Chest CT scan

What is a CT scan of the chest?

This is an X-ray-based procedure in which images (pictures) are taken from the tops of your lungs (apices) through the tops of your kidneys.

How do I prepare for the exam?

No food should be eaten for four (4) hours prior to your exam time but fluids are encouraged. Patients should wear clothing that is comfortable and that has little or no metal. Chains and necklaces must be removed before being brought into the exam room.

What will happen during the exam?

Depending on the reason for your exam you may have an I.V. placed in your arm. Through this I.V. a contrast will be injected. During the exam you will lie on a table with your arms raised above your head. The table will rise up and move in and out of a large circle once the exam has started. The technologist will explain any breathing instructions you may have during the actual exam and cover some specific medical history questions.

After this is complete the scan will start. A few images (pictures) will be taken so that the technologist can set up the area to be scanned. At this point it will be very important that you hold still. If you are receiving an injection of contrast, a technologist will stay in the room for the start of the injection and step out just prior to the scan starting again. The majority of the time patients will have this test done lying on their back but there are some patients that will need to lie on their stomach.

How long will the procedure take?

Depending on the reason for your test, the procedure can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes.

What will happen after the exam?

After the technologist helps you from the table, you may be asked to remain in a holding area for 10-15 minutes before your I.V. is removed. This will allow the technologist to ensure that you are feeling well before you will be released.

While you are waiting to be released, a technologist will process your images using a computer. A Radiologist will evaluate the images within 24 hours and dictate a report. A transcription of the report will be typed and sent to your physician.

How will I learn the results?

You will get the results of the exam from your doctor.

Important: If there is any possibility that you are PREGNANT or NURSING a baby, please speak with your referring physician before your scheduled appointment.


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