A CT (computed tomography) scan is a noninvasive medical test that uses special X-ray equipment to create multiple images or pictures of the inside of the body.
A Cardiac CTA is a non-invasive scan for evaluating the coronary arteries--the vessels that supply blood to the heart. Plaque is a build-up of fat, calcium, and other substances which can narrow or even close off blood flow to the heart resulting in painful angina (chest pain), heart attack or sudden death.
All CT exams require a physician order and may require insurance pre-authorization. Outpatient CT exams are generally by appointment. Walk in or urgent cases will be accommodated.
Patients will be given specific instructions for their exams at the time of scheduling.
Equipment and Procedures
Conemaugh East Hills • Siemens AS 40 slice and GE Revolution 128 slice scanners
Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center • Siemens FLASH 128 slice scanner with dose reduction • 40 slice Siemens AS 40 with the integrated ability for CT guidance procedures and localization applications • 32 slice CT
Conemaugh Nason Medical Center • 32 slice CT
Biopsies, interventional procedures, cardiac CTA, CT perfusion, CT colonography, and diagnostic CT exams.
Preparation for Scan
Welcome and thank you for choosing Conemaugh Health System 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.
There are several CT scanners on the Conemaugh Health System campus. At the Main Campus, the CT Scan Suite is on the 2nd floor of Memorial Medical Center. At our East Hills location, the CT Scan Suite is in the Conemaugh East Hills.
Outpatient CT scans are scheduled at the Conemaugh East Hills location. If needed, a patient may request the Main Campus for their Outpatient CT Scan.
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.
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 30 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.
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 60 years or older or have kidney disease you will need to have blood work (GFR/ Creatinine) done at least 30 days before the exam to check your kidney function. If you have had CT dye since your last bloodwork result, additional bloodwork may be needed. Please check with your physician.
You may be required to fast for your procedure. Drinking water is fine. If you take medications, you may take them with a sip of water. If diabetic, please check with your physician for instructions on your diabetic medications and CT dye.
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 after 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.
Day of Scan
Wear loose-fitting, clean, comfortable clothing. 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 physician’s 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 East Hills location, there is ample parking in front and behind the building.
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 East Hills Building, please check in at the reception area on the Ground Floor in the CT Suite.
You will be registered and then escorted to the CT Scan Suite waiting area. Please call the CT Department upon arrival to notify them that you have arrived. You may be asked to change into a gown for your test.
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. If ordered by your doctor, you may have to drink oral contrast. It may cause a warm feeling throughout your body. If 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 30 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 positioning 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..
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 5 and 20 minutes per test, depending on the procedure.
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 5 minutes.
Low Dose CT scans for Lung Nodule Screening
Low Dose CT Scans for Lung Nodules are offered at several Conemaugh Health System CT Sites. This procedure used very low radiation to evaluate the lungs for possible nodules that may be concerning for lung cancer.
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 10 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 60 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.
Once the technologist has all the images the physician requires, they will assist you off of the table. You are discharged immediately. 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 cannot 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.
Conemaugh East Hills
1450 Scalp Avenue, Room 1052
Johnstown, PA 15904
Phone: (814) 534-9186
Monday - Friday, 7:30 am - 5 pm
Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center - Main Campus
1086 Franklin Street
Johnstown, PA 15905
Phone: (814) 534-9127
Monday - Friday, 7 am - 5 pm
Saturday, 7 am - 3 pm
Conemaugh Meyersdale Medical Center
200 Hospital Drive
Phone: (814) 972-6970, call to schedule appointment
Monday - Friday, 7 am - 8 pm
Saturday, 7 am - 3 pm
Conemaugh Miners Medical Center
290 Haida Avenue
Phone: (814) 247-3300, call to schedule appointment
Monday - Friday, 7:30 am - 7 pm
Conemaugh Nason Medical Center
105 Nason Drive
Roaring Spring, PA
Monday - Friday, 8 am - 4 pm
Saturday, 7 am - 12 pm
861 Hills Plaza Drive
Phone: (814) 472-4958
Thursday, 8 am - 4 pm