Computerized Tomography (CT)

Computerized Tomography (CT) scan is a radiographic technique that produces a digital image that represents a detailed cross section of tissue structure.

KVH Hospital’s GE LightSpeed 16 scanner provides incredibly fast, accurate, three-dimensional images of the human body for increased accuracy and patient comfort.

CT scans can help diagnose a variety of adult and pediatric conditions related to inner ear ailments, cancer, strokes, heart and lung physiology; organ pathology and function; and traumatic bone and soft tissue injuries.

How to prepare

Most CT exams require patients to fast four hours before the test. Wearing loose clothing without snaps, buttons, or zippers is recommended.

What to expect

During the CT scan, you will lie on a narrow table that slides through the opening of a large device called the gantry. The technologist will position you on your back, side or stomach, depending on the area to be scanned. The X-ray tube rotates around your body while the table slowly moves through the gantry. Each rotation produces several image slices of your body.

During this time, a technologist supervises the CT scan from another room and monitors the images as they appear on the computer screen. The technologist can see and hear you, and can easily communicate with you via intercom.

Some CT scans require a patient to receive an intravenous contrast medium. The contrast medium highlights vascular structures (blood flow) within the body. During the contrast injection the patient will experience a warm feeling throughout their body. This feeling is caused by friction build up in the blood vessels and should only last about 30 seconds.

Most CT scans are completed within the hour. Scans requiring the patient to drink a contrast medium may take up to two hours.