CT Scans at RCI

What is a CT scan?

A CT (Computerized Tomography) scan, often called a CAT scan, is a painless exam that combines X-rays with computer scans. This gives your physician a detailed image of soft tissue, organs and bones. CT imaging is particularly useful because it can show several types of tissue—lung, bone, soft tissue and blood vessels—with great clarity.

RCI’s 160-slice CT offers fast scans that create amazingly detailed images. During the scan, ultra-thin X-ray beams pass through your body from many angles in a complete circle. We use equipment with the lowest radiation dose and shortest scan times to improve your comfort.

CT scan services at RCI

  • Head/Brain
  • Maxillofacial (sinus)
  • Orbit
  • Soft tissue/Neck
  • Chest
  • Spine
  • Abdomen
  • Pelvis
  • Extremities
  • Colonography
  • Coronary calcium screening

Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA)

  • Head/Neck
  • Abdominal
  • Aorta with runoff
  • Heart

How do I make an appointment for a CT scan?

Typically, your referring physician will schedule an appointment for you. If you have been asked to schedule the appointment yourself, please have your physician’s order and any pre-authorization information required by your insurance or health plan provider and call 319-364-0121. When you need an affordable CT scan, tell your doctor you choose RCI. It may be more affordable for patients with no insurance or high deductibles to have a CT at RCI using our Cash Pricing.

How should I prepare for my CT scan?

You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for your CT exam. You may be asked to remove hairpins, jewelry, eyeglasses, hearing aids, removable dental work and any metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the scan images.

Contrast exams

Sometimes contrast, also known as X-ray dye, is needed to highlight bowel structures, internal organs or blood vessels. Contrast can be given orally or through an IV. If your exam requires contrast, you should not eat for 4 hours prior to the examination. Take your normal medications and drink plenty of fluids. For most abdominal and pelvic CT scans, you will need to drink oral contrast 1 hour before the scheduled test.

If you take any Metformin medication, you will need to stop taking it for 48 hours after your CT exam. Your technologist will give you instructions.

If you are 60 or over, have diabetes, high blood pressure or kidney disease, you will need a blood test before this procedure to check for kidney function. The blood test must be done within 30 days of the scan. We prefer you have your lab test at least 1 day before your exam.

You will first check in at the front desk and then a technologist will meet you in the waiting area. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.

What can I expect?

A patient table and a structure called a gantry are in the scanner room. You will lie down on the table, and once you’re comfortable, the technologist will move the table into the gantry opening until you reach the first scan position. Relax and remain still during each scan. The number of scans and total time will vary, but the whole procedure should take 5–15 minutes.

After your CT scan

You can go back to your regular diet and activities after the exam. Any contrast you received will pass naturally through your body within a day.

The radiologist will review and interpret the scan after the exam is completed. A written report will be sent to your doctor. Your doctor will discuss the results with you. Please allow your physician time to review your results. Urgent findings will be called to your physician.

CT Colonography

Computed tomography (CT) colonography or virtual colonoscopy uses special X-ray equipment to examine the large intestine. This is often done if a patient cannot have a traditional colonoscopy, or if there was difficulty completing a traditional colonography. During the exam, a small tube is inserted a short distance into the rectum to allow for inflation with gas while CT images of the colon and the rectum are taken.

Prior to your exam, you will pick up instructions to restrict your diet to clear fluids on the day before the CT and give you instructions on clearing your bowels. You will be instructed not to eat or drink anything for a few hours before the procedure.

When you arrive at the imaging center, a receptionist will check you in. Your technologist will take you back to the exam room where you will be asked to change into a gown. Your exam will commence from there. Feel free to ask the technologist any questions at this time.

Preparing for a CT Colonography Exam

For more information on this and other radiology procedures, visit www.radiologyinfo.org.
RCI is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR).

Contact RCI

RCI Imaging Center
1948 First Avenue NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
Hours: Monday – Friday,
7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Phone: 319-364-0121
Toll Free: 800-747-0121
Fax: 319-364-5684

For billing and
insurance questions:

RCI Business Services
1956 First Avenue NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
Hours: Monday – Friday
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Phone: 319-832-1735
Toll Free: 800-747-9729
Fax: 319-832-1747

mailing address:

Radiology Consultants of Iowa
PO Box 338
Cedar Rapids, IA 52406