A CT scanner uses a series of X-ray beams to build up images of the body in “slices”. Several individual scans may be carried out to create detailed images of the area that is being investigated. CT scanning can detect hundreds of levels of density and is used to produce pictures of many different parts of the body. The radiographer positions you on a motorized bed and moves you into the scanner. If you feel anxious, you may be given a sedative.
During the procedure
You will be asked to lie very still and to hold your breath while each scan is taken, to avoid blurring the image. Several scans may be carried out, and the whole procedure may take about 30 minutes.
Operating the CT scanner
The radiographer moves to an adjacent room to operate the scanner by using a computer. A microphone allows him or her to communicate with you. Being in a separate room protects the radiographer from radiation. A doctor may oversee a scan or control the scanner.
CT scan of abdomen
Body parts of different densities are shown as different colours in this colour-enhanced CT scan of the abdomen.