CT scans have a doughnut-shaped tube that rotates the x-ray 360 degrees around you. The data captured provides a detailed, 3D view of the inside of your body.
CT scans are a painless, noninvasive way to help your health care provider:
Compared to standard CT scanners, our state-of-the-art CT scanners offer improved image quality and speed.
As a leading imaging care provider throughout Pennsylvania, western New York, and western Maryland, UPMC has invested in cutting-edge CT scanners.
There are two types of CT scans. Those done without contrast and those done with contrast.
Your instructions to prepare will depend on the type of CT scan you're having.
You don't need to do anything to get ready for a CT scan without contrast dye.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, you can take medication and eat as you normally would.
You may need to follow special instructions if you have a fast or oral contrast CT scan. Tell your doctor if you've ever had a reaction to an x-ray dye or a topical antiseptic iodine, such as betadine. If you have, you'll have to take medicine 13 hours before your test.
Arrival times for your CT scan will vary depending on the location of your appointment. Ask your doctor if you need to arrive 1 or 2 hours before your scheduled appointment.
Other instructions to prep for your CT scan with contrast
CT scanning takes less than 30 minutes in most cases.
Some tests are shorter or longer. It depends on how many areas we need to scan and the CT scanner we use.
CT scans using contrast dye may take longer, but not all do. Before your CT scan
If you're having a CT with contrast, we'll give it to you either by:
The IV contrast may give you a brief sensation that moves up your
arm and cause:
This is normal, but you should tell the tech about these or other reactions.
Tell the doctor or tech right away if you have:
The CT scanner has a large ring, like an upright donut. A narrow table moves through the center hole. The imaging tech will:
A radiologist studies your CT scans and sends the results to your doctor via our state-of-the-art computer system.
You can also sign in to your UPMC patient portal account to see your results.
Call your doctor if you have any questions.