Open Accessibility Menu

CT (Computed Tomography) Scan

Capturing 3D pictures of bones, organs, blood vessels and tissues

What is a computed tomography (CT) scan?

A computed tomography (CT) scan uses X-rays to create detailed pictures of the inside of the body from different angles. This allows providers see what's going on inside the body.

What is a CT scan used to diagnose?

CT scans can show bones, organs, blood vessels and tissues in great detail. This helps providers diagnose and monitor various conditions such as:

  • Injuries
  • Infections
  • Tumors
  • Diseases

What can I expect during a CT scan?

When you go for a CT scan, you will lie down on a table that moves slowly through a large ring-shaped machine. The machine will take pictures of your body from different angles using X-rays.
The pictures will then be put together by a computer to create detailed images for a physician to review. You will need to stay very still during the scan so that the pictures come out clear. It usually doesn't take too long.

How do I prepare for a CT scan?

To get ready for a CT scan, your provider will give you special instructions. Here are some general things to keep in mind:

  • Clothing: Wear comfy clothes without any metal or jewelry, as they can affect the scan. You might need to wear a hospital gown instead.
  • Contrast: If the type of CT scan you’re having requires a special dye called contrast, tell your provider about any allergies or kidney problems you have. They might give you instructions about what to eat or drink before the scan.
  • Medications: Let your provider know about the medicines you take, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medications and supplements.
  • Fasting: You might have to fast for a while before the scan. This usually happens if they're scanning your stomach or pelvis. Your provider will let you know if you need to do this.

Remember, it's important to follow the instructions you’re given to make sure the CT scan gives accurate results.

What are the risks of a CT scan?

CT scans involve exposure to a small amount of radiation, but the benefits usually outweigh the potential risks.

Is a CT scan safe if I am pregnant?

If you are pregnant or suspect you might be, inform your healthcare provider before the CT scan. They will evaluate the necessity and potential risks of the scan.

Referral required for this service. If you need one, talk to your primary care provider.

To establish care with a Aspirus St. Luke's primary care provider, call 218.249.4000 or find a clinic near you.

Looking for a provider?

Find information about provider related to CT Scans services.

Find Your Provider