A CT of the head is an exam which takes thin slice images of the brain, brain stem and skull. This is very useful to diagnose stroke, trauma, congenital defects, bleeding and possible masses. A CT of the orbit is an exam which takes thin slice images of the eye and orbital socket at three different angles. This helps in the diagnosis of things such as injury, diseases and congenital effects.
It is recommended that you wear loose, comfortable clothing for the exam and you will need to remove dentures, glasses, hearing aids, earrings or hair pins that may be in the path of the x-ray beam. To insure that nothing is in your stomach and should you become nauseous from the contrast, it’s advisable that you don’t eat anything 3-4 hours before to your exam or drink anything at least 1 hour prior.
As mentioned above, CT images of internal organs, bones, soft tissue and blood vessels provide more details than a traditional X-ray. CT scanning provides more detailed information on head injuries, stroke, brain tumor and other brain diseases than regular radiographs (x-rays).
You will be asked to lie down on a table attached to the CT scanner. The scanner looks like a large doughnut-shaped machine with a large hole in the middle that the table will slide through. You will be asked to lie on your back, with your head on a cushion and head should be pointing toward the scanner. Once you receive the contrast, the technologist will start an IV and once it is in place, they will then take preliminary scans of the area in question. These are called scout images and are used to map the area for testing. Once the test is processed, the images will then be obtained and it is very important that during the scanning you remain as still as possible to make sure the scanner gets the best possible images. Once the scans are completed, the table will be positioned out of the scanner and you will be allowed to sit up. If you received an IV, it would be removed and a bandage will be placed over the injection site.