St. Luke’s Hospital
1736 Hamilton Street
Allentown, PA 18104
A CT (computed tomography) Scanner is a computer-driven X-ray machine that takes cross-sectional pictures of parts of the internal organs, bones, soft tissues and blood vessels within the body, allowing radiologists to build three-dimensional images. The CT Scanner is shaped like a large, upright circle. Patients lie on a table, which is moved into the center of the circle. As the X-ray tube moves around the opening of the circle, the scanner takes pictures and the computer builds a very precise, detailed model of the part of the body being scanned.
The patient is usually in the department approximately 15 to 20 minutes, with the actual scan itself taking only minutes. You may need to complete a brief medical questionnaire prior to beginning your test.
You will need to lie on a flat, narrow table that will move into a circular opening. Some studies require an IV to be started by placing a needle in a vein in your arm. This injection will enable the radiologist (specialist medical doctor) to better see specific areas of your body (eg. kidneys, liver, arteries, veins, etc.) For an abdominal scan, you may be required to drink special liquid called barium. This is to help the radiologist distinguish between your bowels and other structures in your body.
The technologist will give you post scan instructions if needed. You will be able to leave immediately following your test and resume your normal activities. The radiologist will report the results to your doctor.
Learn more about our Network CT Scanning Services.
Preparing for a CT Scan
- Some tests require you to fast for three hours prior to the study. You will be given your test preparation at the time of scheduling your study.
- Please bring your doctors order, referral (if needed) and insurance information with you on the day of the test. Failure to bring this information may result in this test being rescheduled.
- Arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment time to register.
- You should wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
- If you are diabetic, please inform the scheduler so that you can be given an early morning appointment.
- We encourage you to bring some reading material or preferred activity with you to pass the time. Unforeseen emergency cases may cause extended delays in the CT area.
Note: If there is a possibility that you are pregnant, please notify your physician, as the procedure may have to be postponed or cancelled.