How CT scans are performed

How to prepare for the CT scan

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS

  • You should neither eat nor drink 4 hours before the scheduled scan.
  • Patients who take medicine on a permanent basis should take them on the day of the scan at the usual time, while diabetics should be mindful of their insulin intake.
  • For some CT scans requiring administration of a contrast medium, the patient is asked to drink at least 1.5 litres of fluids over 12 hours on the day preceding the scan.

WHAT TO BRING  

  • An ID document with a photo
  • The original referral letter completed legibly by the physician, together with his signature and stamp
  • Medical documentation including the results of diagnostic tests performed to date, CDs, photos, and hospital discharge summaries
  • Blood creatinine level, which is necessary for scans requiring a contrast medium as it shows the function of the kidneys - for which a referral should be issued by the attending physician

Description of the procedure

PREPARATION

  • Please come 15 minutes before the scheduled time of the scan in order to fill out a medical questionnaire on chronic diseases, allergies, medicines taken and possible contraindications for the CT scan.
  • ​For some CT tests (e.g. abdominal cavity and small pelvis) a contrast medium is administered so as to obtain a clear picture of the scanned area. Both intravenous and oral contrast media are used as well as enteral ones in the form of enemas. The contrast media used are very safe and rarely cause allergic reactions. If contrast administration is necessary, the patient should come at least one hour before the arranged time of the procedure and bring 1.5 litres of still mineral water. The technician or nurse will prepare the contrast medium solution to be drunk slowly in small sips. If the contrast medium is administered intravenously, the nurse will insert a cannula just prior to the scan.

SCAN

  • The majority of computed tomography scans are similar. The patient lies on a special motorised bed and remains in a lying position during the procedure, most frequently on his back, although sometimes on his side or front when the bed is moved in and out of the CT scanner.
  • The healthcare staff leave the CT scanner room, as the computer which processes the information is located in a separate room from that where the technician operates the scanner and monitors the examination.
  • The procedure is painless; the patients may sometimes experience an unpleasant feeling related to the administration of the contrast medium - however, this is not a rule. The patient is monitored by the technician, doctor and nurse, and instructions are given by microphone.
  • During the examination, the patient may be asked to hold his breath and not to move as any body movement may lead to errors in the images obtained, which may interfere with the diagnostic results. The scan usually lasts several minutes.

AFTER THE SCAN

  • After the procedure using the contrast medium, the patient is asked to remain in the lab for several minutes. If there are no unwanted reactions, the patient may leave the facility.
  • The patient is asked to drink two litres of fluids daily for the next two days. Drinking the fluids will help remove the contrast medium from the body.

Getting the results
 

  • The patient will receive information concerning the results of the examination at the reception desk. The results will be interpreted and analysed by our specialists. The results may be collected in person or by a third party upon signature of a special authorization form. The results contain a report, as well as a CD with the relevant images and the report.