A computed tomography scan (CT scan) is a diagnostic imaging test that produces 3-D, layered pictures of a body area using X-rays. CT scans are an accurate and fast way for doctors to visualize your spine, joints, and bones and the organs inside your head, pelvis, abdomen, and chest. Your doctor may also refer to a CT scan as a CAT scan or computed axial tomography scan.
Wait at home, not in the emergency room. Use Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican Hospitals' online waiting service to select your estimated arrival time for CT scan in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.
Why Do Doctors Use Computed Tomography Scan?
Doctors use CT scans to evaluate a range of conditions and symptoms and provide diagnosis and treatment, including:
- Scan patients for organ damage, fractures, and internal bleeding from trauma, such as car accidents
- Diagnose the cause of symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, abdominal pain, and changes to vision and speech
- Guide procedures, including abscess drainage, cancer treatment, and biopsy
- Plan surgery, such as organ transplant and tumor removal
- Monitor treatment, including radiation therapy and chemotherapy
What to Expect When You Enter the CT Scanner
A radiologic technician will perform your CT scan in a Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican radiology clinic or hospital. The scan can last up to 30 minutes.
When you have a CT scan, you lie on a table. It slowly moves through a large, ring-shaped machine. The machine does not completely enclose you, but encircles one part of your body at a time. The technician may ask you to hold still or hold your breath at times while the scanner takes pictures.
Sometimes to give extra clarity for certain body areas, a contrast dye is necessary. Your technician may give you this dye by injection, mouth, or enema. CT contrast dye can cause allergic reactions in rare cases.
Because the scanner exposes you to radiation, CT scans carry a slightly increased risk of cancer. The benefits of CT scans generally outweigh this risk.
Understanding Your CT Scan Results at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican
CT scans help doctors diagnose:
- Infections, including abscesses and appendicitis
- Internal bleeding, including bleeding from blood vessel damage or an organ
- Blood vessel problems, including aneurysms and blood clots
- Heart and lung conditions, including pneumonia and coronary artery disease
- Bone and joint conditions, including arthritis, fractures, and herniated disc
- Gastrointestinal conditions, including infection, inflammation, and gallstones
- Tumors, including benign masses and cancer
Your doctor will tell you the results of your CT scan as soon as possible and discuss your options, including treatment recommendations and referrals to specialists.
Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican offers emergency services, including CT scan, in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.