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You may feel nervous about your scan, but we don’t want you to worry. Our experienced consultants and radiographers are friendly and approachable, and can answer any questions you may have.

This video explains what to expect during X-ray, CT (CAT) and MRI scanning.

What is a CT Scan?

CT - Computerised Tomography. A scan using special X-rays to take images of the body. It uses a computer to create ‘slices’ (cross sections) of the body and internal organs.

Some terms you may hear:

  • Outpatient - being an outpatient simply means you are coming in to see us for an appointment. You don’t stay overnight.
  • Radiographer - a professional trained to take X-rays and scans.
  • Radiologist - a doctor specialising in interpreting X-rays.

During a CT scan a series of X-rays are taken of your inner body from slightly different angles and an advanced computer puts them all together, producing clear cross-sectional images. The detail in the images of a CT scan means that the radiologist can detect even tiny abnormalities. This accuracy helps in the early detection of disease and injury, allowing effective treatment planning. Like an X-ray, there are no known side effects of a CT scan and it is normally a pain free procedure. 

A CT scan may not be suitable for everyone. If you are, or might be, pregnant please contact us on the number on your appointment letter as we may not be able to scan you.

Preparing to visit us

We want to make sure that you are fully informed – so please do call us if you have any questions before your appointment. If certain medical terms aren’t clear, we explain them. If you’d like to bring a family member or friend, that’s no problem.

At your appointment you will meet your radiographer who will be an expert in CT scanning. The radiographer will be with you throughout the whole process, from explaining the scan and answering your questions beforehand, to performing the actual scan.

Your appointment can take up to 40 minutes, depending on the area of your body being scanned. For around half this time you will be lying down on the scanning bed, but the actual scan will take less than a minute.

No special preparation is needed, but we do want you to feel as comfortable as possible during your scan and for the procedure to go smoothly. So there are some things to bear in mind before you come to us.

You can eat and drink as normal and continue to take any prescribed medicines. And, because we need to get images that are clear as possible, please wear clothing that has no metallic parts, such as buttons, zips and hooks. If you are wearing an under-wire bra, you may be asked to remove it.

Some scanning beds have a weight limit for safe use, which is usually between 110 and 130Kg (about 20 stone). If you feel this may be a problem, please contact us and we can make arrangements that have your safety and comfort in mind.

On the day of your CT scan

When you arrive for your appointment we’ll check your name, date of birth and address. At this time you’ll be given the opportunity to ask any questions. Any metal objects, such as jewellery, keys, coins or metal dentures will be kept safely for you during the scan. If necessary, your radiographer may ask you to change into a gown for the scan. This will only be if an article of clothing could interfere with the scan.

Consent

At your appointment, we will ask you to sign a consent form to show that you agree to the procedure and fully understand what will happen. You are free to ask any questions you want, to ensure that you are comfortable with everything before you sign.


Find your nearest hospital that provides this test

67 Lansdowne Road
Bournemouth
BH1 1RW

01202 291866

Shenfield Road
Brentwood
CM15 8EH

01277 695695

Warren Road
Brighton
BN2 6DX

01273 624488

3 Clifton Hill
Clifton
Bristol
BS8 1BN

0117 906 4870

4 Trumpington Road
Cambridge
CB2 8AF

01223 303336

Cardiff Bay Hospital
Dunleavey Drive
Cardiff
CF11 0SN

02920 836700

Hatherley Lane
Cheltenham
GL51 6SY

01242 246552

Wrexham Road
Chester
CH4 7QP

01244 680 444

78 Broyle Road
Chichester
PO19 6WB

01243 530600

Rykneld Road
Derby
DE23 4SN

01332 540100

25 Beaconsfield Road
Glasgow
G12 0PJ

01413349441

Stirling Road
Guildford
GU2 7RF

01483 555805

Burrell Road
Haywards Heath
RH16 1UD

01444 456999

Venns Lane
Hereford
HR1 1DF

01432 355 131

Foxhall Road
Ipswich
IP4 5SW

01473 279100

2 Leighton Street
Leeds
LS1 3EB

01133 882 067

Scraptoft Lane
Leicester
LE5 1HY

01162 769401

Nelson Street
Manchester
M13 9NQ

0161 272 5890

Clayton Road
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
NE2 1JP

0191 281 6131

Clayton Road
Newcastle-under-Lyme
ST5 4DB

01782 625431

Beech Road
Headington
Oxford
OX3 7RP

01865 307777

Derriford Road
Plymouth
PL6 8BG

01752 775861

Junction Road
Norton
Stockton on Tees
TS20 1PX

01642 367439

The Chase
Old Milverton Lane
Leamington Spa
CV32 6RW

01926 436351

Winchester Road
Chandlers Ford
Eastleigh
SO53 2DW

02380 266 377

Wood Road
Tettenhall
Wolverhampton
WV6 8LE

01902 754 177
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