Computed Tomography (CT)

Computed Tomography (CT) is a non-invasive exam that helps diagnose and treat a vast array of medical conditions.

At Lake Imaging we use the latest in CT technology to allow for high detail imaging in 3D.

  • WHAT IS COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY (CT)

    Computed tomography (CT) is a highly versatile and non-invasive medical imaging procedure that uses x-rays and digital computer technology to create detailed two or three-dimensional images of the body. Unlike some other forms of medical imaging, CT can image many types of body structure simultaneously including bone, blood vessels and soft tissue.

    The CT scanner consists of a large gantry (a supporting structure) with a circular hole, within which the patient lies on a moving examination table.  Inside the gantry is a rotating ring that carries the x-ray source and electronic x-ray detectors.  A narrow fan beam of x-rays is produced and directed through the body area that is to be examined. These x-rays are received by a set of detectors and the resulting signals are sent to a very powerful computer that transforms them into three-dimensional cross-sectional images.

    The images are then examined by a Radiologist (a doctor specialising in the interpretation of medical images) who will report the findings to your referring doctor. The digital images are stored electronically by Lake Imaging for future reference and can be provided on film or CD/DVD if your referring doctor requests this.

  • BEFORE A CT SCAN

    When booking your appointment, please inform our staff if you are taking any diabetic medication, have kidney disease or have had a previous reaction to x-ray contrast.

    Our staff will inform you of any preparation instructions required with your specific examination. Some tests require no preparation; however many types of CT require an injection of contrast media (or dye) to show detailed vessels and organs of the areas of interest. For these tests you will be required to fast prior to your appointment, these instructions will be provided to you in detail at the time of booking.

    If you do require contrast our radiographer or radiologist will discuss this with you. The contrast may be inserted via a cannula in your arm or hand.

    You are welcome to have a friend or relative accompany you for your appointment however for radiation safety reasons, they will only be allowed into the CT room under special circumstances. Children will not be allowed into the CT room and you will need to make arrangements for their care during your examination.

  • DURING A CT SCAN

    You will be asked to remove any metal that is in the scan area including jewellery, zippers and bras, and will need to answer a few safety questions before being asked to lie flat on the examination table with your head resting on a special cradle. Throughout the scan you will need to remain still, as the table moves through the gantry opening and the image data is acquired. You may hear a humming noise during the scan, but no moving parts will touch you.

    Sometimes an intravenous injection of contrast medium (x-ray dye) will be required. The contrast can provide valuable information by highlighting vascular tissue and blood vessels on the CT images. If contrast is required this will be discussed with you prior to the injection and you will be asked to complete a safety questionnaire and provide consent. During the injection you may notice a sensation of warmth and a metallic taste or smell. These sensations will quickly subside.

    The CT scan will take just a few minutes.

  • AFTER A CT SCAN

    One of our Radiologists (a doctor specialising in the interpretation of medical images), will prepare and send a report to your referring doctor detailing the findings of your examination. It is very important you book a timely follow-up appointment to discuss your results. If your results are urgent, or you have an appointment straight after the scan with your doctor or health care provider, Lake Imaging will arrange to have your results available immediately delivered to your referring doctor.

    You will be free to leave our clinic shortly after your CT scan has been completed. You may, then drive yourself home, eat and drink normally and resume your normal activities.

    If you have had a contrast injection, this will be absorbed and passed out of your body in your urine during the next 8-10 hours. Drinking plenty of fluid will assist this process.

  • PATIENT SAFETY

    CT scans involve the use of ionising radiation.  CT scans will only be performed when any potential risks are far outweighed by the benefits to the patient. Lake Imaging’s state of the art CT scanners and staff trained in radiation reduction techniques use the latest in CT dose efficient technology to ensure the minimum dose necessary is used to produce the best quality images for an accurate diagnosis.

    If it is possible that you may be pregnant, please inform our radiology team before your examination to avoid any risks to your unborn child.

    Contrast injections can make some patients feel nauseous or on rare occasions cause an allergic reaction. If you are worried or concerned about having a CT scan you should discuss this with your referring doctor or medical specialist before coming for your examination.

Find out more about the services we offer in this area.

Please note, not all services are listed below, and not all services are available at every site.

CT scans are frequently used to evaluate the brain (head).  Brain CT scans are typically ordered for a variety of symptoms such as headaches, weakness, seizures, confusion, etc. They are also used to exclude a tumour, aneurysm or infection, and as a follow up test for patients who have suffered strokes, bleeds or undergone brain surgery.

The abdomen and pelvis contain the digestive organs as well as the urinary, endocrine, and reproductive systems. A CT scan of the abdomen or pelvis may be performed to look for abscesses, tumours, kidney stones, infections or for a cause of unexplained abdominal pain.

The most common reason for people to have a tissue biopsy is to diagnose the cause of an abnormality, biopsies can be performed on both superficial tissue and deep organs. A biopsy involves the collection of a small tissue sample from the area of your body under consideration.

You or your doctor may have noticed a lump, or it may have been detected while having a medical imaging test for other reasons.

Deep organ biopsy is a procedure where a sample of tissue is taken from an internal organ such as the liver or kidney. Your doctor will have requested this procedure to obtain further information about an abnormality or disease that may be present. Ultrasound or CT is used to guide accurate needle placement and to reduce the risk of complications.

CT guidance aids the Radiologist in finding the correct area when taking the biopsy, allowing the needle to be accurately positioned within the area of concern.

Make an appointment online or call our dedicated bookings line