What is a CT Scan?
A CT (or CAT) scan is a diagnostic medical imaging procedure that creates three-dimensional images of internal organs, soft tissues, blood vessels and bones. CT stands for Computed Tomography. It provides a more detailed image than a traditional X-ray.
Most CT scans take a few seconds, while some may take more than 10 minutes. The CT scanner looks like a giant donut with a sliding bed inside, and your child needs to lie very still during the procedure.
It’s important to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes without zippers, metal snaps and belt buckles, and no other metal can be worn, such as retainers, earrings and hairclips. Think comfy clothes like sweatpants and a T-shirt.
Having a CT scan does not hurt. CT machines emit low-dose radiation that passes through the body and gets picked up by electronic detectors located on the opposite side of the frame to create detailed images. Then, a computer combines the “image slices” into three-dimensional images that can show any abnormality.
You may not always be able to stay in the room with your child but will be right outside. We know all this can be scary. Hospitals do all they can to make this a good experience for your child.