What is a CT Scan?

Also known as: CT scan, CAT scan.

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  • A Computerized Tomography (CT) scan takes detailed pictures of the inside of the organs, tissues, blood vessels, and other areas not seen on regular X-rays.
  • It is often used to diagnose certain conditions and plan for treatments.
  • Nicklaus Children’s hospital’s CT scanner uses a low dose of radiation.
  • Women who are pregnant and any accompanying children are not permitted to be in the room during the scan  If you are pregnant, please bring another adult who can stay with your child during the scan and/or another adult who can wait in the waiting room with the other children. CT scans are not painful. The bed moves slowly through the tunnel and the camera remains around your child, never touching. A lot of children think the camera looks like a spaceship or doughnut!
  • A CT scan takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes depending on the type of scan.
  • In order to get the best results, it is very important that your child holds still for the scan.
  • In certain cases, patients may be given a mild oral sedative to relieve anxiety and help with holding still. Patients who need stronger sedation (children younger than six to eight years old and some older children with developmental delays) will be re-scheduled for a future scan under general anesthesia.

Reviewed by: Luisa F. Cervantes, MD

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

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