Computed Tomography, more commonly known as a CT or CAT scan, is a diagnostic medical test that like traditional X-rays, produces multiple images of the inside of the body. CT scans use special X-ray equipment to obtain cross-sectional pictures of the body. These are often referred to as slices because they allow the body to be viewed in cross-sections, one slice at a time. Modern CT machines are referred to as Low-Radiation Dose CT that significantly reduce the amount of X-ray signal used to obtain images of the body.
Western Radiology employs the very latest CT technology ensuring radiation-dose is as low as reasonably allowable. By combining the CT scanner and a powerful computer, pictures of a whole area of the body showing both soft tissue and bone structures are constructed that are often difficult to see by any other method. CT scans provide greater detail images than traditional X-rays, particularly of soft tissues and blood vessels and visualise bone structures more finitely.
Most CT scans require no preparation, however some scans may require preparation which can be discussed during the time of when you book an appointment with one of our friendly staff. It is important that you stay well hydrated prior to some CT scans. Further preparation may include fasting for a specific period of time prior to your scan, drinking plenty of water or a special solution. Typically, preparation is required for abdominal and pelvic CT scans. More specific preparations are also required for cardiac scans which can be found here.
There are relatively few instances in which a patient is precluded from having a CT scan, making it a fast and very powerful diagnostic tool. People with pacemakers and other surgical implants are generally able to have a CT scan. Even those with joint replacements or other metals from other types of surgery can be studied on our modern CT machines that account for the presence of metal artefacts, without blurring images. All patients’ individual needs are considered as part of the bookings process so please advise us of your individual needs and circumstances.
Some CT scans incorporate the use of a contrast dye that is generally given intravenously at the time of the scan. Experiences such as an all-over warm sensation or taste of metal in the mouth can occur and only last a few moments not exceeding the duration of the scan itself. Severe allergic reactions to contrast are rare and would be managed by on-site Doctor and/ or nursing staff. Any injection that is incorporated in to a CT scan will be explained to you and a consent form will be completed prior.
Prior to the CT scan, a radiographer will explain to you the process of the examination and answer any questions you may have in regard to the scan. In some instances, you will need to get changed into a gown prior to the scan. The CT machine is shaped like a doughnut and is open on both ends with a short central hold in the middle where the examination table will move in and out of.
Our highly experienced technical staff will help you on to the CT table in the correct position for the scan and raise you in to position. Once the scan commences it is important to follow the instructions given by the machine or the radiographer running your scan. Sometimes you may be required to follow breathing instructions for short intervals or a period of time. Furthermore, it is important to remain still for the duration of the scan. In the case of an injection procedure, a nurse and technical staff will adequately prepare you for the radiologist (Doctor) prior to performing the procedure.
Results and images are normally delivered on the next business day to your doctor via secure electronic means. Generally, your doctor will receive the results before your next visit. Western Radiology’s group of highly-trained radiologists will interpret and report on the images according to your doctor’s referral. Our highly trained radiologists who’s fellowships cover Neuroradiology, Musculoskeletal radiology, Advanced body and Oncology radiology, and interventions will interpret the CT scan and provide expert medical opinion to your referring physician.
Western Radiology Madeley – Unit 1, 210 Wanneroo Rd, Madeley WA 6065
Western Radiology Cockburn Central – Unit 2, 810 North Lake Road, Cockburn Central WA 6164
Western Radiology Canning Vale – Unit 1, 410 Ranford Road, Canning Vale WA 6155
Western Radiology Morley – 133 Russell St, Morley WA 6062
Western Radiology Clarkson – 10/61 Key Largo Drive, Clarkson WA 6030
*If your scan is not listed, please phone reception.