Computerised Tomography Scanning

A CT Scan is an imaging method that uses X-Rays to create images/pictures of cross-sections of the body.  These images can then be examined and reconstructed using a computer.

  • The images can be compared to a loaf of bread that has been sliced by a bread slicer, where each slice can be taken and examined individually.
  • The exam is relatively short, but modern technology grants Radiographers with the ability to obtain very relevant information.
  • CT images of internal organs, bones, soft tissue and blood vessels typically provide greater detail than conventional X-Ray images.
  • Radiologists interpret these images and are able to diagnose cancers, cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases, trauma and musculoskeletal disorders, with greater accuracy. 
General Information
  • The CT scanner is typically a large, box-like machine with a hole in the centre of the unit, very much resembling a doughnut.
  • You will lie on a narrow examination table that slowly moves in and out of this unit.
  • CT imaging uses special X-Ray equipment to produce multiple images or pictures of the body and a computer is employed to join them together in cross-sectional views of the area being studied.
  • The images can then be examined and reconstructed using a powerful computer.
  • The computer workstation used for processing the imaging information is located in a separate control room, where the technologist operates the scanner and monitors the examination.  They are in direct visual contact with you, and with the aid of a microphone and speaker, are able to communicate with you.
Before your CT Scan
  • Please arrive 15 minutes early to complete all the necessary paperwork.
  • You can also download the patient information form here. 
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Special preparation needed:
  • Preparation prior to a CT scan is largely dependent on the region being examined.
  • Oral preparation is usually required for examinations of the abdomen, where you may be asked to drink either water or a barium sulphate suspension, 1 and ½ hours prior to the examination. This helps to highlight the stomach and bowel structures
  • If a contrast agent needs to be injected during the procedure, we will arrange for the necessary blood tests to confirm that your renal functions are normal.  This may not be routinely necessary, and we adhere to international criteria in patients who are at risk.
Let the Radiographer know
  • If there is any possibility that you might be pregnant.
  • Please bring the test results of any similar procedures you may have had in the past.  A comparison with previous imaging aids in providing a more accurate diagnosis.
What to expect
  • The examination will be performed by a trained Radiographer and reported on by a Radiologist
  • Any garments with metal zippers, belts or buttons, jewelry, eyeglasses, dentures and hairpins may interfere with X-Ray images. You will therefore be required to wear the gown provided.
  • You will be asked to lie as still as possible during the procedure in order to minimise movement artefacts on the images.
  • You may be asked to hold your breath at certain times during the scan.
  • If indicated, a contrast agent may be injected into the bloodstream through a vein in your arm – this can give you a warm flushed feeling and a metallic taste in your mouth.  These sensations are normal and usually go away within a few seconds.
  • For best results:
    • Cooperation with the Radiographer is essential to the success of the procedure.
    • Taking the necessary oral preparation before the study in indicated cases will help with the diagnostic quality of the scan.
After your CT
  • Under normal circumstances, you will be able to go home immediately after the procedure.
  • If you had an interventional procedure under CT guidance, we may keep you for 30 to 45 minutes after the procedure to monitor you for any possible complications.
  • A patient that required sedation for the procedure will not be permitted to drive for a period of 24 hours.
For best results
  • You will need to co-operate with your breathing as was mentioned above. 
  • Taking the necessary oral preparation before the study in indicated cases will help with the diagnostic quality of the scan.