What is a CT?

Computerized Axial Tomography (CT or CAT) scan is state-of-the-art technology for the evaluation of illnesses, diseases and other medical conditions. A CT scan is a sophisticated x-ray that images very specific areas of your body in great detail. The scanner is a round, donut-shaped machine which is open in the middle. You will lie on a table that glides into the opening, where you may hear humming as the images are obtained. The procedure takes between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on the part of your body being studied. Many CT scans require the use of contrast, either intravenously or by mouth, to enhance the ability to detect abnormalities.


Intravenous contrast is administered for many CT scans. If this is the case, you will be required to fast for three (3) hours before your CT scan. (No food or liquids should be taken during that time, and your physician will advise you about taking medications during the fasting period.) A registered nurse or physician administers the contrast material into the body through an intravenous catheter, usually in the arm. You can expect to feel a warm, flushing sensation that lasts one to two minutes. If your abdomen or pelvis is being scanned, you may need to drink a flavored liquid that allows better visualization of the gastrointestinal tract. If this is the case, you will be asked to come to the office prior to your test to drink one to two bottles of this liquid. You must drink the first one an hour before your procedure, and the second bottle 30 minutes before. Once your CT scan is completed, you may resume your normal diet, but it will be necessary to increase the amount of fluids/water you drink for several hours. You may resume normal activity immediately following this procedure.

For More information


CT Cardiac Angiogram

For information on CT Cardiac Angiograms, please visit http://healthyheart.columbia.edu/

Screening CT

Screening CT includes Virtual Colonscopy, Denta Scan, Coronary Artery Scoring, and Lung Screening

Who should have CT screening scans?

CT Screening is done to detect cancer, coronary artery disease and similar disorder at an early stage when these problems can be treated more successfully. This does not guarantee that abnormalities that could be found in your scan are early in their course or treatable. There is no guarantee that CT screening will be of benefit to you. Reasons that you have been given for screening CT include a high risk for lung cancer, such as might be found in a smoker, or a high risk for coronary artery disease, such as in someone with strong family history of heart attack or a lipid metabolism disorder. The decision to have a screening CT scan should be made jointly by the patient and physician.

Hours of Operation

Monday – Thursday: 8:00am – 7:00pm
Friday: 8:00am – 5:00pm

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