Computerised Tomography (CT)
What is a CT Scan?
Computed Tomography (CT) enables very detailed images of your body to be taken in slices. The scan can be digitally reconstructed to show almost any angle and even a rotating 3D image!
A CT scanner looks like a doughnut (the technical word for it is a gantry), with a flat table passing through the middle. Patients lie on the table and move through the opening in the gantry.
The gantry isn’t a long narrow tunnel – it is actually quite wide and short. It’s unusual for patients to feel claustrophobic during a CT.
Queensland X-Ray has dose modulation software on all its CT scanners to ensure the radiation exposure is kept to a minimum. If you have any concerns about radiation, we recommend reading our Patient Information Brochure on radiation dose for more information.
For more information on radiation dose please read our leaflet: Radiation Dose Information for Patients
What should patients expect when arriving for an appointment?
Patients will be asked to fill in a questionnaire upon arrival.
Patients may need to change into a gown to avoid clothes causing confusing shadows on the images. Patients will be asked to lie on the table and the radiographer will position them for their scan. The radiographer will then move into the next room at the control console but they can talk and listen to you via a microphone and they can see the whole procedure through a window.
Patients may need an injection of a special dye (called contrast), usually into the vein on the inside of the elbow or on the back of the hand. The contrast helps vessels and internal organs to be better visualised on the scan. As with any medication or injection, there is a small chance of an allergic reaction to the contrast but the radiographer performing the examination will go through this with patients before the scan. Please tell the staff if you have had any form of reaction to the contrast before. The contrast is usually excreted by the body within an hour of injection.
How long does it take?
The actual scan usually takes only a matter of seconds for which patients may be asked to hold their breath. However, the examination can take between 10 and 20 minutes to complete – this includes the radiographer explaining what’s going to happen, positioning patients on the table, and setting up for the contrast injection.
How much does it cost?
Queensland X-Ray offers bulk billing and concessions for some of its services. The cost of the examination depends on a number of factors which will be clarified when making a booking or arriving at the practice.
Is there any special preparation?
Patients will be notified of any special preparation at the time of booking, as some of the examinations will require fasting for four hours prior to the appointment.
CT Abdomen/Pelvis patients, will need to drink clear fluids for four hours prior to examination including 500mls in the hour before your appointment time.
In some cases, patients will be asked to attend their appointment one hour early to drink a special fluid to outline your stomach and bowel.
Locations where we offer this procedure:
Greenslopes Private Hospital
Logan Road (Greenslopes)
Mater Private Hospital
St Vincent’s Brisbane
Sunnybank Private Hospital
Times Square (Sunnybank)
Upper Mount Gravatt
Cairns Private Hospital
Mater Private Hospital