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Preparation for your Scan

Welcome and thank you for choosing Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center for your procedure. Our physicians and technologists are dedicated to providing highly skilled and compassionate care for you and your family. We understand that you may be apprehensive about your procedure. We hope the following information will be helpful to you as you prepare for the procedure and during recovery.

The CT Scan Suite is on the 2nd floor of Memorial’s Main Building and on the 1st floor of the Lee Campus.

Click here to view a list of all CT Scan locations within the Conemaugh Health System

We want to make your experience as comfortable as possible. If you have any questions or concerns that are not answered here, please do not hesitate to call your physician or the CT Scan Unit at (814) 534-9699 between 7 AM and 3 PM.

Before your Scan

Your physician’s office will schedule the date and time of your appointment with Central Scheduling. They will instruct you on any special preparations you need and what time to arrive at the hospital. You may need to arrive at least 90 minutes prior to your test. If you can’t remember when you are scheduled or your special preparation, please call your physician or the CT Scan Unit at (814) 534-9699 between 7 AM and 3 PM.

If you have questions about your insurance coverage or pre-certification, call your insurance company. If you are not covered by insurance, please make arrangements for payment by calling the business office at 814-410-8470.

The preparation for a CT Scan varies depending on the type of study being performed. Your physician may order laboratory tests. If you are 50 years or older or have kidney disease you will need to have blood work (BUN / Creatinine) done at least one day before the exam to check your kidney function. If you are having a biopsy done you will need to have blood work (PT / PTT) done at least two days before the exam to check your blood clotting time. 

You may be required to fast for your procedure and instructed to take your routine medication by the physician or scheduler. Please take them only with a small sip of water. If diabetic, check with your physician for instructions on your diabetic medications.

Please inform the physician if you are allergic to iodine or contrast media, or are taking diabetic medications like Glucophage, Metformin, or Glucovance. Special preparation may be needed before your scan.

A CT Scan is a special x-ray that produces 3-D pictures of the body. You will be exposed to small amounts of radiation. If you are pregnant or think you might be, or if you are breast-feeding, tell the doctor and technologist before your test.

If you need to cancel or reschedule your scan for any reason please call at least 24 hours before your appointment.

The Day of your Scan

Wear loose-fitting, clean, comfortable clothing and flat shoes. You will be asked to remove any hairpins, jewelry, or metal objects. You may be asked to remove your glasses, and/or dentures.

Children under 18 years of age or incapacitated adults must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. You may be accompanied by one adult family member or friend. Children should not accompany adults having any procedures.

Please bring any order that your physicians office provided for you. If you were not contacted by pre-certification please bring your identification and insurance cards.

Please bring a list of your medicines, over-the- counter drugs, and herbal drugs. Also bring a list of allergies to food, latex, or medicine.

Parking is available in the parking lots outside of the buildings. At the Main campus you can park in the garage on Franklin Street or use the valet at the Main Entrance on Franklin Street. Please bring your parking ticket with you to receive a token for free parking in the garage. At the Lee Campus you can park in the garage on Walnut Street. Please remember to bring your ticket with you to receive a rebate ticket for free parking in the garage. You will need to take both tickets back to the garage on the first floor. First you will need to put your parking ticket in the machine and then the rebate ticket. You will be given another ticket to exit the garage.

When you arrive at the hospital on the day of your procedure, check in at the Outpatient Registration desk. At the Main Campus it is to the left in the main lobby on the first floor. If you are going to the Lee Campus the Outpatient Registration Desk is in the main Lobby.
You will be registered and then escorted to the CT Scan Suite waiting area. Once there you will sign in at the desk. You may be asked to change into a gown.

If you are scheduled for a biopsy you will need to check in at the Ambulatory Surgery Desk to the right in the main lobby. You will be registered and then taken to Ambulatory Surgery.

Healthcare professionals will be available in this area to make you comfortable and to answer your questions. Your safety is our number one priority.

The staff may ask you the same questions several times; they will ask your name, birth date, what procedure you are having done, your medications and your allergies. By repeating our questions, we are verifying and re-verifying very important information to ensure that your time with us is as safe as possible.

Because emergencies can cause delays, you may have to wait. Please bring reading material or something else to do in case you have to wait.

Sometimes before having a CT scan performed, patients are given a contrast medium also known as an x-ray dye. It can be given right before or after the first set of scans in a series. You may need to have an intravenous line inserted so it can be injected intravenously. You may have to drink several bottles barium or contrast dye. It may cause a warm feeling throughout your body. If you’ve had a reaction to contrast media before, or you begin to itch, are short of breath, feel pain or discomfort tell your X-ray tech immediately.

Once the contrast medium is inside the body, it travels to the target organs or tissues and highlights those areas. It can take several minutes for it to travel through your body and accumulate in the organ or area being studied. That is why you may need to arrive at least 90 minutes early. Once the contrast medium is at the target area, images are then taken of the body with special equipment

During the Scan

You will meet the technologist when you are taken into the procedure room. The technologist will explain everything that is happening. You will be helped you onto the table, positioned correctly and secured by a strap which helps prevent you from moving. Even slight movement blurs the results. The table you are on will move into the scanner.

The X-ray tech controls the procedure in another room where they can still see and hear you. Let them know if you need assistance. As the x-ray machine scans your body, you will hear the whirring sound of the machine. Relax, but don’t move your body. You will be moved slightly after each scan, although you may not notice the change.

When the CT scan is complete, the technologist will make sure he or she has all the information the doctor will need. Sometimes more images are needed.

Your time in the CT scan will vary between 10 and 20 minutes per test depending on the procedure.

Some Types of CT Scan

Head / Brain Scans
X-rays can’t show brain structures, but CT scans can. Head scans may detect or rule out: tumors, blood clots, and other disorders. You will need to fast for 4 hours. The scanning process takes about 10 minutes.

Body / Abdominal Scans
Body scans show if an organ’s size and shape are normal, and may detect enlarged lymph nodes, pancreatic disease, back problems, blood clots or lung cancer. You will need to fast for 4 hours. The scanning process takes about 15 minutes.

Biopsy under CT Guidance
You will need to stop taking all of your blood thinners 5 days prior to your procedure. This includes Coumadin, Plavix and Aspirin. Please contact your Interventional Radiologist at (814) 534-9583 for further instructions or any questions you may have.

You will be admitted through Ambulatory Surgery. You will need to sign a consent form. If the patient is unable to sign, the next of kin or the power of attorney must be contacted to call CT at extension (814) 534-9922 to give a verbal consent. You must be NPO four hours prior to the exam. Special lab work is needed prior to the biopsy. A BUN, CREAT and GFR are needed for patients age 50 and over. PT and PTT are needed for all biopsy patients. CT barium may be needed. Weight limit is 500 pounds. You will be taken to the CT Suite for your biopsy .Once the biopsy is complete you will go back to Ambulatory where you will be monitored for several hours. Once your vital signs and biopsy site are stable you will be discharged.

After your Scan

Once the technologist has all the images the physician requires, they will assist you off of the table. You are discharged immediately. If you had a change in diet before the scan, you may resume your normal diet. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids for several days unless otherwise contraindicated. Your stool may be white with barium for several days. If you become constipated make sure you speak to the physician that ordered the test.

The technologist can not discuss results with you. The CT scan will be reviewed by a Radiologist and the results will be sent to the doctor who ordered your exam. Your results will be reviewed with you at your next physician’s office visit. If your testing was ordered STAT by your physician, the physician will provide a technical preliminary report to the ordering doctor and will relay any pertinent instructions which your doctor provides.

Thank-you for allowing us to care for you during your CT Scan.