CT (computed tomography) is an imaging procedure that uses special X-ray equipment with the aid of a computer to produce detailed, 3-D images. A new vascular imaging technique that utilizes this concept is a noninvasive diagnostic procedure called CTA (computed tomography angiography). It allows excellent demonstration of the vascular anatomy.
What are the hours of operation?
Wheeling Hospital performs CT exams for outpatients 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8-10 a.m. Saturdays.
Do I need an appointment?
Yes, you or your physician may call Radiology Scheduling, 304-243-3176 or 877-261-0471 to schedule your exam.
Do I need a physician's order to get a CT?
Yes, your physician must order the CT. If you are given a written order (script) for your test, bring it with you or the exam may be delayed.
How do I prepare for the scan?
You may wear comfortable clothing for your exam, but try to avoid clothing with zippers and snaps, as they can affect the image. You may have to change into a hospital gown for some exams.
If you are to receive intravenous contrast, you may need labs done prior to the exam. If your exam requires labs, they should be done within 30 days of your exam or you can come
approximately 2 hours before your procedure and have them drawn. You may, however, have clear liquids. If your examination
is of the abdomen or pelvis, you will have to drink an oral contrast four hours before and again one hour before the exam. For these exams, you will not be permitted to eat solid food
for approximately four hours before the test but you may have clear liquids. Prescription medicines can be taken the day of the test.
What is contrast?
Contrast is the term for a liquid taken by mouth or injected into a vein via an intravenous catheter in your arm or hand.
- Oral contrast is a dilute barium solution. It is used to identify your stomach and intestines on scans of the abdomen and pelvis.
- Intravenous contrast, or X-ray dye, is a dilute iodine material injected into a vein, usually your arm or hand. It is used to make blood vessels, organs and tissues visible on the images. Some people experience a hot, flushed feeling or a metallic taste. These sensations will go away within a few minutes. We only use non-ionic contrast, which minimizes the possibility of an allergic reaction. Any allergies to IV contrast or iodine should be brought to the attention of your doctor and/or the CT technologist. If you are going to have intravenous contrast, a consent form must be signed.
Where may I pick up the oral contrast?
Your doctor may be able to give you a bottle of oral contrast. You may also pick up oral contrast at our pharmacy, which is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to midnight, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 4 p.m. to midnight.
Are there any special instructions for diabetics?
It may be necessary to stop taking your diabetes medication for 48 hours after the test. If you take oral medication for diabetes, the CT Department will provide special instructions following your exam. Notify the technologist before the exam.
What happens during the scan?
You will be positioned on the CT table. The technologist will control the movement of the scanner and check your progress from an adjoining room. There is constant communication between you and the technologist via the two-way intercom. For most exams, you will be instructed to hold your breath at times. If you feel uncomfortable at any time, tell the technologist. It is extremely important that you remain still during the procedure, as movement will blur the images. After the exam, you may resume your regular diet with no after effects.