CAT Scan, or CT, stands for “computed tomography”. Like x-rays, a CAT scan will produce multiple images of the inside of the body. CT images are cross-sectional, which allows them to be arranged in multiple planes. 3D images can even be generated from the pictures taken during a CAT scan. The images produced by a CAT scan provide a radiologist with a far greater detailed picture than an x-ray while looking at blood vessels and soft tissues. For this reason, CT scans are vital in finding problems such as cancer, musculoskeletal disorders, cardiovascular disease, damaged tissue and organs caused by trauma, and even infections.

Minneola District Hospital offers CAT scans utilizing an 16 slice CT scanner, which provides highly detailed CT scans.

What to expect when coming in for a CT scan

1. CT exams are sometimes ordered to be done with contrast.  This is a fluid which will help to highlight different areas of the scan.  Oral contrast is given to highlight your stomach and intestines. Contrast can also be given through an IV site to highlight areas of blood flow. If your doctor chooses to use contrast to enhance your CT exam, special preparation instructions will be given to you in advance.

2. The CT scanner is shaped like a large doughnut, and a sort of bed where you will lie down during the exam continuiously moves in and out of the circular opening. Although the you will need to remain still in the given position for the exam, the scan takes a fraction of the time and is more comfortable than an MRI scan.

3. When possible you will be provided with a lead shield to protect your body parts from the radiation. Some exams do not allow the use of shielding as the shield will obscure the body part(s) of interest.