I'm scheduled for a CT scan; what should I know?

1. What is a CT scan?
Computed Tomography (CT scan) is a valuable, painless diagnostic tool that allows the radiologist to see a cross sectional picture of the body. Essentially this is an x-ray based procedure in which images (pictures) are taken of the bones and soft tissue of your lower extremity.

2. How does a CT work?
Digital geometry processing is used to generate a three-dimensional image of the inside of an object from a large series of two-dimensional x-ray images taken around a single axis of rotation.

3. Is a CT safe?
The crucial usefulness of the information received from a CT scan is vastly outweighed by the small risk involved with the radiation output. CT scans, like other x-ray imaging exams, involve a brief, targeted exposure to a small amount of ionizing radiation – which is used to create an image of your internal structures. Although CT scans expose you to more radiation than traditional x-ray exams do, they also provide much more detailed images, which allows Dr. Thomajan to detect and precisely locate a vast array of medical conditions.
4. Can children receive a CT?
Yes, children can receive a CT scan. Typically, the facility will have a specialty radiologist perform the procedure. 
5. Who do I contact to schedule my CT?
Dr. Thomajan will select the facility that is best required for your CT. You will leave with your CT order; all orders have the contact information provided. We utilize the following:
 a. River Ranch Radiology: (512) 454-9597
 b. Austin Radiological Association: (512) 453-6100
 c. Austin Health Imaging: (512) 451-8595

6. I do not live in Austin; can I go anywhere else to receive my CT?
Although we prefer to use whom Dr. Thomajan has referred you to you do have the right to visit any facility for your CT procedure. You can always take the referral we have already written to any facility or please just contact our office to write a generic CT referral.

7. When should I arrive for my CT?
Patients typically are asked to arrive 30 minutes prior to their scheduled appointment. This allows time to complete any necessary paperwork, answer any medical history questions, change clothes for the scan if necessary and ask any questions for the technologist.

8. What do I bring with me to my CT?
Please bring your insurance card, identification card and your CT order.

9. How should I dress for my CT?
Patients should dress in loose-fitting, comfortable clothing (i.e. sweatshirt and pants without metal snaps or zippers). All valuables will be removed so we recommend leaving them at home. We also recommend not wearing cosmetics as many brands contain metal.

10. What happens during my CT?
The position of the patient on the scan is dependent on the area to be scanned. The table will rise up and move in and out of a large circle. The technologist will information you of any special instructions. It is very important to hold still while being scanned. Depending on the scan to be done and the complexity of the exam requested the scan could take 10-20 minutes.

11. What happens after my CT?
Patients may leave immediately following their CT scan and go about normal activities.

12. When can I expect my results?
Results are usually available and submitted to our office within 24-48 hours. Our staff will contact you as soon as they are available and interpreted by Dr. Thomajan. You will be required to schedule an office visit to receive your results. An office visit is required to discuss findings and develop a plan of action for your recovery.

13. I scheduled my results visit; do I have to pay a copay?
Yes, all visits are considered with your contract with your insurance company as an office visit. Any time you are seen and treated by Dr. Thomajan and his staff your insurance is billed. Part of your billed service is your copay; which is due on each date of service. 

14. Do I need to bring my results or copies of the CT to my visit?
We do not require that you provide results. We will have access to your results. Should we require to see the physical scans we can access River Ranch Radiology and Austin Radiological Association online. Any other facility that does not provide scans online we will request the hard copy as a courtesy.

Contact our office with questions or concerns: (512) 328-8900. After hours press “0” for our answering service to page Dr. Thomajan.

Dr. Craig H. Thomajan, DPM, FACFAS, FAENS
Founder and Managing Partner of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists