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Everything you need to know about CT Scans

How long does it take to have CT scan?

The entire procedure may only take a matter of seconds. However, it might end up taking more time. It takes extra time to position you and the scanning equipment for accuracy and quality purpose. Thus, the overall scan might take up to 20 minutes. Usual scan times vary from a few seconds to several minutes. However, if no oral contrast is required, the examination might take about 15 to 30 minutes. Most of the scans will require you to be on the table for between 5 and 10 minutes.

The time required usually depends on the type of scan. In case of oral contrast is required, about 45 to 60 minutes are expected to be needed. A good deal of time is taken for the contrast to move through your digestive tract. Usual scan times vary from a few seconds to several minutes. In certain cases, additional scanning is needed. This is because scans are altered to fit the diagnostic needs of individuals.

Use of contrast agents in CT scan

Contrast agents are mainly used to image tissues and structures that are not easily seen, or not seen very well. The use of intravenous contrast agents is to enhance organs and visualize blood vessels. Oral contrast agents are used to see the digestive tract more clearly. The risk of an allergy to the iodine agent is 1:300 000 patients or less, so it is a very safe process and the experienced team has the ability to treat any allergy should it rarely occur.

Difference between CT scans and MRI scans

CT and MRI images might look similar in many terms. However, the equipment used to perform the scans is different. CT generally uses ionizing radiation just as with a routine X-ray. MRI uses a magnetic field, on the other hand. Based on the clinical indications, one might be preferred over the other, or both may be desirable. CT scanners are usually faster. Thus, claustrophobia and movement are not as problematic s with the MRI scanner. MRI scans can provide a higher degree of contrast resolution meaning the diagnosis is sometimes clearer to the radiologists.

Who is the right person to perform the CT scan?

Medical radiation technologists – who are specially trained in the operation of CT scanners perform the procedure at Perth Imaging Central. Every technologist needs to have passed qualifying examinations at university after 4 years of training. The technologist or nurse administers oral and intravenous contrast as well.

How does having the CT scan feel?

CT scanning causes no pain, usually. It is just as a routine X-ray is painless. In case intravenous contrast is used, you might feel warm and flush and get a metallic taste in your mouth. These sensations, however, disappear after a few minutes.

Are you required to drink anything for the CT scan?

A majority of the abdominal scans require the patient to drink an iodinie containing oral contrast mixture. This mixture is usually flavored. Oral contrast highlights the stomach and upper intestine. This provides the radiologist with a detailed image for review. In case you are scheduled for a CT scan in Perth requiring oral contrast, you might be asked to arrive one hour before the scan time.

Can you see the images after your CT scan?

The images are not usually available for you to review as they are electronically submitted directly to your doctor. You can discuss the results of your examination with your doctor.

After how long would you get the results of the scan?

You usually do not get the CT scan results right after the procedure. Usually, there are hundreds or thousands of images that are created during the scan. All of these will be reviewed by the radiologist. Usually, previous examinations will also be reviewed and compared if applicable. The radiologist completes an in-depth review of all images. He may at times consult with other physicians to provide a detailed report of your examination to your physician. Once completed, it is electronically sent to your referring physician.

Should you have a CT scan if you are pregnant?

If you are pregnant, you should not have a CT scan or any type of X-ray examination unless after discussion with your physician and radiologist. You must notify the technologist if you suspect you may be pregnant. Some alternative arrangements may be made to fulfill your medical needs.

What instructions do you need to follow after the CT scan?

There are no instructions and you may continue with your normal activities.

Will you have to hold your breath during the scan?

Based upon the body part being scanned, you might be required to hold your breath several times during the scan. However, you are not supposed to move during the scan. The technologist usually instructs you on breathing prior to the start of the scan.

What is the Billing Policy at Imaging Central?

At Imaging Central, the staff aims to provide the best possible patient care at all times. They have the cutting-edge imaging technology and highly trained experienced staff to perform your scans in the most accurate manner. To provide this high level of care, a gap payment might be required for certain examinations and procedures. However, they offer some bulk billing appointments on a regular basis. So, make sure to ask the reception staff about availability. You must review the Billing Policy and note that pensioners. Keep in mind that HCC holders and university students are always bulk billed for all rebate-able examinations.

Try to arrive at the designated booking time. You must check in at the Imaging Central Reception desk.

Can your friend stay in the room with you?
No. Only the patient requiring the scan is permitted in the room due to the low dose of ionizing radiation.

Can you breastfeed after an injection of intravenous contrast?
There is no need to stop breastfeeding after contrast.