Computed tomography (CT) scans, also called computerized axial tomography (CAT) scans, are a medical imaging method that uses X-rays to generate detailed cross-sectional images of the body. These image "slices"are used to detect broken bones, cancers, blood clots, signs of heart disease and internal bleeding and to guide biopsies.

CT is sometimes combined with positron emission tomography (PET) for an even higher level accuracy and definition in disease diagnosis. Combined PET/CT scans are particularly helpful in pinpointing cancer.

How You Benefit

CT scanning is fast, painless and usually noninvasive. Compared to regular X-rays, a CT scan provides extremely detailed high-resolution images, and it captures organs, bones, soft tissue and blood vessels all at the same time. This highly detailed and precise imagery helps doctors diagnose your condition more accurately.

LewisGale offers CT scanning at all hospitals and several outpatient locations.

What to Expect

A CT scan usually takes only 10-15 minutes. Depending on the type of scan, an intravenous (IV) needle may be placed in your hand or arm and used to inject a contrast dye during the test or the contrast may be given orally as a drink.

Learn more about computed tomography scanning at our online Health Library.