Computed Tomography (CT Scanning)
With a specialist focus on the brain, spine and nervous system, our brand new, state of the art CT scanner offers highly accurate imaging in a safe and comfortable clinic in central London. Flexible appointments are available with same-day expert reporting to ensure no delays in your treatment.
What is a CT scan?
A CT Scan involves the use of x-rays and powerful computers to create detailed cross-sectional 2D and 3D images of the human body. These images can then be reviewed by highly trained doctors to identify subtle abnormalities within the soft tissues or bone that may reveal disease processes or signs of trauma.
When do we use CT scanning?
CT scans are used when clear pictures of bones and soft tissues such as the brain and nervous system are required. A doctor may refer their patient for a CT scan for numerous reasons, such as identifying the cause of back pain, diagnosing the cause of a stroke or to detect soft tissue abnormalities such as tumours and infections. CT scanning can be used to make an initial diagnosis, or used before surgery to help pinpoint the site of an abnormality to help consultants plan a procedure. Quite often, a CT scan will be used alongside other diagnostic tests such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (or MRI) so that a full picture can be developed for the most accurate diagnosis.
How long does a CT scan take?
CT scans are non-invasive, pain-free and very quick, typically lasting no more than a few minutes. We will be able to tell you exactly how long your scan will take and how long you can expect to be in the department, when you arrange your appointment.
Our highly experienced radiographers will perform the scan and guide you through the whole procedure, ensuring that you are safe and comfortable at all times. Once the procedure is complete, you will be allowed to go home. Your report will then be made available the same day to ensure you can continue your treatment as quickly as possible.
What does a CT scan involve?
During a CT scan, you will be asked to lie down on a comfortable bed, which will then move slowly through the scanner whilst the inside of the scanner rotates and takes a series of x-ray pictures from many different angles. The table will move in and out of the scanner a few times before the scan is finished. During this process, you will not feel anything and nothing will touch you. You will be able to see out of the scanner at all times.
Whilst the pictures are being taken, you will just need to lie still. You may even be asked to hold your breath. For more information about CT scan, you may like to read about the CT Patient Journey.
Sometimes, an injection of contrast ‘dye’ is used during CT scans, to highlight certain structures within the body, such as the blood vessels. This clear and colourless ‘dye’ is injected into a vein in your arm though a small plastic tube during the scan. It is very safe, and your radiographer will explain all you need to know, as well as ask you some safety questions, before your scan starts. For more information about CT contrast dye, you may like to read our Patient Information Leaflet.
Are CT Scans safe?
During a CT scan, you will be briefly exposed to a small and highly targeted amount of radiation in the form of x-rays. These x-rays are used to create the images of the inside of your body which your doctor will use to detect and locate medical conditions. As CT scanning uses x-rays, it is typically not used for pregnant patients or for young children unless absolutely necessary.
Our state of the art CT scanner uses lower doses than many other other CT scanners in use. In fact, the doses involved in CT scanning in general are so low that the risk of developing side effects from the radiation is too small to be reliably measured. Nevertheless, our highly skilled staff are trained to make sure that radiation is only used when there is a clear medical benefit. They will also use our modern scanner to make sure doses are as low as possible.
When will I get my results?
Immediately following your scan, you will be given access to your images via your own online Health Portal.
In most cases, we offer same-day expert reporting of all our scans, to ensure no delays in your ongoing treatment and care. If you are seeing your doctor the same day as your scan, then please let us know and we will do our best to expedite the report.
Why Queen Square?
The Queen Square Imaging Centre is Central London’s only dedicated independent neuroimaging facility. With a specialist focus on the brain, spine and nervous system, our expert team of radiographers and highly specialised Consultant Neuroradiologists will ensure that your scan and report is of the highest quality, whilst using our brand new and state of the art CT and MRI scanners to offer an unrivalled level of comfort and safety.
Discover your patient journey
CT scan patient journey
Learn more about our state of the art CT scanner and book your CT scan online today. Fast and flexible appointments and reporting available.
Make an enquiry
If you would like to find out more information about our CT services please contact us using the form below.