What happens when the test is performed?
- The test is done
in the radiology department of a hospital or in a diagnostic
clinic. You wear a hospital gown and lie on your back on a
table that can slide back and forth through the donut-shaped
CT machine. A technician or other health care professional
inserts an IV and injects more contrast dye through it. This
dye outlines blood vessels and soft tissue to help them show
up clearly on the pictures.
The technologist moves the table with a remote control to enable
the CT machine to scan your body from all of the desired angles.
You will be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds each
time a new level is scanned. The technologist usually works the
controls from an adjoining room, watching through a window and
sometimes speaking to you through a microphone. A CT scan takes
about 30–45 minutes. Although it’s not painful, you
might find it uncomfortable if you don’t like to lie still
for extended periods.