Quality Exams, Timely Results
Winchester Hospital’s computed tomography (CT) services are offered in two locations, Winchester and Woburn. Our technology provides great comfort for patients and our imaging staff is dedicated to providing high-quality exams and timely results. Our CT services are accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR).
About CT Scans
Computed tomography – also called a CT scan or a CAT scan – is an X-ray procedure that uses a computer to generate cross-sectional views of the body. The machine has a hole in the center that your body passes through as it takes images from many different angles.
These images are processed through a computer to create a radiographic “slice” of the body. The images offer more detail than conventional X-ray and can show bone, soft tissue and blood vessels at the same time.
How to Schedule a CT Scan
To schedule a CT exam, call Winchester Hospital’s centralized scheduling office at 781-756-2211. CT exams require a written physician order that can be faxed or brought with you. You may be required to have pre-authorization from your insurance carrier prior to your exam.
CT scans are scheduled seven days a week and on weekends and evenings.
Winchester Hospital offers CT scans at these two locations:
Winchester Hospital Outpatient Center at Unicorn Park
200 Unicorn Park Drive, Suite 402, Woburn, Massachusetts
41 Highland Avenue Winchester, Massachusetts
Preparing for a CT Scan
Preparation drinks may be required prior to an exam and can be picked up at specific Winchester Hospital locations. Please wear comfortable, loose-fitting, metal-free clothes to your exam. You may be given a gown to wear during the procedure. Also bring a current list of the medications you are taking.
Metal objects such as jewelry, eyeglasses, dentures and hair pins may affect the CT images and should be left at home or removed prior to your exam. Finally, please leave valuable items at home. Although we provide private, secured lockers during your exam, we cannot be responsible for these items.
How a CT Scan is Done
The technologist begins by positioning you on the CT examination table, usually lying flat on your back or possibly on your side or stomach. Straps and pillows may be used to help you maintain the correct position and to hold still during the exam.
Next, the table will move through the scanner to determine the correct starting position for the scans. Then, the table is slipped into the center of the machine which takes the X-ray images around the body. The table will move slowly through the machine as the actual CT scanning is performed.
To increase the clarity of the X-ray images, it is important for you to remain as still as possible. The technologist will tell you when to breathe or hold your breath during scans of the chest and abdomen. The CT procedure usually is completed within 30 minutes.
About Contrast Dyes
Certain CT exams require an injection of contrast dye that helps to enhance certain structures. You may be asked not to eat or drink anything for several hours prior to the exam, especially if a contrast material will be used.
You should inform your physician of any medications you are taking and if you have any allergies, especially to contrast dyes. Also inform your doctor of any recent illnesses or other medical conditions, and if you have a history of heart disease, asthma, diabetes, kidney disease or thyroid problems. Women should always inform their physician or technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.
You can resume your normal activities as soon as your exam is completed. Drink extra fluids during the day. If you have any concerns or unusual pain after the test, please call your physician’s office.
Paying for a CT Scan
Although Winchester Hospital accepts most major commercial insurance plans, Medicare, Medicaid and Worker’s Compensation, it is important to check with your carrier prior to your exam to determine coverage. If you do not have health insurance, we accept MasterCard or Visa, personal checks or cash. We also are willing to set up payment plans.
Getting Your Results
Your exam will be interpreted by a radiologist using our state-of-the-art picture archiving and communication system (PACS). The results will then be sent to your doctor. Your doctor, in turn, will review the results with you to determine the best course of treatment.
To get a copy of your images, you will need to pre-arrange their release by calling Winchester Hospital’s Imaging Center in Woburn at 781-756-4008 or Winchester Hospital at 781-756-2353. A notice of 24 hours is preferred for most efficient customer service. Urgent requests will be honored, but there may be a 30- to 60-minute wait.
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