Computed tomography, or CT, is a diagnostic medical test that uses X-rays to produce detailed, cross-sectional images of the body. CT images of internal organs, bones, soft tissue and blood vessels provide greater detail than traditional X-rays, allowing radiologists to more easily diagnose problems such as cancer or cardiovascular disease.
Preparing for Your CT Scan
Someone on our radiology team will call you 24 to 48 hours before your appointment with information specific to your exam. All medications may be taken unless specified by your physician. You may be asked to arrive one hour early to drink water or contrast, or to obtain blood work.
What to Expect at Your Appointment
Depending on the type of study ordered, you may be asked to drink contrast or water and/or receive a contrast injection in your arm through an IV.
CT scanners are shaped like a large doughnut. You will lie on a motorized table that will slide you in and out of the scanner opening. Straps and pillows may be used to help you stay in position.
While the table moves you in and out of the scanner to take the images of the organ or body part of interest, you may hear buzzing, clicking or whirring noises. You may be asked to hold your breath at certain points to avoid movement that could blur the images.
A board-certified radiologist with specialized CT training reviews your images and provides the results to your ordering provider typically within three business days. Please contact your provider for results. If you are enrolled in MyChart®, you can find your results there as well.
Accreditations and Certifications
All of our CT equipment is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR). The CT department at Froedtert Hospital is accredited by the ACR for Lung Cancer Screening.
Moorland Reserve Health Center, Froedtert Hospital, Community Memorial Hospital, St. Joseph's Hospital and West Bend Health Center are also accredited for pediatric CT imaging
All technologists who perform CT exams are nationally board certified and are state licensed.
Our radiology department team is working on or implementing these new CT applications and practices.
- Low-Dose Technology. CT scanners are equipped with technology and the CT protocols are built to allow for scanning techniques that use lower radiation dose
- Lung Cancer Screening. Low-dose, noncontrast chest CTs aid in early detection of lung cancer.
- Cardiac Calcium Scoring Screening. A specialty, self-pay CT exam that evaluates the presence of calcium and plaque in the walls of the arteries of the heart. It checks for heart disease in its early stages.
- CT Colonography Screening. This self-pay CT screening exam is a noninvasive alternative to a traditional colonoscopy that utilizes gas to distend and visualize the colon to detect colon cancer.
- Dual Energy Imaging. A feature on new CT scanners that allows images to be acquired using two X-ray beams or energies instead of one. Dual energy images provide additional clinical information about material composition along with reducing artifacts caused by metal.