A computed tomography (CT) scan, also known as a computer axial tomography (CAT) scan, is a non-invasive procedure that uses targeted x-rays with the aid of a computer to create detailed cross-sectional images of the inside of the body. Iodine-based contrast material is sometimes used to help in identifying normal and abnormal functions.
Preparing for your Diagnostic CT exam
Allergies: Notify your physician of any allergies before the exam. If you have any allergy to contrast material, or “dye,” your physician may prescribe medications to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction.
Pregnancy: Be sure to inform your physician if you are pregnant.
Medications: We will ask what medication you take when you schedule your appointment. You will be provided further instructions at that time.
Eating: Depending on the type of scan your physician has requested, you may be asked not to eat or drink anything for several hours before your exam, especially if a contrast agent will be used. You should check with you physician or call us at (808) 591-1504 to find out if there are any dietary restrictions related to your exam.
Recent illness or other medical condition: Inform your physician of any recent illnesses or other medical conditions, and if you have a history of heart disease, asthma, diabetes, kidney disease or thyroid problems. Any of these conditions may increase the risk of an unusual adverse effect.
Diagnostic CT FAQ
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A DIAGNOSTIC CT SCAN?
A CT scan is used to create multi-dimensional images of the inside of the body, including organs, blood vessels and tissues. A Diagnostic CT scan is frequently used to evaluate the brain, neck, spine, chest, abdomen, pelvis and sinuses.
WHEN SHOULD I ARRIVE FOR MY MRI EXAM?
You should arrive 20-30 minutes before your exam to provide time for our staff to greet you and help you fill out any necessary paperwork.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT WHEN I ARRIVE?
When you arrive, you will be greeted by our staff who will direct you to complete any necessary paperwork and have you change into a gown, if necessary. One of our friendly technologists will guide you to the examination room and assist you in lying down on a padded, motorized examination table that is attached to a machine with a donut-hole-looking opening.
Once you are positioned and comfortable, the motorized table will slowly move into the donut hole and the images will be taken in sequence. After each image is taken, the table will adjust slightly. You must lie still and may be asked to hold your breath while the images are taken to achieve the best results.
During the scan, the technician will be out of the room and communicate with you through an intercom. If the patient is a child, a parent or adult will be allowed to be in the room, but will be asked to wear a lead apron to prevent unnecessary radiation exposure.
The scan is painless, but some patients experience slight discomfort from staying still for a period of time. A mile sedative is available for patients who need it.
HOW LONG WILL MY DIAGNOSTIC CT SCAN TAKE?
A typical Diagnostic CT scan take 15-30 minutes.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER MY DIAGNOSTIC CT SCAN?
There are no lasting affects from a Diagnostic CT exam. You may move around and drive immediately after your procedure.
WHEN WILL I GET MY RESULTS?
Honolulu Imaging Center offers a 24-hour turnaround time on all interpretations. The final results will be given to your referring physician as soon as the images are interpreted and analyzed by one of our subspecialty-trained radiologists. Your doctor will share the results with you.