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What Is a CT Scan?

CT scanComputerized tomography, often called a CT or CAT scan, is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat many medical conditions. CT scans produce cross-sectional images inside of the body. These images are studied to determine the appropriate next steps.

CT scans of internal organs, bones, soft tissue and blood vessels provide greater clarity and reveal more details than regular X-ray exams. By using specialized equipment and expertise to create and interpret CT scans of the body, radiologists can more easily diagnose or detect problems such as:

  • Colon cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Muscle and bone disorders
  • Bone fractures
  • Blood clots
  • Infections
  • Heart disease
  • Internal injuries and signs of internal bleeding
  • Spinal problems
  • Hand and foot injuries
  • Stroke symptoms
  • Kidney failure
  • Pulmonary embolism

CT Scans at Northside Hospital Gwinnett and Northside Hospital Duluth

Our new SOMATOM® Sensation provides high-performance CT imaging capabilities for the finest image quality available. This CT scanner is incredibly patient-friendly and has been designed to make scans easier for obese patients and those who may experience anxiety.

In addition, its multislice CT imaging leads to more accurate diagnoses while also reducing examination times.

Advantages of CT scans at Northside Hospital:

  • Our bariatric scanner holds up to 615 pounds.
  • We can identify the smallest pathology and finest anatomical structures in just a few seconds.
  • We use computer-assisted reading tools to enable early detection, fast evaluation and precise follow-up of malignant diseases.
  • A broad menu of technology options permits exams in many areas, including the colon, lungs, brain, heart, blood vessels, eyes, bones and mouth.

How Should I Prepare?

This procedure is painless and shouldn’t take long. Here is a list of things to do to prepare for your CT scan:

  • Make sure you wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to your exam.
  • Leave metal objects, including jewelry, eyeglasses, dentures and hairpins, at home or remove them prior to your exam. You may also be asked to remove hearing aids and removable dental work.
  • Depending on your procedure, you may be asked not to eat or drink anything for several hours beforehand.
  • Inform your physician of any medications you are taking and if you have any allergies.
  • If you have a known allergy to contrast material, also called "dye," your doctor may prescribe medications to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction.
  • Inform your doctor of any recent illnesses or other medical conditions, and if you have a history of heart disease, asthma, diabetes, kidney disease or thyroid problems.
  • Women should always inform their physician and the CT technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.

If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call 678-312-3444.