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Computed Tomography (CT)

What is a CT scan?

A computed tomography (CT) scanner is a specialised  X-ray machine that uses computer techniques to produce images of your body from many angles. To obtain these images the X-ray tube inside the scanner moves rapidly around your body while you lie flat on a table. When scanning some joints, contrast (dye) may also need to be injected into the joint to enable enhanced visualisation of certain anatomical structures. Your referring doctor will advise you if this is required, and we will make your booking accordingly. There are two types of CT examinations, Diagnostic imaging and Interventional procedures.

Diagnostic imaging

The CT scanner is used to produce images of your body ready for diagnosis of symptoms and disease.


The CT scanner is used to produce images that allow the Radiologist to guide the position of a needle for accurate and localised delivery of medications. For more information on our CT Interventional procedures, please see the links below;

How is a CT performed?

A Radiographer will perform the examination. A Radiologist will report on the images. For certain scans, you may require an injection of contrast (dye). You will be given a questionnaire prior to the scan to determine if you have any contraindications to the X-ray dye. Our staff will be able to answer any of your questions.

You may need to hold your breath for a short time during the scan.

Are there any risks?

You will receive a very small dose of X-ray radiation. The benefits of detecting disease are believed to outweigh the potential risk of receiving such a small dose. The scanner at Fowler Simmons Radiology uses the lowest radiation dose possible. You must advise the radiographer if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.

Preparation needed prior to the examination

Your own doctor will be able to tell you which of the following types of scans has been requested. Some scans require preparation and others do not. If you are diabetic please discuss your medications with our booking staff.

  • Head Scans
    No preparation is required for a head scan.
  • Chest, Abdomen or Pelvis Scans
    Have nothing to eat or drink for 4 hours before your appointment. A small amount of water is permitted. Please take any regular medication unless instructed not to by our staff.
  • Kidney or Bladder Scans
    No preparation is required for kidney or bladder scans.
  • Neck Scans
    No preparation is required for neck scans.
  • Spine Scans
    No preparation is required for spine scans.
  • Musculoskeletal or Extremity Scans
    No preparation is required for musculoskeletal or extremity scans.

How long will it take?

Most examinations will take around 10 minutes. Some scans require specialised processing and analysis. These can take longer. Results will be sent through to your referring doctor.

Things we need to know from you

Please inform the Radiology staff of any of the following:

  1. If you are allergic to any medications, anaesthetic agent or X-ray contrast.
  2. If you suffer from diabetes.
  3. If you are feeling unwell or need to cancel your appointment please ring our office as soon as possible on (08) 8229 2100.

Note to female patients: If you are pregnant, or suspect you may be, or if you are breast feeding please advise us before your appointment.

Important things you must bring to your appointment

  • A referral from your health care professional
  • Medicare card
  • Pension/Concession card
  • Any previous films/x-rays
  • WorkCover/Motor Vehicle Accident claim details (if applicable) i.e. claim number, name of employer or insurer.


Please feel free to contact our staff at any time if you have any questions or concerns on (08) 8229 2100.