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CT scans are able to show diseases, head injuries and a variety of other medical conditions with much more clarity and detail than general X-rays. And because they're fast and painless, they are a patient-friendly form of X-ray imaging.
A CT scanner is a large machine with a doughnut-shaped opening. A sliding table runs through the opening to allow the machine to scan the body using a fan beam of X-rays and a detector system.
The scanner rotates around the patient's body to create thin cross-sectional images of the body's bones and tissue. These pictures are sent to a computer that records the images. They can also be put together to form a three-dimensional image.
Depending on the purpose of the CT scan your child is scheduled for, it may be done with or without contrast. Contrast is a liquid dye taken by mouth or injected into an intravenous (IV) line that causes a particular organ or tissue to be seen more clearly by the scanner.
This scan is very sensitive to movement, so it's important to lie perfectly still during the pictures. Very young children and children who have difficulty holding still may require sedation.
If your child has been scheduled for a CT scan, there are some things you will need to know and do prior to your arrival at Radiology Imaging. For your convenience, we have provided the information you need in a downloadable, printable format:
Parents may be allowed in the CT scan room with their child during the procedure unless sedation is required.
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