CT (Computed Tomography) uses X-rays and a computer to create detailed images of the inside of the body. The CT scanner will take pictures from different angles around the body and puts them together to create  a 3D picture.

Fortius Clinic has one CT scanner at our Fortius Clinic London location. All our scans are carried out by highly experienced radiographers. The scans are then reported by a Consultant Radiologist within 24-48 hours.

Preparing for your CT

There is a copy of the CT contrast questionnaire available on our website and this will be emailed to you before your appointment, wherever possible please take time to fill this in before attending. If you have any allergies, kidney problems or are taking any medication for diabetes and you are due to have CT contrast, please email or call us before your appointment.

If you think there is any possibility you could be pregnant, please get in touch with our team. CT scans are not recommended during pregnancy unless it is an emergency.

You may be required to not eat or drink before you scan, if this is the case someone will let you know.

It's a good idea to wear loose, comfortable clothes as you may be able to wear these during the scan. Try to avoid wearing jewellery and clothes containing metal (such as zips), as these will need to be removed.

Before your CT

It’s important that you arrive 15 minutes before your scan, so that there is sufficient time to complete the screening process and to make sure it is safe to do your scan. If you cannot get to your appointment on time, you should call as soon as possible on 0203 195 2442. We will attempt to provide you with an alternative slot the same day if there is one available.

When you arrive for your imaging appointment, our radiographers will ask you some questions. You may also be required to fill in a questionnaire about your health and medical history, and you may be asked to sign a consent form. If necessary, the radiographers will ask you to get into a patient gown.

During your CT

For your CT scan you will usually be required to lie flat on your back for around 10 minutes. The scanner is a ring shape and the table you are lying on will move through the machine several times to get all the information needed. Unlike an MRI, the CT does not surround your whole body so should not be a problem if you are claustrophobic.

If you are having a contrast injection with your scan, someone will place a small tube called a cannula into your arm. The contrast injection will happen mid-way through your scan and you will be told before this happens. Contrast works a dye that goes into your blood stream and is absorbed, which helps distinguish between different structures. There is a small risk of allergic reaction when given the contrast injection, someone will explain this to your before your scan. Not everyone will need this injection.

The radiographer will operate the scanner from the control room next door, however, will be able to speak to you during you scan via an intercom.  You will need to lie very still during your scan and may be given different breathing instructions to breathe in, breathe out or hold your breath.

If you have a contrast injection you may feel the liquid going up your arm however it should not be painful.

After your CT

You shouldn’t experience any side effects from your scan and can return to normal activity afterwards. You may get dressed and leave as soon as your scan is finished, unless directed otherwise. If you have had contrast, you may be required to stay in the department for a small period of time afterwards to make sure you are okay.

Before leaving the Imaging Department you can collect a CD containing your examination images to take away. There is no aftercare needed once the scan is complete. All instructions regarding next steps will be on your appointment letter, please read it carefully.

Radiation risk

Some of the examinations performed in Imaging Departments involve the use of x-rays. X-rays are ionising radiation, there is a potential risk when exposed to ionising radiation.  
In line with IRMER (Ionising Radiation Medical Imaging) Regulations 2017 we follow the ALARP (As Low As Reasonably Practicable) Principle. 
All examinations are justified, and we believe that the benefit outweighs the risks. That is the benefit of an accurate diagnosis outweighs the small risk of using ionising radiation. We are confident that we use the lowest amount of radiation possible. 


If you have any concerns please speak to your radiographer or whoever sent you for your scan.


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