highly-experienced radiographer will ensure that you are lying comfortably in the correct position on the CT scanner table. Your cooperation is required at all times to ensure the best-quality images are produced. It is very important that you stay as still as possible and listen carefully to the instructions given by the radiographers.

During the examination, the table will move through the CT scanner, which emits X-ray beams. The radiographer will operate the scanner from the control room and he or she will be able to see and hear you at all times; you will be able to communicate through an intercom system.

How long will the examination take?

A CT scan takes between 15 and 50 minutes, depending on how long it takes to generate the most detailed images.

Who will give me the results?

Once you have had your CT scan, a radiologist will interpret the images and send a report to your doctor as quickly as possible. In most cases, the radiologist will not be able to make a diagnosis immediately after the examination.

As soon as your doctor receives the report from the radiologist, he or she will discuss the results with you and decide the most appropriate treatment for your medical condition.