A computerized tomography (CT) scan is a noninvasive medical test that helps your doctor diagnose and treat certain medical conditions. It provides more detailed information than plain X-rays do.
Emerson Hospital uses the latest high-speed, multi-slice CT technology to take images that are unsurpassed in resolution and clinical detail. CT scanning is available at the Yeatts Radiology Center on our main campus in Concord and at the Westford Health Center.
Why a CT scan is performed
Because a CT scan can visualize nearly every part of the body, it is used to:
- Diagnose muscle and bone disorders, such as fractures and bone tumors
- Identify the location of a tumor, infection or blood clot
- Detect and monitor conditions such as cancer and heart disease
- Guide surgical procedures, biopsies and radiation therapy
- Detect internal injuries and bleeding caused by trauma
- Monitor the effectiveness of cancer treatment
What a CT scan involves
A CT (or CAT) scan combines a series of X-ray images taken from different angles, using a sophisticated computer to produce cross-sectional images (“slices”) of bones, blood vessels and soft tissues inside your body. The test generally takes 15 to 30 minutes.
The CT scanner is shaped like a large doughnut. You lie on a motorized table that slides through the donut “hole” into a short tunnel. Straps and pillows may be used to help you comfortably stay in position.
When you move into the scanner, the X-ray tube rotates around you. Each rotation produces several thin image slices of your body. You may hear buzzing, clicking and whirring noises during the scan.
You may be given an intravenous injection of a contrast material to help make the images clearer. After the scan, you will be advised to drink a lot of fluids to help your kidneys flush the contrast material from your body.
A technologist in a separate room can see and hear you during the entire exam, and you will be able to talk with the technologist via intercom. The technologist may ask you to hold your breath at certain points during the exam to avoid blurring the images.
Low-dose CT lung cancer screening
For current or former smokers, Emerson Hospital offers low-dose CT (LDCT) screening to help detect lung cancer at its earliest, most treatable stages, and using a minimal amount of radiation.
LDCT lung screenings are available at Emerson Hospital in Concord or the Emerson Hospital Health Center in Westford, and are covered by most insurance plans. For more information on screening criteria and to make an appointment, please call 978-287-3003
To obtain test results
By law, this requires a signed medical records release form and photo identification. To make a request, please call:
Schedule An Appointment
To schedule an appointment for a CT scan, please call 978-287-3003