CT (Computer Tomography)

What is a CT?

A Computerized Tomography (CT) scan combines a series of X-ray images taken from different angles and uses computer processing to create cross-sectional images, or slices, of the bones, blood vessels and soft tissues inside your body.  The CT scanner is shaped like a doughnut and to obtain these images, the CT table slides through the doughnut. During the scan, an IV may be started for the injection of the intravenous (IV) contrast solution to better visualize the vessels and structures of the body part being imaged.  Some patients may need to drink an oral contrast and/or need rectal contrast as well.  The contrast is necessary to highlight the intestines on the CT to look for any abnormalities.

CT rapidly creates detailed pictures of the body, including the brain, chest, and abdomen. The test may be used to:

  • Study blood vessels
  • Identify masses and tumors, including cancer
  • Guide a radiologist to the right area during a biopsy

Spencer Hospital's state-of-the-art CT scanner provides technology that allows the hospital to offer tests that other CT scanner do not have the speed or capability to perform, such as cardiac calcium scoring to determine an individual’s risk for heart disease.

What do I Need to do to Prepare for the Exam?

Depending on what type of CT exam you are having will depend on the preparation involved.  You will be instructed if there is any special preparation needed for your CT exam when your exam is scheduled.  If you have questions, please call our Diagnostic Imaging department at 712-264-6500, and we would be happy to assist you.

What Should I Expect when I Arrive?

Please enter entrance B of Spencer Hospital and stop at our Patient Registration area just beyond the Gift Shop.  In our private patient registration room, your personal and insurance information will be updated.  Once you are registered, you will be directed to the Diagnostic Imaging department.

What will I Experience During the Exam?

The CT Technologist will ask you some questions regarding your medical history and the problems that you are experiencing. The CT Technologist will explain the exam to you and make sure all your questions are answered. You will be asked to lie down on your back on a table. The table will move into the CT scanner which will take the required pictures needed for your exam.  You will be instructed to hold very still throughout the exam and may be instructed to hold your breath at certain times. The entire exam will take approximately 30-60 minutes.

What is IV Contrast

IV contrast is an iodine based medicine that is injected into your veins and appears bright on the CT images. This solution outlines the organs and vessels included in the scan.  When the IV contrast is injected into the vein you may experience a sensation of warmth for 1 to 2 minutes.  The IV contrast is then filtered from your blood by your kidneys and will be passed unnoticed.

Who will be in the Exam Room with Me?

A registered CT technologist will perform the exam in our CT exam room.

What do I need to do After the Exam?

Following most CT exams, you will be able to resume normal activities. You may be asked to drink plenty of water over the next few days.  Additional post procedure information may be given to you by the CT technologist or the Radiologist who performed your procedure.

When will I receive the Results of the Exam?

You will receive your results from your ordering physician.  You may receive a phone call or have a follow up appointment with your physician.  If you are unsure of how you will receive your results or have questions regarding your results, please contact your physician’s office.

Quality healthcare at Spencer Hospital is our top priority to best care for our patients.  The CT technologists at Spencer Hospital are registered CT Technologists through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.


Meet Our Provider