CT Scans2018-10-22T19:05:34+00:00

CT Scans

Computed tomography (CT) uses a rotating series of x-rays to produce cross-sectional pictures of your body. These pictures appear as “slices” of a specific body part, and they show much more detail than traditional, flat x-rays.

Like MRI, CT is safe, painless and noninvasive. While MRI is most often used to examine muscles, organs and tumors, CT is generally applied to fractures, blood clots and abdominal injuries. In all cases, our skilled radiologists will consult with your doctor to determine which scan will deliver the most accurate and informative results.

What to Expect During Your CT Scan

Even faster than MRI, CT scans take just 15 to 30 minutes. You’ll set aside jewelry, belts and other metal objects, and depending upon the body part being scanned, you may be asked to remove your normal clothing and wear a hospital gown.

Some types of CT scans also require a contrast dye, which may be given as a flavorless drink or quick, painless injection. This dye appears bright white on your final images, helping doctors to differentiate between different types of tissue. If your CT scan does require a contrast dye, your doctor, radiologist or technologist may ask you to fast for a few hours before your exam.

Once you’re ready for the exam, you’ll simply lie on a cushioned table, which will slide your body into the circular CT machine. You’ll be able to communicate with your technologist throughout the exam, and they can help to alleviate any concerns you may have.

Frequently Asked Questions

For patients with unusual or tough-to-understand symptoms, a computed tomography (CT) scan is one of the best tools for helping physicians make accurate diagnoses. A CT machine uses a rotating series of X-rays to produce cross-sectional pictures of your body. These pictures appear as “slices” of a specific body part, and they offer much greater detail than traditional, flat X-rays.

Like MRI, CT is safe, painless, and noninvasive. While an MRI is most often used to examine muscles, organs, and tumors, CT is generally applied to fractures, blood clots, and abdominal injuries. In all cases, our skilled healthcare professionals will consult with your doctor to determine which scan will deliver the most accurate and informative results.

If your doctor has ordered a CT scan, they’re likely looking for details that are impossible to spot with traditional X-rays. These details may include small injuries to bones, soft tissues, and blood vessels, any of which may help your doctor determine the underlying causes of your symptoms. Your CT scan may also help to determine the best locations to perform biopsies, detect tumors, or investigate chronic diseases.

A key advantage of CT is its ability to display the details of bones, blood vessels, and soft tissues in the same image – something much harder to achieve with MRI and traditional X-rays. Given its ability to reveal tumors, CT is also one of the best diagnostic imaging tools for cancer patients. Finally, it is commonly used to diagnose vascular diseases, osteoporosis, and traumatic injuries to internal organs.

In addition to its diagnostic imaging benefits, CT is also faster and cheaper than MRI. It also exposes patients to minimal radiation – less than a single traditional X-ray. Overall, the amount of radiation a patient receives fr

Unlike MRI, CT does not require your body to be immersed in an imaging machine. Instead, you’ll lie on a table that slides into a donut-shaped scanner, which will be positioned only around the area of your body being imaged. As you lie still, the scanner will rotate around you, allowing multiple X-ray devices to capture a three-dimensional image.

Depending upon the body part being imaged and the specific type of CT scan your doctor has ordered, your exam may require the use of a contrast dye. These dyes contain iodine, which illuminates certain tissues and helps radiologists see finer details in organs, bones, and blood vessels.

If your exam does require a contrast dye, it will be administered through an intravenous injection just before your exam, or as an oral solution several hours prior to your exam. These dyes are safe and well-tested, and our staff will examine your medical history to determine whether there is any risk of allergic reaction.

The newest CT scanning machines can provide a full-body series of images in as little as 30 seconds. Including preparation time, your entire exam will likely take between 15 and 30 minutes.

Your preparation will depend upon your exam type, medical history and whether or not you will need a contrast dye. In all cases, AHI will provide full instruction prior to your exam, offering you ample time to prepare.

Absolutely. CT does not require sedatives, and the process is quick and pain-free. Whether your exam requires a contrast dye or not, you’ll be able to drive home immediately.

Your radiologists will review and interpret your CT scan as soon as it’s completed. Within 24 hours, your doctor will receive a written report, as well as copies of the images for their own inspection.

CT scan costs vary widely, and the price of an exam may differ by hundreds of dollars between various hospitals and imaging centers. Typically, the cost is a combination of technical and professional fees. Technical fees include the costs of the imaging procedure itself, and professional fees are paid to the radiologists who analyze the results.

Another important factor is the specific type of CT scan being performed. Some types, such as brain scans, involve a more complex process and thorough analysis. Others, such as abdominal scans, are simpler to perform and assess.

If you have health insurance and have met your deductible, you may pay as little as 10 to 20 percent of the total bill. If you have not met your deductible or you are uninsured, however, you’ll be responsible for the full amount.

Fortunately, uninsured patients are often able to negotiate self-pay discounts. You may also be able to lower the costs by paying your part in full at the time of service.

Absolutely. CT does not require sedatives, and the process is quick and pain-free. Whether your exam requires a contrast dye or not, you’ll be able to drive home immediately.

Healthcare costs are rising, and when your doctor orders a CT scan, price will likely be one of your first concerns. Few physicians know their hospitals’ prices, however, and even when you call help lines, it can be tough to get a straight answer.

Fortunately, you can significantly reduce your out-of-pocket costs by shopping for an affordable imaging center. At American Health Imaging, we charge up to 75% less than hospitals and hospital-owned outpatient facilities for the exact same tests. We also work with most major insurers, and we provide competitive self-pay rates for uninsured patients.

If you’re concerned about the costs of your CT scan, MRI, or any other diagnostic imaging exam, you can rest assured we provide the most affordable imaging at the highest quality in the market. With 24 convenient locations in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Texas, you won’t have to travel far to receive high-quality care, either.