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CT Scan

What is a Computed Tomography (CT)?

A CT scan is a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (often called slices) of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat and organs. This type of screening may be performed to help diagnose tumors, investigate internal bleeding, and check for infection or other problems and diseases. It is important when you get a CT to choose a location with a low-dose scanner. At UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's our unique software, SAFIRE, allows us to provide our patients with excellent image quality at a significantly lower radiation dose.

How does it work?

A CT scanner is an open "doughnut" shaped ring through which a table passes. Patients are positioned comfortably in a variety of ways, depending upon the area of imaging interest. In a CT scan, the x-ray beam moves in a circle as the table advances, making a spiral path through the body. The x-ray information is sent to a computer that interprets the x-ray data and displays it in 2-dimensional form on a monitor.

Many CT scans require medicine for the patient to take by mouth to make the stomach, small bowel and colon show up better on the scan. Intravenous (IV) medicine is given to enhance the organs, blood vessels and tissues. The time and what is done for a scan will depend on the type of procedure being done.

Quality Care at St. Luke's

St. Luke's offers a state-of-the-art scanner allowing for better image quality, faster scans and reduced radiation dose. The exceptional staff at St. Luke's is all board-certified through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists and with more than 75 years of combined experience you can trust that you are being cared for by the best.

At St. Luke's we also offer CT Calcium Scoring for the heart and virtual colonoscopy as well as other diagnostic scans.