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Computed tomography (CT)

Our new 64-slice CT scanner offers high-quality images along with low-radiation dose technology for your diagnostic needs. Our technologists have extensive training to ensure high-quality, diagnostic imaging, while making sure to answer any questions you might have. We offer outpatient CTs to be scheduled Monday through Friday, generally offering appointments between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Be sure to ask if you need other time accommodations. To schedule your CT appointment, please call 608.723.2143. Please allow up to one week for your insurance to be checked to verify prior authorization status. Many times this can be accomplished as early as 24 hours, but each case is different.

If there is any chance of pregnancy, please notify your ordering provider and the technologist before scheduling your exam.

Commonly asked questions

Does CT have radiation?

Yes. However, through our new low-dose technology and working closely with your provider and our radiologist, we assure you that all exams utilize radiation levels as low as reasonably achievable. This radiation is carefully calculated, follows appropriate protocol, and is done only to help in your diagnostic needs.

What is CT (AKA "CAT" Scan)?

CT is a diagnostic imaging scan that uses x-rays to take a series of pictures. These images are obtained using advanced technology in cross-sectional images to provide clear, detailed 3-D images of the body. This helps your provider and the radiologist to see what may be happening within your body to aid in your diagnosis.

These images can be explained as being compared to a loaf of bread. Imagine taking any slice of bread out of the loaf to examine the surface of that slice. That is how we look at the anatomy of your body. The providers and radiologist can look at any single "slices" of your scan, view your anatomy from different angles and create 3-D images.

Does CT hurt?

CT is a quick and painless study. Patients may be uncomfortable lying flat, and some patients may need to have an IV started to complete the test, but the exam itself is painless. We use different sponges to help aid you in the most comfortable position while still ensuring that we can obtain the best images possible.

What does a CT show?

CT can be used to visualize almost all parts of the body, yet some other imaging modalities might show better detail. Your doctor, technologist and radiologist, they will help ensure you get the best imaging for what your provider is trying to pinpoint. CT is used for traumas such as car accidents, strokes, kidney stones, tumors, appendicitis, broken bones and blood clots.

What can I expect during my CT?

During your exam you will lie flat on the CT table. Positioning sponges may be used to help make you more comfortable. You will be asked to remove all metal (this may include changing completely into a gown). Depending on the type of exam, an IV may be started to administer contrast or x-ray dye. You also may be asked to drink oral contrast up to two hours before your CT scan.

The table you are lying on will move in and out of a donut-shaped tube while the machine is taking the images. You will hear a mechanical whirring sound and may hear a voice giving you breathing instructions.

The scan itself is rather quick and usually only takes about 10 to 20 minutes to complete. However, we do schedule CTs for 30 to 60 minutes and ask you to expect to be with us for an hour to allow us to thoroughly go through your medical history, have you change, go through questions and consent, start an IV, and to get you prepared for your exam.

During the scan itself, you are usually alone in the CT room. However, the technologist is just behind a window barrier. They can see and hear you and can talk to you through an intercom during the scan. Many times they will also come out to check on you during the test if it is a longer scan.

How long before I get my results?

You will normally get your results within two to three business days. The technologist performing your exam is not able to release any results or information about your exam. Once the exam is completed, the technologist enters in the details of your history for the radiologist to review while looking at your images. There are many images for the doctor to review, and once the finalized report is done, it is sent to the provider who ordered your exam. They then take time to review the exam and report and decide any treatment or next steps that need to be taken before giving you the results of your exam.

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