FAQ's about CT Scan

Is CT an X-Ray?
Yes. A CT scan is made up of a series of x-rays which are processed by a computer to produce cross-sectional pictures of the body. These cross-sectional images allow one to look at the inside of the body just as one would look at the inside of a loaf of bread by slicing it. A CT scan is thus made up of a series of slices.

Are there any risks involved with CT Scan?
During the CT scan, you are briefly exposed to radiation, so CT scan risks are similar to those of conventional X-rays.

What are Contrast Agents?
Contrast agents are used to image tissues and structures that are not normally seen, or not seen very well. Intravenous contrast agents are used to enhance organs and visualize blood vessels. Oral contrast agents are used to visualize the digestive tract. Please let us know if you have any allergies or kidney or liver problems.

Will I need to drink anything?
Most abdominal scans require the patient to drink a barium sulfate oral contrast mixture. This mixture is flavored and not at all unpleasant. Oral contrast highlights the stomach and upper intestine providing the radiologist with a detailed image for review.

Why do some patients need X-ray dye and others not?
Depending upon your condition and the images required to diagnose or rule out pathology, X-ray dye or intravenous contrast may or may not be needed. The radiologist reviews the information sent to us by your physician and decides what contrast is needed to provide the best images.

What if I am allergic to X-ray dye?
If you have had a reaction to X-ray dye in the past, have allergy to shellfish or iodine, or any anaphalxis reactions please let us know.  Please consult your primary physician or our staff Radiologist for details.

What if I am diabetic?
You should continue your medicines as usual and drink extra juices prior to your exam in case you are not able to eat in a timely fashion.  If you take oral diabetes medications, you may take it the day of your exam, but if you receive IV X-ray dye, you need to discontinue its use for 48 hours after the exam and have blood work before resuming your medication.  You should let your primary physician be aware of this.

What will I feel during the scan?
CT scanning causes no pain, just as a routine X-ray is painless. If intravenous contrast is used, you may feel warm and flush and get a metallic taste in your mouth. These sensations normally disappear after a few minutes.

Will I have to change my clothes?
Patients may be asked to wear a gown for some scans. In addition, removal of glasses, jewelry, dentures, hearing aids, or anything else that could interfere with the scan may be required.

Do I have to hold still during the whole exam?
You will need to hold as still as possible; patient motion can compromise image quality. We may ask you to hold your breath at certain times to reduce breathing motion.

How and when will I get the results of the exam?
Your doctor should receive a written report in 1 to 2 business days. If requested by your physician, a report can be called to him/her the day of the exam. You can get the results from your doctor.

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CT Scan uses an intricate method of x-ray taking which utilizes current computer technology.


The American College of Radiology (ACR) has recognized Tolland Imaging Center as a Lung Cancer Screening Center. This is a voluntary program that acknowledges facilities that prioritize safe and effective diagnostic and follow-up care for individuals who are at high risk of developing lung cancer.