Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

Count on the radiology technicians and doctors at Essentia Health for accurate Computed Tomography (CT).  Getting a CT scan, can help your doctor diagnosis conditions or check to see if a medical treatment is working. 

What’s a Computed Tomography (CT) Scan?

A computerized axial tomography scan, also known as a CT or CAT scan, uses special X-ray equipment to take cross-sectional pictures of the inside of your body.

Lung Cancer Screening

If you’re a smoker or former smoker, your doctor may recommend a low-dose CT scan to detect lung cancer before symptoms appear. Learn more about lung cancer screening at Essentia Health.

When is a CT Scan Used?

Your doctor may recommend a CT scan to examine your body for signs of:

  • Aortic aneurysm
  • Arthritis
  • Blood clots
  • Broken bones
  • Cancer
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Heart disease
  • Infection
  • Internal bleeding or swelling
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Sinus problems

What to Expect During a CT Scan

Your CT scan will take 15 to 45 minutes. The test is painless and noninvasive. Before your test, you may take contrast dye by mouth, injection, or enema, depending on the part of your body being scan. Contrast dye makes certain areas inside your body more visible on images.

During the scan, you’ll lie still on a narrow table and may use pillows, straps, or a head cradle to help you keep your body in the right position. The table will move you through the CT scanner, which looks like a large doughnut.

While you’re in the CT scanner, parts of the machine will rotate around you. You may hear clicking or buzzing noises. An Essentia technician will be in another room monitoring you during the test. You’ll be able to communicate through an intercom and you may be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds so the machine can take clear pictures.

After Your CT Scan

You’ll be able to go back to your daily activities after the test. If contrast dye was used during your scan, your doctor may recommend drinking lots of fluids to help flush the dye from your body.

Your CT Scan Results

Trust the radiologists at Essentia to accurately analyze your test results and send them promptly to your primary care or referring physician. Your doctor will talk to you about the results.