CT (Computed Tomography) Scans
Computed Tomography (CT or sometimes call a CAT scan) uses X-rays to create detailed cross-sectional images of the body and is used to detect a range of disorders in most body parts. In particular, it may be used to diagnose subtle bone fractures, tumours, tiny kidney stones, or strokes. It is also used to examine the lungs, bowel, and other major body organs.
All CT scanners use X-rays, however, the scanner installed at Fraser Coast Radiology uses the most advanced technology to minimise the amount of X-rays needed to perform your scan.
There is often preparation required, so appointments are essential for CT scans.
What is a contrast and will it be needed?
Radiographic contrast may be given during the course of some studies.
A contrast is a liquid that’s either injected intravenously or taken orally before a scan or procedure.
A contrast is sometimes injected before a CT scan to provide additional information that can help diagnose certain medical conditions. When you make your booking, we can let you know if a contrast is likely to be used for your procedure. The contrast is usually provided as an IV (intravenous) fluid.
You will be provided with a questionnaire/consent form when you arrive at Fraser Coast Radiology detailing the risks of the contrast medium (dye) used for this scan. The contrast will only be administered after you have given your consent to do so. Your consenting to the use of contrast will be formally documented on the questionnaire/consent form with your signature. Once you leave the clinic, you may resume normal activities and diet.
It is important you advise our team if you have asthma, diabetes or have had allergic reactions to contrast in the past to ensure you are adequately prepared prior to the examination.
What should I expect when I have my CT scan?
After you have registered at reception you will be taken to a change room. You will be asked to remove all metal objects, such as keys, clips, buttons, coins and mobile phones from your person.
You will then be asked to lie on the CT scanning table that will position you within the scanner. You must lie still during the scan as movement will blur the images.
A series of planning scans will be performed at the start to localise the area of clinical interest. Following this, the main scan will be performed to obtain images used in diagnosis. This is usually completed within a minute or two, sometimes within several seconds.
Are there any risks or side effects from my CT?
Your doctor has sent you for this test knowing that the information provided by the scan is more beneficial than the very low risk associated with it. The skill of the operator and the design of the machine ensures you receive the lowest radiation dose possible. Female patients who are pregnant or think they may be pregnant must advise the staff prior to the examination, as a CT scan is usually not performed during pregnancy unless it is an absolute medical necessity to do so. There is a small risk of adverse reaction following injection of x-ray contrast. This would normally be evident while you are still in the clinic and would be treated appropriately by the Radiologist.
How do I prepare for my CT scan?
Preparation for a CT examination can vary. For example, you may need to fast for 2 hours prior to your scheduled appointment time or there may be restrictions on your taking some medication prior to the scan. This depends upon a number of factors. When you phone to arrange your appointment one of our friendly staff will advise you of any preparation requirements. They may ask you questions relating to previous injections and your clinical history regarding asthma, allergies and diabetes.
To save time on the day of your appointment download and complete the relevant form and present to our receptionist when you arrive:
What is the cost of my CT scan?
Most CT scans are eligible for a Medicare rebate. Depending on your personal circumstances, the Medicare rebate may not cover the entire cost of the scan, however, please discuss costs with our reception staff at the time of booking your appointment.