CT FAQ

What is a CT?

How do I prepare for my exam?

What time should I arrive?

Where is California Imaging Institute located?

What should I wear?

Why can’t I eat?

Who performs and interprets the CT examination?

Will I be exposed to radiation?

Why do I have to take contrast? What is it?

Can I bring my family with me to my exam?

What is a CT?

CT stands for Computer Tomography, a type of an advanced x-ray examination that obtains digital images of the body using a thin x-ray beam.

Computer Tomography is an advanced non-invasive system producing images of the body much like the slicing of a loaf of bread. It is highly sensitive method to accurately view the internal anatomy and detect lesions.

How do I prepare for my exam?

Click here (link) for preparation instructions for your CT. You may also call our Scheduling Department should you have any questions about how to prepare. (559.325.5800)

What time should I arrive?

Depending on which exam you are having performed, your arrival time may vary. You will be contacted the day before regarding arrival time, or you can call 559.325.5800 and ask to speak to the CT screener for more specific instructions.

Where is California Imaging Institute located?

Click here (link) for directions and to create your customized driving directions.

What should I wear?

Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing. Metal objects can affect the image, so avoid clothing with zippers and snaps. You may also be asked to remove hairpins, jewelry, eyeglasses, hearing aids, and removable dental work. Women should always inform their doctor or the technologist if there is a possibility they are pregnant.

Why can’t I eat?

For some exams you will be asked not to eat, this is so the technologist can obtain the most accurate images. If the technologist is unable to obtain the necessary images to perform a complete study your exam will have to be rescheduled.

Who performs and interprets the CT examination?

The CT examination is ordered by your referring physician and is interpreted by a radiologist. A radiologist is a physician with training in the safe utilization of imaging equipment and cross-sectional image interpretation. A trained technologist will operate the CT scanner. The radiologist will supervise and confirm that the examination is performed accurately, interpret the study, and provide a written report to your physician. All radiologists are certified by the American Board of Radiology

Will I be exposed to radiation?

When appropriate, radiation-sensitive areas will be shielded during the examination.

Although many images may be obtained of a portion of your body, each image is obtained with a very thin x-ray beam in order to minimize exposure and scatter radiation. The x-ray exposure you receive is within the limits determined to be acceptable (safe) by the National Radiation Safety Commission.

Why do I have to take contrast? What is it?

For some exams contrast will be administered. If you are asked to orally ingest the contrast you will drink a berry flavored liquid, which is barium and water based.

When a Barium contrast material is present in a specific area of the body, it blocks or limits the ability of x-rays to pass through. As a result, blood vessels, organs and other body tissue that temporarily contain barium compounds change their appearance on x-ray or CT images.

Allergies:
If you have a history of prior reaction to a contrast agent, be sure to inform your physician before time of scheduling of the CT exam. Also, at the time of the examination, be sure to inform the technologist and the radiologist performing the exam prior to the injection of any contrast. Individuals with a history of prior severe contrast reaction will either have the exam performed without contrast or in certain cases will have it performed with contrast after a course of premedication with steroids and antihistamine. The premedication is started the day before the exam.

Can I bring my family with me to my exam?

Since space is limited, to accommodate all our patients, we ask that only whom is necessary attend the exam with you.

If you have any other questions, please call our office at 559.325.5800 and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.