What is a CT scan?
Computed Tomography (CT) serves as a medical imaging technique utilising X-rays to generate intricate images in thin slices. Each image produced in a CT procedure provides a cross section view of organs, bones and tissues. The cumulative set of CT images resembles a loaf of sliced bread, allowing examination of each slice independently or collectively.
At Radiology Tasmania, patients undergo scans with a multi-slice CT scanner capable of generating numerous slices, often less than 1mm thick. This advanced technology enhances the precision of diagnostic imaging.
CT is extensively employed for diagnosing various medical conditions, including:
- Circulatory system disease and conditions, such as atherosclerosis, aneurysm, and blood clots
- Spinal conditions
- Masses and tumours
- Kidney and bladder stones
- Inflammatory diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and sinusitis
- Injuries to the head, skeletal system, and internal organs
- Gout, arthritis, and fractures of the extremities
What to expect from a CT scan and how do I prepare for the appointment?
Typically, minimal preparation is necessary for most CT scans. Upon booking, our staff will inform you if any specific preparations are required. Ensure you wear comfortable clothing, and be prepared to change into a gown. Additionally, please remove metal items like glasses, jewellery and dentures, as they can impact the quality of the scan. Inform the receptionist promptly if you are pregnant, have diabetes or have any allergies, as these factors are crucial for your safety during the procedure.
Preparation and procedures differ based on the specific area under examination. Upon booking, you'll receive guidance on any necessary preparation. When you arrive for your examination, you might need to complete a health questionnaire. A trained radiographer will call you from the waiting room and may request you to change into a patient gown.
Once in the examination room, you'll see the CT machine, a large, square apparatus with a central, round opening often described as a donut. Before the scan begins, the radiographer will explain the procedure. You'll then be asked to lie on the scanner table, which will move in and out of the opening while capturing images. Staying still during the scan is crucial for image quality, and the radiographer might instruct you to hold your breath for brief periods.
In some cases, an intravenous contrast injection may be necessary to enhance visibility of specific body areas. The radiographer will discuss this with you if needed. It's common to experience a peculiar metallic taste and warmth, especially in the groin and buttock area, but these sensations typically dissipate within minutes. Refer to the Iodine-containing contrast medium factsheet for more details.
Scan durations vary but generally last between 5-20 minutes. Following the scan, our radiologist, will evaluate the images and provide a written report to your referring doctor within 24 hours.
What do you need to bring to your appointment?
- Your referral form - please note we accept referral forms from all providers
- Medicare card
- Pension or concession card
- Any prior imaging
- Work cover or motor vehicle accident claim details
After your CT scan, our highly skilled radiologist will analyse the images and interpret the findings. Once this process is complete, the results will be promptly transmitted directly to your doctor. This streamlined communication ensures that your doctor receives the information as soon as it becomes available.
Your doctor, armed with the insights provided by the radiologist, will then take the time to thoroughly review the results and share this information with you.
Fees and Billing
As a radiology provider deeply committed to serving the community, we strive to facilitate access to essential medical services. In the majority of cases, we bulk bill to Medicare. However, it is important to note that billing practices may vary among individual practices within our network. Before your scheduled service, we strongly recommend checking with the specific radiology practice you plan to visit.
Our commitment to community-focused healthcare extends to providing transparent and accessible information about billing processes, empowering our patients to make informed decisions about their healthcare journey. We understand the importance of financial considerations in healthcare, and our goal is to support you in navigating these aspects seamlessly.