CT Scan

Quality Exams, Timely Results CT-Scan_2013.jpg

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 Your Exam

Please call Winchester Hospital’s centralized scheduling office at 781-756-2211. All exams require either an electronic or written order which can be faxed to 781-756-8709, provided by your physician, prior to scheduling the appointment. Your exam may require a pre- authorization from your insurance carrier. Please check with your insurance company.
 

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 Your Exam

Although Winchester Hospital accepts most major commercial insurance plans, Medicare, Medicaid and Worker’s Compensation, it is important to check with your insurance carrier prior to your exam to determine coverage. If you do not have health insurance, please call the Estimates phone line at 781-744-8779. Please call Customer Service at 781-744-8772 to arrange a payment prior to your exam.
 

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 are sent to your doctor, who in turn will review the results with you to determine best course of treatment. To get a copy of your images, you will need to prearrange their release.
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.

 

Imaging Services

Winchester Hospital offers a wide array of leading-edge diagnostic imaging services close to home, led by a team of highly-skilled general and specialty radiologists, nurses, technologists and support staff.

Rehabilitation Services

Winchester Hospital offers a variety of rehabilitation services – including cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation as well as physical, occupational and speech therapy – to help you get back to your normal routine.

Pain Management Center

The skilled and caring staff at Winchester Hospital's Pain Management Center helps hundreds of patients each year reduce and cope with chronic pain so that they can lead more active and productive lives.