CT Scan

Detailed internal imaging

CT Scan at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Needham

Computed tomography (CT) scans help us better understand what’s going on inside your body. These images are more detailed than single X-rays, and they can be used to examine almost any part of your anatomy.

At Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Needham, we have highly trained imaging experts who can capture the high-quality pictures needed to give you a prompt diagnosis.

Why BID Needham?

Our department is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR). That means our imaging specialists are experts. We can capture the high-quality pictures your providers need to deliver the most accurate, up-to-date, timely care. In addition, each of our imaging technologists — the staff members who complete your scan — have the required credentials to perform CT exams.

What is a CT Scan?

A CT scan is sometimes called a CAT scan. It shows detailed images of your bones, muscles, organs and blood vessels. This exam uses a combination of multiple X-rays taken from several angles around your body.

At BID Needham, our CT scanner is a 64-slice machine. It captures 64 pictures per second. Each picture is a 1 millimeter, thin “slice” of a section of your body. These pictures are two dimensional (2D). But with special computer processing, our imaging specialists use the slices to create highly detailed 3D images.

When Might You Need a CT Scan?

Your provider may recommend you have a CT scan to get a better look at your heart and blood vessels. They may also suggest CT for these or other issues:

What Can You Expect Before the CT Scan?

You can have a CT scan on almost any part of your body. Our schedulers will explain any required steps before your exam.

Most CT exams require contrast material that makes it easier for our imaging specialists to see all the structures inside your body. In many cases, contrast material is given as an injection. For abdominal or pelvic exams, you’ll need to drink the contrast material so it shows up in your stomach and intestines. At BID Needham, we use a thin, barium-based oral contrast material that comes in vanilla, mocha and berry flavors.

What Happens During and After a CT Scan?

After changing your clothes and receiving any contrast material, you will lie down on a table that slides into the CT scanner. You’ll need to stay very still while the scanner rotates around you to take pictures. When your exam is over, the table will slide out of the scanner.

If you receive contrast material, we may monitor you for a short time to make sure you don’t experience any side effects. For some patients, this can include itching, swelling or a rash. Otherwise, CT scans usually don’t require any special care.

How Will You Get Your Images?

Your images will be added to your electronic medical record after our imaging specialist has reviewed them. We will share these images with the physician who ordered your test.

Services & Specialties

If your provider recommends a CT scan as part of your care, our imaging experts are here to help. We work closely with other specialists at BID Needham to ensure you get the care you need as quickly as possible.