What is computed tomography (CT)?
A CT (computed tomography) scan allows us to look at your body in cross-section (like looking at slices of a loaf of bread).
Using the CT scanner and a powerful computer, high resolution images are produced which demonstrate both soft tissue structures and bone. It enables certain body areas to be visualised in detail not seen by any other imaging techniques.
A CT scanner looks like a doughnut with a flat table passing through the middle. Patients lie on the table and move through the opening in the gantry.
How should I prepare for a CT scan?
For some CT scans there is no preparation required, however you will be notified of this by Epworth Medical Imaging staff at the time of booking as some examinations will require fasting for four hours prior to the appointment.
In some cases, you will be asked to attend your appointment one hour early to drink a special fluid to outline the stomach and bowel.
Please let our staff know if you are pregnant, breast-feeding or taking any medication. Certain drugs could alter results of your test and you may need to stop taking them for a few days prior to your scan.
On the day of your appointment
You may be required to change into a gown for the scan and remove any clothing or belts with metal. For CT examinations of the brain, sinus, hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder, ankle, foot and knee you will not have to change into a gown.
Our radiographers will explain the CT examination to you, along with any special breathing instructions that you may have to follow. You will be asked to lie on a table that will move through the doughnut shaped CT scanner. The CT is not enclosed and for the majority of examinations your head will remain outside the machine.
You may need an injection of a special fluid (called contrast) into the vein on the inside of your elbow or on the back of your hand. The contrast helps vessels and internal organs to be better visualised on the scan. As with any medication or injection, there is a small chance of an allergic reaction so please tell our staff if you have had any form of reaction to the contrast before. The contrast is usually excreted by the body within an hour of injection.
Our staff will monitor you throughout the scan and should you need help, they are trained to give you all the assistance you require.
Some examinations may take considerable time to process and report – for instance CT coronary angiography. It is important, therefore, that you clarify with our reception staff whether you will wait for your results, or if alternative arrangements may need to be made.
Examination times will vary however this will be discussed with our staff when you make an appointment. The radiologist will produce a report which will be sent directly to your GP or specialist – please contact your GP or specialist in order to discuss results.
Epworth Medical Imaging accepts cash, cheque, EFTFOS, MasterCard and Visa for payment on the day. If you have provided your bank details to Medicare, we can lodge Medicare claims electronically so as your Medicare rebate is direct deposited into your bank account.
Pensioners and healthcare card-holders will be bulked billed for all items covered under the Medicare schedule, although some surgical procedures and scans may incur a cost, as they are not covered under Medicare. Our staff will inform you of costs prior to your examination. Please have your Medicare card ready to present to reception.