CT Scan

Introduction

Low Radiation Dose Computed Tomography (CT) uses low levels of radiation to help diagnose and monitor a wide array of conditions. A CT scanner has detectors which move around the body in a circular motion. This allows detailed images to be built up as you move through the scanner. The CT scans are cross-sectional views of the body that can be viewed in a sequence, much like slices of bread stacked together.

Using the CT scanner and a powerful computer, we can build three dimensional images showing the soft tissues, bones and blood vessels, and see parts of the body, which are difficult to view by any other method. Most CT examinations are simple, fast and painless.

Related images

  • image_ctscan1
  • image_ctscan2

Preparation

There is often no preparation required for a CT scan. However, depending on the area of the body being examined you may be asked to fast for a period of time before your scan. For some examinations of the abdomen, you may be given some water or a special drink before your scan. You will be advised by our reception staff if you require any special preparation when you make your appointment.

Once you arrive at the clinic, you will be given a questionnaire to complete, which asks you to provide information about medications you may be taking, known allergies and medical conditions you have.

Please inform us if you are taking any diabetic medication, have kidney disease or have had a previous reaction to x-ray contrast. Please bring a list of all your current medications to your appointment.

Procedure

You will be asked to lie on a table which is moved into the centre of the scanner. This contains the x-ray tube and sensitive detectors. These rotate around the part of the body to be examined but will not touch you.  You may be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds during the scan.

You will be monitored by our trained staff at all times.

Some CT examinations require an injection of a special contrast, which contains iodine, to enhance a particular body part or structure. Without this injection some important abnormalities may go undetected. The contrast or dye is usually injected into a vein in your arm. For CT arthrogram studies, it is injected into the joint that is being scanned. If you need an injection of contrast you will be asked to sign a consent form before your examination.

Are there any side effects?

Side effects from having a CT scan are very rare. During your procedure you will be exposed to a small amount of radiation. The benefits of detecting disease are believed to outweigh any potential risks from receiving such a small dose. At Perth Radiological Clinic, we have low radiation dose CT scanners and special protocols to ensure that radiation during the scan is kept to the absolute minimum required to produce diagnostic quality images.

If you need to have an injection of contrast dye it is quite common to experience a warm flush and/or a metallic taste in your mouth. Occasionally some patients may experience transient nausea or an itchy rash. These side effects, if they occur, do not last very long. Other more severe allergic reactions are extremely rare.

Please inform the technologist if you think you might be pregnant before your scan.

How long will the procedure take?

Your CT scan will be analysed and reported by a fully qualified and accredited specialist radiologist (a medical doctor with specialist training in diagnostic medical imaging).  The CT scanner generates a large number of images, which need to be carefully analysed by the radiologist. The processing, reviewing and reporting of your CT images may take up to 1 or 2 hours. Additional time is required for typing the report, printing films and creating a CD of your images. Usually, the report is available to your referring doctor the next working day. Please notify the reception staff if you are going to wait for your films.

Please remember to bring all previous x-rays and imaging investigations with you to your appointment.

Information brochure

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Locations where this service is available

  • Armadale Hospital
    The Medical Centre Building

    3056 Albany Highway
    Armadale

    Ph: 9391 2010
    Fx: 9391 2019

    Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00pm

    Service available to Emergency Department patients after hours.

  • Bentley Hospital
    Bentley Health Service (B Block)
    33-56 Mills Street
    Bentley

    Ph: 9232 3800
    Fx: 9350 5644

    Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00pm
    Saturday 8:30am-12pm*

    *Please note: not all services are performed on Saturdays.

  • Bethesda Hospital
    25 Queenslea Drive
    Claremont

    Ph: 9286 0400
    Fx: 9286 0430

    Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00pm

  • Booragoon
    260 Leach Highway (corner Norma Road)
    Booragoon

    Ph: 9333 5600
    Fx: 9317 8368

    Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00pm
    Saturday 8:30am-12pm*

    *Please note: not all services are performed on Saturdays.

  • Gosnells
    122-126 Stalker Road
    Gosnells

    Ph: 9394 9900
    Fx: 9394 9960

    Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00pm

  • Innaloo
    8 Odin Road
    Innaloo

    Ph: 9329 5400
    Fx: 9329 5490

    Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00pm

  • Joondalup
    Joondalup Radiology Shenton House
    Level 1 Shenton House
    57 Shenton Avenue (cnr Grand Boulevard)
    Joondalup

    Ph: 9400 0600
    Fx: 9400 0690

    Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00pm
    Saturday 8:30am-12pm*

    *Please note: not all services are performed on Saturdays.

  • Joondalup Health Campus
    Shenton Avenue
    Joondalup

    Ph: 9400 0500
    Fx: 9400 9033

    Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm
    *On-call service available 24/7

  • Midland
    Victoria Street Radiology
    21-23 Victoria Street
    Midland

    Ph: 9374 2600
    Fx: 9374 2691

    Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00pm
    Saturday 8:30am-12pm*

    *Please note: not all services are performed on Saturdays.

  • Morley
    Corner Walter and Collier Roads
    Morley

    Ph: 9375 0700
    Fx: 9375 0790

    Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00pm

  • Mount Medical Centre
    Level 2
    140 Mounts Bay Road
    Perth

    Ph: 6228 6200
    Fx: 6228 6240

    Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00pm
    Saturday 9:00am-12pm*

    *Please note: not all services are performed on Saturdays.

  • Nollamara
    217 Wanneroo Road (corner Morley Drive)
    Balcatta

    Ph: 9440 7400
    Fx: 9440 7490

    Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00pm
    Saturday 8:30am-12pm*

    *Please note: not all services are performed on Saturdays.

  • Rockingham
    215 Willmott Drive
    Waikiki

    Ph: 9599 3900
    Fx: 9592 9893

    Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00pm

  • South Perth Hospital
    1 Burch Street
    South Perth

    Ph: 9474 7600
    Fx: 9474 7630

    Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00pm

  • Subiaco
    Magnetic Resonance Centre
    127 Hamersley Road
    Subiaco

    Ph: 9380 0900
    Fx: 9380 4188

    Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00pm
    7 Day MRI service