CT Scan Preparation
How do I prepare for the exam?
- Any special instructions will be provided at the time you schedule your exam. You will be notified if your exam requires you to consume an oral contrast agent in advance of your procedure
- Notify a BayCare Imaging Professional if you are nursing or if there is a chance you may be pregnant.
- If instructed, bring prior X-rays or scans with you to your exam.
- Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment to complete check-in before your scheduled exam time.
What should I expect during the exam?
- You will lie on a cushioned table. Once you are comfortably positioned, the tabletop will move through a gantry (shaped like a big donut), which houses the X-ray tube and a set of detectors.
- In some cases, a device to hold part of your body in place is used to ensure accurate alignment.
- During the exam, multiple, low-dose X-rays will pass through your body at different angles. Images are acquired by detectors that measure the X-rays as they pass through your body. The computer processes this information to form an image that the radiologist will review and interpret.
- Some CT studies require a contrast material to enhance the visibility of certain tissues or blood vessels. In this instance, you will receive an IV in your hand or arm before the exam begins. Once the contrast is injected, you may feel a warm, flushed sensation and experience a metallic taste in your mouth that lasts for about two minutes.
- Depending on the type of exam, your CT scan may take 10-30 minutes.
What happens after the exam?
- A radiologist who specializes in the specific area of the body that was examined will review your images.
- The radiologist prepares a diagnostic report to share with your doctor.
- Your doctor will consider this information in context of your overall care and talk with you about the results.
To make an appointment, please call:
Hillsborough County: (813) 635-3610
Pinellas/Pasco Counties: (727) 461-8555