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Computed Tomography (CT)

CAT Scans

A CT scan, also known as a "CAT" scan, is an advanced X-ray technique that obtains more detailed photographic information inside the body than a standard X-ray exam. Unlike stationary x-ray machines, a CT unit rotates around the body and takes various pictures or "slices" at different angles to get a more complete view of the part of the body being examined.

CT is an important diagnostic tool used to evaluate a range of potential problems in the brain, neck, spine, chest, abdomen and musculoskeletal system. It is useful in checking for a number of diseases, including cancer and various sources of pain, such as blood clots.

Sometimes, an x-ray contrast liquid or "dye" is needed to obtain the best information during the exam, and is administered into a vein in your arm. If this is the case, it will be discussed with you in advance.

What to Expect

Most exams take between 15 and 45 minutes to complete. If you need to take any pre-exam steps, you will be notified in advance.

For the exam, you will lie on a padded table that is attached to a track. The track allows the exam table to glide through a scanner like the one pictured above. You will hear different sounds during the test, including buzzing, humming and clicking as the table moves in stages through the tube, which will be rotating around you taking pictures. Simply follow any instructions the technologist gives you during the exam.

For more Diagnostic Imaging information, please contact our Placerville or Cameron Park location.