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A CT scan makes an image of the body by taking sequential x-rays. A computer then combines the images to reconstruct layers of detail of body structures. The scanner is a large ring-shaped machine with a bench or table that slides slowly through the ring. The exam usually takes 30 to 90 minutes and is similar to x-ray in radiation exposure.

Before the Test
You should not drink any fluids for one hour before the test and you may be asked not to eat for three hours before. Remove all jewelry and metal objects and tell your doctor if you are pregnant, diabetic, or allergic to certain foods or medicines.

During the Test
You will be positioned on the table or bench to scan the proper area. Please remain as still as possible so that the image will be sharp. The machine makes a clicking noise.

After the Test
Your doctor or a radiologist will discuss the results with you.