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A CT scan produces a series of images that can detect many conditions that are not detectable with conventional x-rays.
CT scans are exams that involve lying on a table while a special x-ray machine produces cross-sectional images or pictures of the inside of the body. During the scan, an x-ray tube producing a thin beam of radiation moves around the area of your body being scanned while the table moves through the scanner. This produces multiple cross-sectional images which can be combined to create 3D images or images along different planes.
Appointments and Referrals
We are here to support you. You may reach us at 416-469-6401 (the main DI line) from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
If you require assistance outside of regular business hours, you may choose one of the following options:
- Leave a voice mail message at 416-469-6401
- Send us an email at @email
What to expect
There are two main exam types in the CT: with intravenous (IV) contrast and without IV contrast.
For all CT exams, please remove jewelry, hairpins and bobby pins before your exam. No other preparation is needed for CT studies without IV contrast.
For CT exams with IV contrast, please review the following instructions:
- Allergies: If you have a history of allergic reactions to X-ray dye (IV contrast), you should notify your doctor to arrange for pre-medication. Please also inform the technologist and/or nurse prior to your exam.
- Diabetes: If you are diabetic, over the age of 70, or have kidney issues, please ensure your doctor submits your Creatinine level within 3 months of your CT appointment and has faxed the results to the MGH DI booking office. Additionally, if you are taking diabetic medications containing Metformin or Glucophage please consult your doctor, as they should be withheld 48 hours AFTER the exam.
- Duration: Please allow at least 2to 3 hours for the appointment.
- Food: You may have a light meal up to two hours prior to your appointment. Do not eat or drink 2 hours prior to your appointment.
- Medications: Please take your medications as prescribed, regardless of your appointment time.
- For CT Enterography: You should only consume clear fluids only for 4 hours prior to examination. You will need to arrive 1 hour 15 minutes prior to the scan to drink contrast. You will need to arrange for someone to take you home. You will need to stay in the department for at least 45 minutes after the scan to be close to the bathroom.
If you are pregnant, please tell your doctor. They may recommend another type of exam.
For CT-guided biopsies and procedures, your referring specialist physician will provide you with instructions for your specific procedure. If you have not received the instructions from your specialist physician, please call us at 416-469-6580 extension 2310.