A CT scan is a non-invasive and painless procedure, during which you may hear clicking and whirring noises as the X-ray device rotates and records images. The exam should last no longer than an hour and may be shorter depending on the study your doctor has ordered, the necessary preparation, and whether or not the exam involves the use of a contrast medium. The scan itself should take about 10 minutes. You may be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds to avoid blurring the images as the X-ray tube rotates around your body. During the procedure a technologist will tell you when the exam is starting, when it has finished, and other instructions.
A radiologist will interpret your images and send the results to the physician who ordered the procedure. That physician will then contact you to discuss the results.
CT scan risks are similar to those of conventional X-rays. You are briefly exposed to a small amount of radiation during the procedure, but physicians and scientists generally believe the benefits of the test far outweigh the risks.
Your physician should be made aware if you are pregnant, have asthma or other allergies, or have medical conditions, such as: diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, transplants, or thyroid conditions.