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Computed Tomography (CT)

Nurse preparing infant for CT scan

Computed tomography (CT) scans combine advanced X-ray technology with the use of computers. The scanner part of the machine rotates around the patient's body, capturing multiple X-ray images called slices, then sends the slices to a computer which creates a detailed image.

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.

What to expect

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.

Preparing for your child's CT scan

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.

Preparing for your child's CT scan →

Tomografía Computarizada →

We're here to help

Referring physicians: To schedule your patient (inpatient/outpatient), call 682-885-4076. You'll find referral forms on our appointments page.

Patients: For questions regarding your child's appointment, to reschedule or cancel, please call 682-885-4076. Schedulers are available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Your doctor's office may have given you some directions to follow. If these directions are not followed correctly, your child's appointment may be delayed or rescheduled.

Preparing for your visit

If your child has been referred to us for a test and/or procedure, we will contact to you to schedule an appointment. At that time you will also be given any special instructions necessary to prepare for your visit, depending on what services your child will be receiving.