Radiographer operating a CT scannerThe radiographer will ask you to lie on a motorised bed, which will move slowly through the scanning machine. Unlike some machines, the CT scanner is not enclosed.
You will need to lie very still while each picture is taken, to avoid blurring the images. You may also be asked to hold your breath for a moment.
You should not feel any pain during the scan. The most difficult part is keeping still. If you find it difficult or uncomfortable lying still, please tell the radiographer.
A scan usually takes 10-20 minutes, depending on the area of your body that is being scanned. If any preparation is needed, you may need to come to hospital one hour before your scan.
Please be advised if you need an injection of contrast dye one of the CT staff will insert a small needle into a vein in the back of your hand. When it is injected, you might feel a hot flush and get a metallic taste in your mouth. Sometimes people have a sensation that they are wetting the bed (but they don't actually do it). These sensations are normal and pass within minutes.
If we are scanning your abdomen, we may need to give you a drink which has contrast dye (or sometimes water). Try to avoid passing urine until your scan is over.