CAT Scan

CT Technology

TheLightSpeed Volume Computed Tomography (VCT) System®, by GE Healthcare, will allow Atlantic General Hospital’s radiologists (the physician who specializes in interpreting imaging exams) and technologists to quickly capture high-clarity images as thin as a credit card. These images, commonly known as a CAT scan, are combined to form a 3-D view of the patient’s anatomy for a physician to analyze. CT imaging can be used to detect cancer, conditions due to trauma, blood clots, infections, bone disorders, and other conditions. A CT scan, unlike an MRI, can be performed even if you have a pacemaker.

CT (CAT scan) Services
AGH CT services are accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR) for adult and pediatric patients and have achieved the distinction an ACR Designated Lung Cancer Screening Center. Our CT services support the AGH Stroke Center of Excellence: Once a stroke occurs, treatment should be delivered as quickly as possible to insure the best outcome for the patient. The LightSpeed Volume CT® offers the speed and resolution required for rapid imaging of blood vessels in the brain. This enables physicians to make a quick diagnosis and determine the best course of treatment while reducing the number of exams a patient may need to undergo.

Some Other CT Services:
Brain including blood vessels and other structures
Soft Tissues including blood vessels and other structures in the neck
Internal Organs – Chest, abdomen and pelvis
Bones including joints, spines and the surrounding structures

Patient preparation
Depending on the type of CT scan you are having done, you may need to fast (not eat or drink) prior to your scan. You may also be asked to drink oral contrast (a barium mixture) several hours prior to your exam to highlight certain parts of your internal organs. Depending on the examination, you could be required to receive an injection of contrast material (x-ray dye) during your CT scan. You may need to wear a gown for your scan and remove all jewelry.

What to expect
A CT scan is a painless, outpatient procedure and typically only takes a few minutes to complete. The machine is round like a doughnut with a table attached. You will lie on the table and slide through the “doughnut hole.” Patients typically do not experience claustrophobia during a CT scan. You may be asked to hold your breath during certain parts of your exam for clearer images. It is very important to keep very still during the scan. You will be able to communicate with the technologist who is in a separate room via an intercom the entire time. If you take a medication to manage diabetes that contains metformin and have an injection of contrast material, you will be given instructions to discontinue the medication after the CT and to contact the provider who manages your diabetes after the scan for instructions for restarting the medication.

• Radiation exposure
• Harm to unborn baby (it is important to let your technologist know if you are or think you may be pregnant)
• Adverse reaction to contrast (it is very important to tell the technologist if you have had a contrast reaction in the past)

A radiologist will read your scan and send the results to your health care provider. Your provider will go over your scan results with you and discuss next steps.