A CT (computed tomography) scan shows the fine details of organs, bones, blood vessels and soft tissue. When you choose us, you can count on expert services and a comfortable experience. We quickly produce detailed images that give you answers to important questions about your health.
BJC HealthCare works with Washington University physicians, BJC Medical Group, and providers across the region to deliver extraordinary care. Highly skilled radiology technologists carry out your scan, and board-certified radiologists — many with advanced fellowship training — interpret the results. Together we perform more than 100,000 CT exams per year. This volume leads to precise imaging that helps your care team deliver the outstanding treatments you deserve.
Highlights of our program include:
- Advanced technology: We use the most sophisticated computed tomography technology. It rapidly produces high-definition images with the smallest necessary radiation exposure. Results are often available to our radiologists within seconds, ensuring timely interpretations.
- Rapid access: We expedite your care when there’s an emergency, such as a traumatic injury or suspected stroke. Experts have easy access to CT scanners, saving precious time so you can start treatments sooner.
- Comfort: A traditional CT scan involves laying still in a large metal tube. It can be uncomfortable for some adults and difficult for young children. Pediatric anesthesiologists can give young children medication so they sleep through the scan. BJC also is home to large bore CT scanners with additional space, providing a comfortable experience for those with larger bodies.
BJC is a connected network of specialists offering advanced capabilities and a seamless patient experience. After receiving a physician referral, call (314) 362-9355 or (800) 392-0936 to schedule an appointment, and we’ll take care of the details.
CT scans use special X-ray equipment and software to create cross-sectional images of internal structures. A narrow X-ray beam rotates around your body, capturing images from multiple angles. It produces a series of scans similar to a loaf of thinly sliced bread. This enables experts to examine areas of concern one small section (slice) at a time.
CTs with contrast involve a special dye that makes it easier to view the details of certain organs. Depending on the area we are scanning, the dye may be a substance you swallow. Or, we may inject it through an intravenous (IV) line.
Computed tomography scans offer greater detail than traditional X-rays enabling us to pinpoint the cause of your symptoms. They are often part of a comprehensive evaluation that involves additional tests and expert consultations. Our approach leads to a correct diagnosis so that you receive appropriate therapies.
You lie on a table that we slide into the CT scanner. The scanner is a donut-shaped tube that makes a humming sound as the X-ray scanner rotates. The tight space and noise can be unsettling to some people. Sedatives are available to help you relax. Patients with obesity have the option of using one of our large bore scanners, which offer additional space.
Here is additional information about what to expect:
- CT exams for children: Bring a favorite soft toy or blanket for additional comfort during your child’s CT scan.
- Clothing: Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. Sometimes it’s necessary to change into a hospital gown.
- Food, drink and medications: Take medications as you usually do unless our team says not to. Do not eat or drink anything for two hours before your CT exam.
- Jewelry: Do not wear jewelry during your scan. It’s best to leave valuables at home to keep them safe.
- Metal objects: It’s essential to remove metal objects before the scan. These include eyeglasses, dentures, hearing aids and hairpins.
- Pregnancy: If you might be pregnant, please let us know so we can take steps to protect your baby.
- Billing: You will receive two bills — one from the facility where you received your scan and the other from the radiologist who reads the results. Check with your insurance for specific billing charges to expect.
A computed tomography scan may be right for you if your care team is looking to confirm or rule out:
- Gastrointestinal disorders, which may include inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome
- Heart diseases, such as congenital heart issues and narrowed arteries
- Stroke, including whether it’s due to a disruption in blood supply (ischemic) or bleeding into the brain (hemorrhagic)
- Orthopedic concerns, like arthritis, torn ligaments or joint infections
- Traumatic injuries, such as internal bleeding
- Tumors or cancer, including the location, size and shape of the growth